A merry life & a short one!: The Drunkard’s Coat of Arms, 1707

Alcohol has long been accountable for the peaks and troughs of many romantic relationships, from bleary-eyed beginnings to booze-fuelled disputes and divorces. It has been at the centre of social life for thousands of years, providing endless amusement for onlookers as well as excuses and encouragement for amorous behaviour – in The Art of Love (1st-century AD), Ovid recommended... Continue Reading →

A New Sort of Holyday for Husbands, or a warning to troublesome wives, 1733

Here is a particularly heartwarming (*cough*) report of one man's enthusiastic embrace of widowhood in London in 1733. Yes folks, the 'new holyday for husbands' is to be enjoyed when your troublesome wife drops dead. Charming. (Although I do appreciate the tactful description of said wife. Next time anyone asks me about a break-up I am going to... Continue Reading →

How to carouse like a proper Regency gent

Courtesy of the Chester Courant, below is a foolproof guide to the Regency rake's perfect night out... Ladies, if you're looking for Mr Darcy, you're in the wrong place. Gentlemen, if you fancy recreating such a 'glorious frolic' yourself: 1) Impress your friends by drinking too much, loudly singing rude songs and telling obscene stories 2) Impress the ladies by... Continue Reading →

How to Sell a Wife, 1787

Unbridled passions! Sibling rivalry! Threatened suicide! Wife selling! A party down the pub! What more could you want from this news report of 1787? Not only does it give a lively insight into love and marriage in the eighteenth century, but it proves once and for all that Bristol is a city where romance never... Continue Reading →

Drunken Lovers, 1798

“Observe how I step in the Line, Though eight Quarts I have carried away; O Bet! you will never be mine If thus you get drunk every Day. As drunk as a Piper thou art; O tell me how could’st thou do so; Thou wilt ne’er from the Ale-house depart Till unable to walk, stand,... Continue Reading →

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