Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Men Behaving Badly: Exposure

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Loretta reports:

The Rambler's Magazine is a curious mixture of political satire, political diatribe, theater review, gossip, jokes, and crime reporting.  The last has mainly to do with sex:  seductions leading to suicide, philandering men and adulterous women, crim con proceedings, etc.  To a point, it's an early 19th Century version of the celebrity gossip magazines at the supermarket checkout.  You may have an apter analogy.

I can tell you that the Rambler's editorial crew definitely have it in for some anti-vice society, and spend many pages on exposing and mocking same.  However, my 21st C short-attention span tends to wander to the shorter items, like this one, from the miscellaneous accounts of legal proceedings.  Sadly, the magazine doesn't tell us what his punishment was.

If you're unable to enlarge the text enough to read it, you can read the excerpt online here at bottom of page 68.
Illustration:  Detail from Thomas Rowlandson's Dr. Graham's Bathing Establishment, courtesy Yale Center for British Art.


Isobel Carr said...

I always find it interesting to try and pinpoint just when a man being naked in public became indecent. In the 18thC, males swimming in the nude was the norm, and tales of footmen racing naked in Green Park don’t seem to have called for outrage or arrests. But then in the early 19thC, we start seeing men being accosted at the seashore for swimming naked and suddenly it’s an outrage to virtue. As far as I can tell, the 1820s seems to be the real turning point, but I bet it was simmering during the teens. Does anyone have more precise dates?

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