WSG is pleased to announce the publication of member Julie Peakman’s latest book, Amatory Pleasures: Explorations in Eighteenth-Century Sexual Culture (Bloomsbury, 2016), which I can already feel might make a few more adventurous scholarly types’ Christmas stockings come 25th December. It examines a broad range of sexual activity, from the “respectable” to the covert, and is available in hardback at £65 and paperback at £19.99.
For Julie’s new book, Bloomsbury have kindly offered WSG members 20% off. If you think you’d like to hear more talks on cultural history, and get similar news and offers like this via email, you might consider coming to one of WSG’s seminars this year or becoming a member of the group. Readers of this post might also enjoy the Notches blog, which posts regular articles on the history of sexuality, across all regions, periods, and themes.
This is a great post with which to kick off 2016, for all readers who believe the history of early modern and 18thC women should be considered (and practised) as part of a broader history of sex and gender. WSG member Gillian Williamson has published her study British Masculinity in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’, 1731-1815with Palgrave Macmillan (£63 hardback). Gillian is an independent historian. She read classics at the University of Cambridge then worked in corporate finance. She returned to academic study after editing a lottery-funded local history book.
Launched in 1731, the monthly Gentleman’s Magazine was the dominant periodical of the 18thC, drawing its large readership from across the literate population of Great Britain and the English-speaking world. Its readers were highly responsive. By the 1740s their letters, poems and family announcements, especially obituaries, filled at least half its pages, sitting alongside articles by a circle that included Samuel Johnson. It was a Georgian social network as readers engaged in a continuous dialogue with each other, but not all these readers were as comfortably established as gentlemen as the title implied.
Gillian’s study traces how, from launch to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the magazine developed as a vehicle for the creation and national dissemination of a new middling-sort masculine gentlemanliness in a Britain that was increasingly commercial, fluid and open. You can read a sample chapter here.
WSG member Valerie Schutte has just had her book Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power and Persuasion published with Palgrave Macmillan (£60 hardback). It is the outcome of her doctoral research, and argues that dedications and the negotiations accompanying them reveal both contemporary perceptions of how statecraft, religion, and gender were, and the political maneuvering attempting to influence how they ought to be. It is part of Palgrave’s Queenship and Power series, for which Valerie is also currently co-editing, with Sarah Duncan, The Birth of a Queen: Essays on the Quincentenary of Mary I (2016).
Valerie earned her PhD from the University of Akron. She has a further research project underway, an edited collection on “Unexpected Heirs in Early Modern Europe”, for which she is currently seeking chapter proposals:
This collection seeks scholarship on queens and kings who were not expected to become rulers in their own right. In the early modern era many unexpected heirs came to power, but how, why, and the repercussions have never been the subject of one singular volume. The collection will be submitted to the Queenship and Power series (Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Charles Beem and Carole Levin, with planned publication for late 2017/early 2018.
This volume seeks proposals for submissions that consider unexpected heirs and how they achieved their queenship and kingship. Particularly sought are papers that explore issues facing these monarchs before and after their accessions, how they were educated and prepared for ruling, or their lack of preparation, familial relationships, and obstacles to obtaining power. Proposals on unexpected male and female heirs are welcome, as are papers that examine heirs who did not go on to be queens or kings. The intention for the volume is to engage in the actual lives and cultural afterlives of illegitimate children, daughters, and younger sons and the reception of such heirs.
Chapter proposals of 500 words, accompanied by a brief biography, must be submitted to email@example.com by 1 January 2016 to be considered. Accepted authors will be notified by March 2016, and complete essays will be due by 15 October 2016.
Following on from Julie Peakman’s new biography of the Georgian courtesan Peg Plunkett, WSG would also like to highlight WSG member (and WSG’s chief Twitterer) Sara Read’s new book Maids, Wives and Widows: Exploring Early Modern Women’s Lives 1540-1740, which came out in May. It is available from Pen & Sword books, and for a limited time is only £15.99 (rrp £19.99). Maids, Wives and Widows explores the everyday lives of early modern women, from menstruation, childbirth, and bodily care, to employment, literature, and food and drink.
Long-time WSG member Julie Peakman’s latest book is out this month! Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore is published by Quercus and is available from all good bookshops and online for £20. Peg tells the story of one of the Georgian era’s most famous courtesans, based on her memoirs which caused a scandal when published in 1795, and Julie’s own extensive research.
Julie is a well-known historian of eighteenth-century culture and an expert in the history of sexuality. An Honorary Fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London, her previous books Lascivious Bodies (2004) and The Pleasure’s All Mine (2013), have both been critical and popular successes.