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City of laughter : sex and satire in eighteenth-century London

Author
Gatrell, Vic, 1941-
Title
City of laughter : sex and satire in eighteenth-century London / Vic Gatrell.
Format
Book
Edition
1st U.S. ed.
Published
New York : Walker & Co., 2007, c2006.
Description
xxiii, 696 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
Other titles
Edward Harvey collection.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (p. 668-669) and indexes.
Contents
  • The sense of place
  • London and the pleasure principle
  • 'The west or worst end'
  • Covent garden and the middling sorts
  • Crossing the boundaries
  • How they laughed
  • Laughing politely
  • Bums, farts and other transgressions
  • Image magic
  • Seeing the jokes
  • Gillray's dreamscapes
  • The sexes
  • The tree of life
  • Philosophy and raking
  • What could women bear?
  • The libertine's last fling
  • The enemies of laughter
  • Taming the muse: the long view
  • The age of cant
  • radical satire and the censors
  • The silencing
  • Happiness, cant and the beggars
  • Epilogue: Francis Place and 'improvement.'
Summary
A sumptuously illustrated and authoritative history of the sexually liberated, salacious, and high satirical world of pre-Victorian London. Between 1779 and 1830. London was the world's largest and richest city, the center of hectic social ferment and spectacular sexual liberation. These singular conditions prompted revolutionary modes of thought, novel sensibilities, and constant debate about the relations between men and women. Such an atmosphere also stimulated outrageous behavior, from James Boswell╩╝s copulating on Westminster Bridge to the Prince Regent's attempt to seduce a woman by pleasing, sobbing, and stabbing himself with a penknife. And nowhere was London's lewdness and iconoclasm more vividly represented than its satire.
City of Laughter chronicles the rise and fall of a great tradition of ridicule and of the satirical, humorous, and widely circulated prints that sustained it. Focusing not on the polished wit upon which polite society prided itself, but rather on malicious, sardonic, and satirical humor-humor that was bawdy, knowing, and ironic-Vic Gatrell explores what this tradition says about the Georgian's views of the world and about their own pretensions. Taking the reader into the clubs and taverns where laughter flowed most freely, Gatrell examines how Londoners laughed about sex, scandal, fashion, drink, and similar pleasures of life. Combining words and images-including more than 300 original drawings by Cruikshank, Gillray, Rowlandson, and others-City of Laughter offers a brilliantly original panorama of the era, providing a groundbreaking reappraisal of a period of change and a unique account of the origins of our attitudes toward sex, celebrity, and satire today.
Includes information on cruelty to animals as sport, importance of appearances, beggars, William Blake, breasts, Lord George Byron, cant, caricatures, clothing of women, gentlemen's clubs, crime, Charles Dickens, drinking, drinking clubs, elections, erotica, flagellation, France and French, gambling, humour (humor), Samuel Johnson, journal, periodicals and newspapers, laughter, lower class people, men, middling sorts, military life, music, nudity, Thomas Paine, phallic obsession, William Pitt, poets and poetry, poor, printshops, prostitutes, pugilism, Christian religion, romanticism, scatological humour and behaviour, sexual activity, Percy B. Shelley, symbols, upper class people, women, women and erotica, etc.
Kinsey subjects
Art--England.
Sex customs--England.
Sex attitudes--England.
Social conditions--England.
Social customs--England.
Sex behavior history--England.
Humor--England.
ISBN
0802716024
9780802716026

Holdings

Library
Blmgtn - Kinsey Institute Library (by appointment only)
Call Number
818 G21 c4 2006
Location
Auxiliary Library Facility - Kinsey Institute