Amanda Vickery

Amanda Vickery teaches early modern history at Queen Mary, University of London.

Venice-on-Thames: Vauxhall Gardens

Amanda Vickery, 7 February 2013

Eighteenth-century historians can’t get enough of pleasure gardens. They seem to crystallise the new and distinctive features of Georgian society and culture in one fabulous setting. As places of commerce masquerading as wooded groves, pleasure gardens offered idealised rus in urbe. They could seem poetic in the dusk as the visitor listened to the evening chorus of resident songbirds,...

Don’t marry a Christian: Wives or slaves?

Amanda Vickery, 8 September 2011

It was a hackneyed truth that while European Christian women in the 18th century were essentially free, ‘“Oriental” and Muslim women were incarcerated body and soul behind veils,’ as Margaret Hunt puts it. Browbeaten British wives accused oppressive husbands of Turkish despotism, drawing attention to the illegitimacy of domestic tyranny in the land of Liberty as well...

Do Not Scribble: Letter-Writing

Amanda Vickery, 4 November 2010

A voyeuristic pleasure in being privy to secrets drives many archival historians. After ploughing through bundles of faded letters reporting on wills and the weather, pigs and piles, what researcher’s heart would not thrill at the words: ‘Please burn this letter that no mortal eyes may read it’? Manuscripts may seem to offer the pleasures of the peephole but no serious...

My Cat All My Pleasure: Georgian Life

Gillian Darley, 19 August 2010

Cut-paper work from 1707 by the 17-year-old Anna Maria Garthwaite, who later became a designer of patterned silks for dresses In contrast to the still contentment of a Zoffany conversation...

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The experience of reading this book is a paradoxical one. Innovative, expertly researched and luminous in style, it nonetheless seems at times almost eerily familiar. The reason for this quickly...

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