Hello and welcome to the 88th edition of Carnivalesque – I shall be your hostess this month. If you need me, you’ll find me behind the bar. While I help this shrieking young muck-spout to another quart of gin, The Georgian Bawdyhouse presents for your delight and delectation a collection of some of this month’s most fascinating early modern history blog posts.
I’ll start off with a few exploring depraved subjects dear to my old heart: early modern crime, lewdness and disorder.
At Early Modern Whale, we are introduced to The Unnatural Practices of Elizabeth Pigeon, an “appalling, cunning and dangerous” woman rampaging around Southwark and busying herself with sinful extra-marital projects in the mid-seventeenth century.
In an unfortunate sexual encounter rather less calculated but even more distressing for her victim in 1791, Jen Newby tells the story of “seasoned metropolitan whore” Susannah Hill over at Writing Women’s History.
The ever fabulous Madame Guillotine takes a detailed look at the sinister and scandalous life of Erzsebet Bathory, a Hungarian Countess reputed to be the most prolific murderess in history.
More on the supposed crimes of early modern women in an account of the Pendle Witches four hundred years after their trial at the Public Domain Review.
Giblet-guzzling and chain-vomiting abound in the History Hack’s really rather disgusting but compelling post on the ‘entertainment’ provided by The Hibernian Canibal of 1699. Heave.
Of course, Europe was not alone in its early modern misdemeanours, and Executed Today details the first recording hanging in what would become the United States, that of Daniel Frank in 1623 (poor starving fellow only helped himself to someone else’s calf).
There were also a lot of great posts on the history of print this month…
Over at Many-Headed Monster, Brodie Waddell explores early modern precedents of the comic strip in early examples of sequential art, including Hogarth’s notorious Moll Hackabout and, fascinatingly, an obscure pictorial tale from 1683 following an unfortunate gent as “Satan tempteth him from his Study to evil company”. Really fantastic stuff.
Showing an equal fascination with the intricacies of early modern print, Sarah Werner – self-professed future Empress of Folding – has achieved the admirable feat of producing her course syllabus in quarto. That, ladies and gents, is dedication.
I really enjoyed this beautifully illustrated instruction in How to Read like a Renaissance Reader from Adam G. Hooks at Anchora, inspired by early manuals to schooling and education.
As I am a big fan of eighteenth-century ephemera, I can’t leave these out from the Lewis Walpole blog: a collection of printed bills from Georgian inns and a bill for various entertainments in eighteenth-century Birmingham (featuring “the Flying Phenomenon, whose wonderful Leaps have been the admiration of all Ranks, in all Courts of Europe!!!”). Wish I could’ve seen it. Sigh.
And as there was so much great stuff this month, an early modern miscellany to round things off…
Susan Abernethy offers an exploration of the glamorous, tragic life of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, talented artist and close companion of Marie Antoinette over at Saints, Sisters and Sluts.
Sally Osborn treats us to some insight into how to clean your teeth like a true Georgian gent. Sulphuric acid and cuttlebone, anyone?
A detailed discussion of the sixteenth-century cosmos in Attitudes towards heliocentricity before 1610 at The Renaissance Mathematicus.
Fascinating Civil War letters from the pen of parliamentary soldier Neremiah Wharton as he grumbles and pillages his way around Buckinghamshire, lovingly transcribed by Gavin Robinson at Investigations of a Dog.
Sylvia Morris at the Shakespeare Blog delves into becoming a courtier and ideal masculinity in sixteenth-century Italy, and considers what Italian conduct writer Castaglione might have thought of Shakespeare’s Richard III.
Elena Carrera discusses the uses of anger in medieval and early modern medicine at QMUL’s brilliant History of Emotions Blog (featuring an etching of a terrifying angry man).
The macabre doodlings of a seventeenth-century anatomy student form the basis of a thought-provoking post on desensitisation and learning emotional detachment through dissection at The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice.
Possibly pushing it a bit taking ‘early modern’ to the mid-Victorian era (a debate I frequently find myself embroiled in), but this photo of Brighton Swimming Club in 1863 is too brilliant to miss: Top hats and swimming trunks from Chris Wild (aka the Retronaut).
And, to play us out on this 88th History Carnival, rustic musicians, dancing monkeys, elves and cats walking on two legs at The Fairy Ballet Carnival from BibliOdyssey. Do pop by again.