Professor Joanne Bailey contributed to BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking discussing ‘Eighteenth-Century Sexual Politics’.
Led by the presenter Philip Dodd, Joanne Bailey, Faramerz Dabhoiwala of Exeter College, David Turner of the University of Swansea, author and broadcaster Hallie Rubenhold, and Judith Hawley of Royal Holloway College discussed sexual morels in eighteenth century.
This century saw the first signs of a revolution in ideas with some thinkers arguing that sex was a matter of individual conscience not external regulation. Joanne explained, nonetheless, that for most people sexual activity continued to be seen as part of the process of marriage with extra-marital sex as much a source of risk and condemnation as pleasure and liberty. She investigated this in depth in her book An Unquiet Life: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England 1660–1800.
Presented as part of the BBC’s Georgian season, and broadcast Tuesday 29 April 2014 at 10pm.