Manly beauty: what can boxers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part III

Boxers The other men in William Hogarth’s March of the Guards to Finchley (1750) that I want to talk about are the boxers. In the painting, so evocatively displayed at London Museum, a bare-knuckle prize-fight takes place in the middle-ground. This was a boxing booth opened by James Figg in 1719 on Tottenham Court Road, … More Manly beauty: what can boxers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part III

Rough and brave: what can soldiers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part II

Guardsmen Let me begin with the guardsmen at the heart of William Hogarth’s The March of the Guards to Finchley (1750), the subject of a great exhibition at the Foundling Museum. They are an evocative depiction of the troubling charms of the soldier. In the eighteenth century, officers might be considered examples of idealised masculinity: … More Rough and brave: what can soldiers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part II

Pugnacious and patriotic: what can soldiers and boxers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part I

Recently, I had the privilege of talking about William Hogarth’s The March of the Guards to Finchley (1750) in one of the talks accompanying the Foundling Museum’s 2019 Exhibition Hogarth & The Art of Noise. This is a jewel of an exhibition – small and perfectly formed – which explores Hogarth’s abilities to conjure the … More Pugnacious and patriotic: what can soldiers and boxers tell us about 18th century masculinity? Part I

Making links: revisiting my research on men, emotions, and identities

Introduction In early June 2016 I gave my professorial inaugural lecture (yes, three years ago, just before we heard the results of the Brexit referendum, when the world seemed very different). I have not had a chance to work on my blog since then, subjected to a relentless series of publication deadlines. Now I’ve got … More Making links: revisiting my research on men, emotions, and identities

Sex and the marital relationship in the eighteenth century

Sex and the Church: Religion, Enlightenment and the Sexual Revolution, a book that I co-authored with William Gibson, was published in hardback two years ago. Hugely busy, neither of us had much opportunity to promote it. It has done quite well since, thankfully, and has just been published as a paperback this month. It is … More Sex and the marital relationship in the eighteenth century

Emotional Lives, Intimacy, and Identity in 18th and 19th Century England

If you would like to see my inaugural lecture, you can find it in this link here! I talk about three emotions or feelings – anxiety, anger, and loss – through the lens of the anxious father, the angry husband, and the tearful sailor.My aim is to demonstrate the ways in which different models of … More Emotional Lives, Intimacy, and Identity in 18th and 19th Century England

The doll’s house and its links with home and identity

My previous post discussed the role of the dolls’ house as a tool for teaching girls and women in the past about their feminine roles and duties. Dolls’ houses also evoke strong feelings in people who own or interact with them. They have a powerful emotional dimension, even for those who stand in museums and wonder … More The doll’s house and its links with home and identity

Controlling a small world: dolls’ houses and gender roles

I had the great pleasure of attending and talking at a symposium on dolls’ houses recently; a fascinating event organised around Liza Antrim’s dolls’ house collection part of which was on display at No. One Royal Crescent, Bath (check out the exhibition’s Pinterest board). The miniaturization of the domestic in the form of the dolls’ house … More Controlling a small world: dolls’ houses and gender roles