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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Catching up on journal literature VI

Matt Houblrook, '"The Man with the Powder Puff'" in interwar London', The Historical Journal 50, 1(2007) pp.145–171: useful stuff on changes about perceptions of men seeking sex with other men, in the light of wider changes to do with the increasing acceptability and respectability of women using cosmetics, and the role of material objects in policing practices.

Claire Langhamer, 'Adultery in post-war England', History Workshop Journal,  62, Autumn 2006, pp. 86-115: excellent stuff about the changing significance of adultery as marriage-breaking in tandem with the new companionate vision of marriage - i.e. physical fidelity becomes more important when the emphasis is on the emotional relationship rather than issues of good provider/good housekeeper etc. Also the idea that the ideal couple did everything together and shouldn't have separate interests - this intersected for me with Alison Oram's paper on our Berks panel and the citing of wife's over-involvement with female friends in cases of marriage breakup.

Derek Thompson,‘Courtship and marriage in Preston between the wars’, Oral History,3 (1975) (hand't seen this before: much-cited in various other things I looked at). Points for noting Mention of men being furtive buying condoms or going to pharmacy that was not local for them; importance of class and religion in socialisation and courtship; the different grades of dance-hall and 'monkey rack'; huge scandal of shotgun marriage plus the horror at unwed mothers (shame on family) etc
Helena Michie, 'Victorian Honeymoons. Sexual Reorientations and the "Sights" of Europe', Victorian Studies 43 (2001), p. 229-253: the rupture/rite de passage that the honeymoon was for both partners (entry to full adult masculine status for the male) and also for women (whole new identity and renaming) - poss leaning a bit hard on literary honeymoons (which she suggests may give a darker picture than the real thing!)

Charles Barker, 'Erotic Martyrdom. Kingsley's Sexuality Beyond Sex' Victorian Studies 44 (2002), p. 465-488 Wellcome non-electronic before 2006 :  interesting but question arises of how typical were Kingsley and Fanny exchanging their heated courtship letters (author makes nice analogy with phone sex)  
Christopher Matthews, 'Love at First Sight. The Velocity of Victorian Heterosexuality' Victorian Studies 46 (2004), p. 425-455: evicence from paintings and literary texts mostly, men as falling in love at first sight and that this is problematic (deceptive women).

Angela Cassidy, 'The (Sexual) Politics of Evolution. Popular Controversy in the Late 20th-Century United Kingdom' History of Psychology 10 (2007), p. 199-226 Interesting about the popular media interest in the revival of evolutionary psychology from 1990s, but it was also being reworked away from the standard conservative gender dynamics by feminists (to some extent - the pop narrative seems to me to be pretty much wedded to the conservative primeval savanna vision?)  

Martin J. Wiener 'The Sad Story of George Hall. Adultery, Murder and the Politics of Mercy in Mid-Victorian England', Social History 24 (1999),  p. 174-196: case which illuminated shifts c. 1860s in the acceptability of wife murder on provocation - in the Hall case large amounts of public sympathy (his wife had been carrying on with a lover with whom she had had a premarital relationship) vs increasing judicial desire not to let this kind of thing go - he was reprieved as often happened when case could be made for wife's provocation and husbandly innocence (e.g he was not abusive) but the law was tightening up around this time: in this case public pressure was heavily involved in grant of reprieve. Changing paradigms of manliness to a more caring one (rather than ownership & power) / general anti-violence tendencyat ht the period.

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