Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain by Andrea Zuvich – Review
As many of you know, I’ve had an abiding interest in the Stuart period, so I was thrilled to be offered an ARC by Pen and Sword Books for this new non-fiction book by Andrea Zuvich, also known as the Seventeenth Century Lady.
This is a fabulous book, not only about Stuart Sexuality, but also about how attitudes to sexuality affect everything else to do with Stuart life. The Stuarts ruled from 1603 to 1714, and their rule was characterised by enormous changes to rule and government, and attitudes that veered from the most stringent Puritanism to the most licentious and debauched libertinism of the Stuart Restoration.
The text not only covers things like pornography and prostitution, virginity and contraception, but also includes broader sections on courtship and marriage, on dress, hair and make up, on relationships in the Stuart age — including what we know about the sort of relationships which were then taboo. As you might expect, it really highlights how little we have changed, for sexual relationships of all types are represented, including some that might make your toes curl!
Zuvich doesn’t hold back – all the language of the day is here in glorious technicolour, so this is not a book for those who are easily offended by talk of ‘sheathing your sword’. The discussions are frank, knowledgeable, and written with a light touch.
The book is well laid -out in different themes, and takes the form of episodic snatches, with many original quotations from original sources, but one thing I particularly enjoyed was the fact the book has interesting sections on the different monarchs and how their attitudes to sex affected the demeanour of the whole country.
All in all, an excellent book, and although I received a kindle ARC for review, a hard copy certainly deserves a spot on my bookshelf.
You can buy the book here
Go to Andrea’s Website here
Follow her on Twitter @17thCenturyLady