The Victorians made sex amazingly dirty. Their predecessors were much more matter- of-fact about it (there were exceptions, yes; there always are). For me Thomas Rowlandson captures the spirit of the late 18th and 19th centuries, before people got all sick and twisted about sex. (I am not sure we’ve got over that yet.)
Susan and I have often remarked on how cheerful the people are in Rowlandson’s naughty pictures. Take a look. Oh, go on. Force yourself. Even the dirty old men, while ugly, aren’t creepy. Some of them are kind of sweet.
And some of them, with or without dirty old men, are kind of romantic, don't you think?
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.