An introduction to historian Emily Brand's new book 'The Fall of the House of Byron'
On My Thirty-Third Birthday JANUARY 22 1821 Through life’s dull road, so dim and dirty, I have dragg’d to three-and-thirty. What have these years left to me? Nothing – except thirty-three. Lord Byron did not like birthdays. He intentionally avoided his own 21st and 24th parties, and considering how miserable he was at the prospect... Continue Reading →
The tendency of women to gossip about their sex lives with their friends has set men a-fretting for centuries. Far from being a phenomenon of the 'Sex & the City' era, women of the seventeenth century were just as likely to have intimate discussions about their man's skills and equipment, past experiences, how to keep... Continue Reading →
THE RUINED GIRL. 'Oh! fatal Day when to my Virtues wrong, I fondly listen'd to his flattering Tongue, But oh! more fatal Moment when he gain'd, That vile Consent which all my Glory staind.' In this print of 1786, a young woman of some fashion appears to have received a letter from her beau, informing... Continue Reading →
To Georgian Edinburgh, where in the summer of 1738 an almost-centenarian wed a nervous "undefiled" lady of about seventy. My interest was caught by the idea that her primary reason for pursuing marriage at such an advanced age was a fear of the "old maid's curse" – presumably the already well-established saying that old maids... Continue Reading →
Detail from Love & Wine (1787) Here we have a choice selection of words relating to the amorous act, taken from Blackguardiana by James Caulfield (c.1790). As entertaining as it can be to discover those words that have fallen from use (note: kettle drums and wap) it is also interesting to consider those that are... Continue Reading →