An introduction to historian Emily Brand's new book 'The Fall of the House of Byron'
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) was a pioneering figure in the fight for women's equality. So why no statue? She was a remarkable woman: a devoted friend and sister, a traveller, a single mother, a philosopher and a writer. She had groundbreaking ideas about the future of women's rights, why changes would be better for both sexes, and... Continue Reading →
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 →
Knowing how consumed most single ladies were with the mission of securing a husband, just imagine what harassment England's bachelors might have been subjected to if the women were given charge of romantic proceedings. The Leap Year tradition of allowing women to make their own amorous advances clearly played on the mind of one print-maker... Continue Reading →
Fair readers, I present a rather-bawdier-than-I-expected poem of the early eighteenth century, revealing the author's idea of the perfect woman. Thirty sure Marks point out each beauteous Fair; Such as Helen had, as Histories declare: Three White, Three Black, Three Red, the Maid must have; Three Long, Three Short, if she'll her Credit save: Three... 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 →
Inebriated women clearly do not make the most delicate wives and sweethearts. This satire on drunkenness in the fairer sex, published in 1795, depicts eight ladies young and old drinking gin, falling over, vomiting and walking into things (also featuring the occasional disgruntled gent). The print is vaguely reminiscent of Thomas Nashe's 'The Eight Kindes... Continue Reading →