Sex, Scandal, and Celebrity in Late Eighteenth-Century England

Overview

This book tells the story of the bitter feud between the Duchess of Kingston and the actor, Samuel Foote, which resulted in a pair of scandalous trials in London in the revolutionary year of 1776. Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, the duchess's state trial for bigamy and Foote's criminal trial for attempted sodomy engrossed the attention of Londoners, including George III, Parliament, and the nobility. Sex, Scandal, and Celebrity offers specialists and general readers a meticulously researched ...

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Overview

This book tells the story of the bitter feud between the Duchess of Kingston and the actor, Samuel Foote, which resulted in a pair of scandalous trials in London in the revolutionary year of 1776. Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, the duchess's state trial for bigamy and Foote's criminal trial for attempted sodomy engrossed the attention of Londoners, including George III, Parliament, and the nobility. Sex, Scandal, and Celebrity offers specialists and general readers a meticulously researched and dramatic narrative that relates the fortunes and misfortunes of its protagonists and exposes the social and legal hypocrisies about love, sex, and marriage in the age of George III.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book offers an interesting, highly readable, in-depth and complete story of the context and events leading up to the trial of the Duchess of Kingston for bigamy. It benefits from impressive archival scholarship and it brings together many different vaguely familiar events in the late eighteenth century-the Kingston trial, the Foote scandal, the transformation in the meaning of marriage-and shows in considerable and surprising detail their interconnections. This book captures a significant set of cultural events and will certainly have an impact of the study of the cultural politics of the late 18th century."--Laura Rosenthal, Professor of English, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403979926
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew J. Kinservik is Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware. His books include Disciplining Satire: The Censorship of Satiric Drama on the Eighteenth-Century London Stage (2002) and "The Production of a Female Pen": Anna Larpent's Account of the Duchess of Kingston's Bigamy Trial of 1776 (2004). He lives in Newark, Delaware, with his wife, Mara, and two sons, Tommy and Teddy.

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Table of Contents

15 April 1776
• Disgracing her Grace
• The Clandestine Marriage
• Marriage a la Mode
• The Siren's Voice
• Noble Prospects
• Jactitation of Marriage
• Exit the Duke
• Enter the Actor
• Trial of Bigamy
• The Proxy War
• Trial for Attempted Sodomy
• Exiles
I, Libertine

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