Gulliver & 18thc Europeans as ‘pernicious odious vermin’!

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Swift was a humanitarian, deeply concerned with the political issues of his day and practically involved in supporting the poor and fighting for change. Gulliver’s Travels, much loved by children for its fantastical figures, tells us much about the political … Read More

Richardson, Aubin & rape in 18thc novels

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Taken from my essay, ‘”Minerva’s favourite Sholar”: Penelope Aubin Reconsidered’ – full text available here. Bizarrely, the terms ‘rape’ and ‘seduction’ are often used pretty much interchangeably in eighteenth-century writings. Women were often accused of passive consent in rape cases, … Read More

18thc ‘Judge Thumb’ and Current Domestic Violence Debates

New domestic violence legislation is being debated in the UK at the moment. In 1782 Sir Francis Buller, later known as ‘Judge Thumb’, ruled famously (I should say infamously) that a husband could beat his wife if the stick was … Read More