Friday, 19 April 2013

Something for the weekend - History is the new sex.

In this week's 'Something for the weekend' Neil suggests that..

History is the new sex

History is the new sex. Sex sells. And there's an awful lot of history out there. Historians are well known for searching out that little unexplored niche which will give their book a little edge to stand out on the shelves. A few years ago it was the history of .. well, any product or domestic item you'd care to mention from latitude to salt.

The past few months it seems to be sex in history that's seducing the publishers and pulling the punters. And what better way (with an eye to reading on public transport of course) of sating your carnal lusts then wrapping them in an academic sounding title?

Call it the EL:James effect but what our ancestors did and what they thought about (and how they got away with it (or didn't) in societies with little privacy and strict legal, religious and social codes) is filling a fair few current titles, and to save your blushes I've bravely done my research to try to recommend some of the best, most of which can be read in polite company:

Popular academic - can be read without too much blushing:

The unconventional rebels:

The skeletons in the family closet:

The high brow low brow:

The medieval riot girls:
Helen Castor's 'She-wolves: The Women who Ruled England before Elizabeth'
Nancy Goldstone's 'Joanna: The Notorious Queen of Naples, Jerusalem & Sicily'

A little more learned:
Ruth Mazo Karras' 'Unmarriages: Women, Men & Sexual Unions in the Middle Ages' 
and 'Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing unto Others 2e

Neil Grosvenor

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