Colloquium: ‘Exquisitely wretched‘: Losing Love in Britain c. 1720-1850

  • Datum: 06.07.2021
  • Uhrzeit: 17:00
  • Vortragende(r): Sally Holloway, Oxford Brookes University
  • Ort: online
  • Gastgeber: Forschungsbereich Geschichte der Gefühle

This paper explores the embodied experience of losing love in eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain. Its title is taken from Mary Hays’ novel Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796), which was inspired by her tortuous romance with the Cambridge mathematician William Frend (1757–1841). The paper uses letters, memoirs, novels, poems, prints, medical treatises and philosophical tracts to explore the false hope, loneliness, pain and despair of lost love, and the various gendered strategies employed by men and women in an attempt to overcome their loss, ranging from drink to travel, company, and conversation. It asks, what happened when love was extinguished, thwarted, or lost? How did love, once lost, transform into other emotional states? How did love, sadness and romantic pain act on the mind and body? How was heartbreak experienced differently by men and women? And what can these discourses reveal about emotions, embodiment, and the meaning of love itself?

Dr Sally Holloway is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in History & History of Art at Oxford Brookes University. She is a historian of emotions, gender, and visual and material culture, and recently published The Game of Love in Georgian England: Courtship, Emotions, and Material Culture (Oxford, 2019), and a Special Issue of Cultural & Social History titled ‘Interrogating Romantic Love’ with Dr Katie Barclay (2020).

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