Oct 302020
 

It is a strange feeling when you get an invoice through the post – for nil pounds – and realize that the publishers have just posted the author’s complementary copies of  his latest book! It always catches me out, because  there is such a long interval between writing, and seeing the results. Long after the proofing, the discussions about the cover design and so on,  it suddenly emerges as a physical entity, a book which you can hold in your hand and turn the pages!

My latest offering, from Pen & Sword, is entitled Sex and Sexuality in Georgian Britain – it’s part of a series and it apparently ‘hit the streets’ on 29 October. My complementary copies are winging their way to me from Barnsley and I  look forward to seeing what it looks like in a day or two.

The reviews, so far, have been excellent. Here are a few:

This was a well-researched and well-written historical look at sex and sexuality in Georgian Britain. A time where sex and sexuality became part of everyday conversation (or comic illustrations), Rendell uses newspapers, diaries, court records, and more to explore the disparities between how the rich and the poor, men and women, were treated when it came to sex. What could people get away with? What was becoming more common? What was changing? For a good nightmare inducer, be sure to read the section on the medical profession and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases just before going to bed (or eating). It’s shocking to think that the British medical profession really hadn’t developed past the ancient Greeks. “Sex and Sexuality in Georgian Britain” is well organized into interesting chapters and is a must read for anyone interested in the time period.

NetGalley, Anne Morgan

“There was a law for the rich, and there was a law for the poor. There was a law for men, and there was another law for women.”
This book explores Georgian Britain’s attitudes to sex and sexuality, and gives an overview of a wide variety of topics: rape, homosexuality, contraceptives, STDs and prostitution, to name a few.
It is well-researched and structured, and surprisingly accessible. I also appreciated the incorporation of life in Georgian Britain further than sex and sexuality, including politics, medicine and literature. Throughout, there is also commentary on gender and sexism.

NetGalley, Ella Blake

I loved reading this book and I hope to read more books from this author and subjects like this in the future. The author did a good job.

NetGalley, Tina Carter

This was a really entertaining read, I enjoyed learning about a point in history that I didn’t know much about. I look forward to reading more from the author.

NetGalley, Kay McLeer

I found this like the others in this series, interesting, funny, accessible and detailed. The writing was great and i liked how this presented. This is well worth a read.

NetGalley, Bethany Younge

I loved this. It was fascinating and I learned so much. Will definitely be buying the book to keep it in my collection.

NetGalley, Lisa Curtin

It is a shame that in these Covid-times I cannot get out and about and give talks to promote the book. Mind you, things move on and I have already submitted the manuscript for my next book, which Pen & Sword are publishing next year. Not sure of the exact title yet, but it will be looking at 18th Century courtesans as fashion icons – the way that what they wore, how they accessorised, how they styled their hair and so on, influenced fashion. It will be a sort of “who were the influencers  250 years ago, before we invented the Kardashians?”

In the meantime, I have just started work on  another title – it will be my fourteenth – but I will keep that under wraps until it is ready to emerge, chrysalis-like, some time in 2021/2. Meanwhile, for those of you worrying about what to buy your elderly maiden aunt for Christmas, I whole-heartedly recommend Sex and Sexuality in Georgian Britain. In fact, buy two copies and give the second one to your favourite vicar. As one of the reviewers has said: “This may be one of my favorite history books ever!” while another, also un-prompted by any financial inducement from me (!) – writes: “This book is an absolute treasure, full of little known information about the sexual habits of the Georgian period, and the hypocrisy of the time in regard to women. I shall consult it often as a reference book, but I also enjoyed reading it.”

My thanks to the reviewers – now go out and enjoy! Just don’t leave it lying around where it might frighten the horses…

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