Tag: sexuality

Georgian Secrets

Cruickshank: Secret History of Georgian LondonClick on the video below to hear Dan Cruickshank talking about his latest book, The Secrets of Georgian London. As Frances Wilson succinctly put it in her Times review:

“Eighteenth-century London contained more prostitutes than anywhere else in Europe. In this fascinating account of sex and the Georgian city, Dan Cruickshank suggests that one woman in five was involved in some way with the sex industry.”

There are many other jaw-dropping secrets of the Georgian underworld uncovered in this highly readable, but clearly meticulously researched book. Yet what stops it becoming a catalogue of humanity’s seemingly endless appetite for exploitation of its own kind is Cruickshank’s unmistakable sympathy for the women who became ensnared in the sex trade. For a lucky few, it could be a passport to a life of luxury, but for the vast majority the trajectory was the downwards one described in Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress.

28. The Life of a Roman Town

Mary Beard: PompeiiHow easy is it to get an insight into the life of the ancient Romans from a visit to the remains of Pompeii today? How much of what we see is even Roman, and how much is recent reconstruction?

What did the Romans really think about sex? And what did they believe in a world on the cusp of embracing Christianity? And did they really eat dormice?

Click on the link above to hear writer, broadcaster, blogger extraordinaire and Cambridge professor of Classics, Mary Beard tackle all these questions and more.

You can also hear Mary talking about the Roman triumph in podcast 15: The Big Parade.

25. Menopause and medicine

Louise Foxcroft: Hot Flushes, Cold Science

Hot Flushes, Cold Science cover

“There was a physician called John Fothergill in the late eighteenth century who said that it was amazing that women had been taught to dread this natural phenomenon.”

As Louise Foxcroft’s sometimes shocking history of the menopause shows, Fothergill was very much in the minority.

The medical profession in Fothergill’s day was just beginning to cotton on to the idea that the menopause offered a lucrative new subject for treatment.

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