Dec 132017
 

“In bed with the Georgians: – Sex, Scandal & Satire” was published a year ago – how time flies – and there have been some lovely reviews (see here). Another review has just appeared in a splendid bi-monthly publication called Jane Austen’s Regency World – it is a full-colour magazine packed with articles about Austen and the world she lived in. Anyone interested can find subscription details at janeaustenmagazine.co.uk

Anyway, I will set out the review in full:

 

 

I’ll settle for ‘shocking hilarious and massively entertaining’ anytime!

Just by way of an update, Pen & Sword will be publishing my next book, “Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era” in the Spring and I am just about to hand in the manuscript for a book on piracy, provisionally entitled “Plunder”. At the moment I am finishing off the final ‘what if’ chapter – what if piracy had not been driven out of the West Indies in the 1720s? What if colonial trade had dwindled because merchants were unable to get their goods in and out of the colonies? What if the pirates really had developed their own utopian government in the Caribbean, syphoning off all the profits for themselves? Would we have had a British Empire? Would we have been able to afford an Industrial Revolution – and would sailors have preferred to engage in piracy rather than devote their energies to the slave trade? We think of our colonial past as something inevitable, whereas it was far from certain that places such as Jamaica would ever be profitable in their own right. You only have to think of the disastrous attempt by Scotland at the turn of the 18th Century, attempting to colonise the Darien Peninsula and thereby hoping to become a colonial power in its own right, to realize that many attempts ended in abject and expensive failure. In Scotland’s case it forced them to accept the Union with England – it was the price they paid for being bailed out. It is interesting to consider what would have happened if piracy had bled Jamaica dry – would Britain have decided to pull-out of its colonial aspirations and concentrate instead on its position in Europe? The world would certainly have been a different place…

As for sex and scandal – well, nothing has changed there! The satire is a bit more anodyne, and the behaviour of our rulers is slightly more tame and less outrageous than it was a couple of centuries¬† ago, but I can well imagine someone writing a follow-up in 200 years time, to be called “In bed with Millennials: Sex, Scandal & Satire”. The difference is that nowadays things are rather more furtive and secretive – 250 years ago our rulers revelled in their notoriety. Their sexual dalliances were a badge of honour. But some things never change – generally speaking it is the rich who have the fun, and the poor who pay the price….

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