City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-century London

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James Boswell observed that a person living in eighteenth-century London, 'may be in some degree be whatever character they choose'. London was, quite simply, the most vibrant and powerful city in the world. This vivacity - famously depicted by the satirical artists Gillray, Cruikshank and Rowlandson - gave rise to lewd and iconoclastic behaviour unlike any other in English history.

Gatrell's remarkable book argues that we cannot comprehend our own capacity for licentiousness or our sense of humour without understanding this unique period in English history. City of Laughter is as original as it is brilliantly written and will change permanently our view of London and its inhabitants.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AgedPeasant - LibraryThing

Three stars means "It's OK". I wish I could give it 4 but it defeated me. It should have been so much fun. Before Victorian prudery clamped down a lid of stern disapproval on British behaviour, we ... Read full review

CITY OF LAUGHTER: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London

User Review  - Kirkus

British author and academic Gatrell (British history/Univ. of Essex; The Hanging Tree, 1994) explores exhaustively, albeit most pleasantly, the golden age of graphic satire that flourished in ... Read full review


London and the Pleasure Principle
The West or Worst End
Covent Garden and the Middling Sorts

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