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A History of Courtship (ePub)

800 years of seduction techniques

P&S History > British History > Victorian History P&S History > By Century > 14th Century P&S History > By Century > 15th Century P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > By Century > 17th Century P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History P&S History > Social History Women of History

By Tania O'Donnell
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 28.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 137
Illustrations: 60
ISBN: 9781473875098
Published: 11th January 2017


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Explore eight hundred years of lust, love, and loss.

The author takes the reader on a journey from medieval Courtly Love, through to the sexual license of the Restoration, and Victorian propriety. Pick up historical 'dating tips', from how to court (or be courted); write romantic love letters, give and receive gifts, propose and pose as a sighing swain.

A historical approach to the problem of finding a mate, with case studies of classic romantic mistakes and plenty of unusual tales. In the 14th century young men tried to impress the ladies with their footwear, donning shoes with pointed toes so long that they had to be secured with whalebone – presumably because size mattered!

This is an interesting and well-researched look at courtship throughout history. It was especially interesting to see how it changed with the times.

NetGalley, Melisa Safchinsky

As featured in Books for Valentine's Day 2018 by Julia Paddon

On: Yorkshire magazine

As reviewed on Youtube by...

Non Fic Books

While this book read a bit like a research paper, I did learn quite a few fun facts and historical antecdotes regarding love and courting. I enjoyed the illustrations which highlighted some of the points that were addressed in the book.

NetGalley, reviewed by Melisa Moorhead

Finally, O’Donnell offers a way of looking at the past that might help shed some light on our own lives. With the benefit of a little perspective, she seems to suggest, perhaps we should not rush to judgement in the present. Certainly, we should be grateful for the relative freedoms we enjoy today and should be cautious of viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles. Above all, we should celebrate our courtships and not let them end at marriage. Seductive arguments.

Read the full review here.

Dirty, Sexy History

Welcome to another Quirky Corner of History! This was such a fun little book to read. Subtitled “800 Years of Seduction Techniques”, this book is a survey of various aspects of courtship through the years. This is not a heavy history tome but a light, easy-to-read, fairly short book. The author takes a look at everything from beauty and seductive items of clothing to tokens of love and chaperones. I was particularly intrigued by how important the length of the point on a man’s shoe could be, and grateful that I have never received a “vinegar valentine”. If you’re looking for something a little different to read or maybe a source of “love” trivia then you need to check this out.

A Line from a Book, Jennifer Sahmoun

As featured by

Antiques Diary, May – June 2017

An entertaining romp through some of the more intriguing aspects of courtship.

WDYTYA? Magazine, April 2017 – reviewed by Ruth Symes

Tania O'Donnell's amazing study of love and courtship through the ages is a delight and an eye-opener. Students of the art of seduction and wooing will lap this up!

Books Monthly, March 2017 - reviewed by Paul Norman

Interesting book on the history of courtship. Will read more from the author.

NetGalley, reviewed by Corinne M Knight

This was an easy and fun read. It clarifies some misconceptions we have today about how love and relationships were conducted in the past. I was especially interested to note how common sense was the basis for choosing a life partner, much more so than today. Similar backgrounds and social standing aren't entirely bad ideas. I know we think opposites attract, but can they make a life together? The Victorian considerations regarding finances wasn't the "gold digger" notion that we tend to have today. It was a genuine concern and so it should be. Love don't pay the rent, as the saying goes. Recommend!

NetGalley, reviewed by Alison Harriman

Overall, I'd recommend this interesting and entertaining book.

NetGalley - reviewed by Deborah White

This book would be suitable for a light read and I would recommend looking at some of the references that author Tania O’Donnell has written about throughout if this is a subject that intrigues you.

NetGalley review - reviewed by Michelle Meador

A History of Courtship was very interesting. Courtship use to be an art form but now is just a mess of apps and websites. It is amazing how Courtship have changed throughout time.

NetGalley review, reviewed by Jennifer Coleman

Featured in Tania O'Donnell feature article

NOW, December 2016

About Tania O'Donnell

TANIA ODONNELL has written on relationships for national newspapers and magazines, including Metro and the Guardian. She is the founder of Green Cover, a private press that publishes collectible editions of original short stories, poetry and mythology. She lives in South London with her husband, Gary, and a Westie puppy that Gary is unaware hes about to get for her.

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