Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England (Paperback)
The Tudor period has long gripped our imaginations. Because we have consumed so many costume dramas on TV and film, read so many histories, factual or romanticised, we think we know how this society operated. We know they ‘did’ romance but how did they do sex?
In this affectionate, informative and fascinating look at sex and sexuality in Tudor times, author Carol McGrath peeks beneath the bedsheets of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century England to offer a genuine understanding of the romantic and sexual habits of our Tudor ancestors.
Find out the truth about ‘swiving’, ‘bawds’, ‘shaking the sheets’ and ‘the deed of darkness'. Discover the infamous indiscretions and scandals, feast day rituals, the Southwark Stews, and even city streets whose names indicated their use for sexual pleasure. Explore Tudor fashion: the codpiece, slashed hose and doublets, women’s layered dressing with partlets, overgowns and stomachers laced tightly in place. What was the Church view on morality, witchcraft and the female body? On which days could married couples indulge in sex and why? How were same sex relationships perceived? How common was adultery? How did they deal with contraception and how did Tudors attempt to cure venereal disease? And how did people bend and ignore all these rules?
Most people have always been interested in sex, love and marriage. Now, this entertaining and informative book explores the surprisingly varied and energetic sex and love lives of the women and men of Queen Elizabeth's England. A range of writers, from the famous, such as Shakespeare, John Donne and Ben Jonson, and lesser-known figures popular in their time, provide, in their witty stories, poems and plays, vivid pictures of Elizabethan sexual attitudes and experiences, while sober reports from the church courts tell of seductions, adulteries and rapes. Here we also encounter private journals…By R. E. Pritchard
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