A cabinet of curiosities

On the excuse of studying the 18th century I have discovered Lloyd DeMause, The History of Childhood (1974). It has led me to Gordon Rattray Taylor, an interesting person who wrote an allegedly psychoanalytic study of British childhood in the 18th century entitled The Angel Makers which was not well reviewed as he is a popular writer with some crank theories and not a professional historian.

He has a book called Sex in History, though, which is very funny. There are anecdotes about sex and extreme, random violence in the 18th century. Condoms had been invented by Fallopius around 1560, to combat syphilis. The middle ages had been completely wild. There are of course respectable sources on these matters but as I say, Taylor is entertaining.

The eighteenth century really is transitional, I can see it; the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are familiar and the seventeenth and before, foreign; as site of ideological struggle and change the 18th century is difficult to surpass.

Axé.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “A cabinet of curiosities

  1. I can’t judge DeMause’s 18th-century work, but he is not accurate for earlier periods. Caveat lectrix.

  2. Z

    But here is what I should get if I really want to find out about Christian VII. By his tutor: Reverdil, Elie Salomon François: Struensee og det danske hof 1760-1772. A. F. Høst & Søn Forlag, Copenhagen 1917.

  3. hattie

    De Mause is the kind of cranky thinker I like. Off the subject but I also enjoy reading Dean MacCannell, who attacks notions of primitivism, natural sexuality and so on.

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