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The Game of Love in Georgian England Reviews

The Game of Love in Georgian England by Sally Holloway

The Game of Love in Georgian England

Courtship, Emotions, and Material Culture

Sally Holloway

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 3 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9780198823070

Courtship in Georgian England was a decisive moment in the life cycle, often imagined as a tactical game. Sally Holloway uses a rich selection of material and written sources to explore the emotional experience of courtship between Georgian men and women, how love developed into a commercial industry, and what happened when engagements went awry.

4 stars out of 5
8 Feb 2019

"...adroitly couples details with theory, and enhances her “object-driven approach” with illuminating reproductions "

Inspired by a forgotten cache of letters in a county archive, Holloway uses love tokens, love gifts, love letters, and the records of breach-of-promise court cases to examine how conventions of romantic love changed over the Georgian era, between 1714 and 1830... Holloway adroitly couples details with theory, and enhances her “object-driven approach” with illuminating reproductions of period pictures, cartoons and artefacts – scent bottles fashioned as amorous figures, lacy watch papers, floral valentine cards. Occasionally, her theorising seems slightly tenuous and tendentious. Is the young woman in A Girl at Her Devotions rejecting the Bible and crucifix beside her, as Holloway claims, or not rather (as the picture’s subtitle in fact suggests) invoking them in prayer for the lover at whose miniature she gazes? 

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