What was the role of love and courtship in eighteenth-century English culture? In her new book, The Game of Love in Georgian England: Courtship, Emotions, and Material Culture (Oxford University Press, 2019), Sally Holloway uses innovative methods to explore the history of romantic love in the long eighteenth century. Examining sixty courtships from across England, she argues that romantic love was an essential part of the eighteenth-century life cycle. In doing so, Holloway foregrounds the language of love, love letters, material objects like gifts and love tokens, and breach of promise cases to offer new insights into this important stage in Georgian women’s and men’s lives. As she reveals, experiences of love, courtship, betrothal, and romantic breakdown were central elements of the eighteenth-century emotional landscape, across a range of classes and locations.
Dr. Sally Holloway is the Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in History & History of Art in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture at Oxford Brookes University.
Jess Clark is an Associate Professor of History at Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario). Her book, The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London, will be published by Bloomsbury in April 2020.
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