Early Modern

The Allure of the Castrato

Lisa Smith The typical Valentine’s Day menu highlights aphrodisiac foods, suggesting that it is a day to celebrate lust as much as love. To this end, I offer you an introduction to one of the sex symbols of the eighteenth century: the castrato. Eighteenth-century Europeans had known about eunuchs for […]

"A filthy bruitish offence": Child sex abuse and the law in C17th England

Jen Baker Records from the Old Bailey proceedings (the Central Criminal Court for England and Wales) indicate that the acknowledgement and subsequent punishment of sexual offences against children are not modern phenomena.  Between 1674 and 1913 – when online public records cease – there are at least 570 documented cases, predominantly from the City […]