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Sexuality and Its Impact on History: The British Stripped Bare

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Would you swig a magic potion or plot to kill your husband in order to marry your lover? These are just two of the many romantic and sexual customs from British history that you will explore as eight authors take us through the centuries, revealing that truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to love.

From bizarre trivia about courtly love, to techniques and prostitution, you ll encounter memorable nuggets of provocative information that you'll want to share. It's all here: ménage a trois, chastity belts, Tudor fallacies, royal love and infidelity, marriage contracts (which were more like business arrangements), brothels, kept women, and whorehouses. Take a peek at what really happened between the sheets. Each story provides you with shocking detail about what was at the heart of romance throughout British history.

Sexuality and Its Impact on History: The British Stripped Bare chronicles the pleasures and perils of the flesh, sharing secrets from the days of the Anglo-Saxons, medieval courtly love traditions, diabolical Tudor escapades including those of Anne Boleyn and Mary Queen of Scots the Regency, and down to the prudish Victorian Era. This scholarly yet accessible study brings to light the myriad varieties of British sexual mores.

224 pages, Paperback

First published March 30, 2018

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About the author

Hunter S. Jones

26 books1,308 followers
HUNTER S. JONES is the pen name for USA Today best-selling author Deb Hunter. She's also a historical presenter for Past Preservers Casting. When she isn’t writing, talking or tweeting about kings, queens and rock stars, she’s living the dream in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband.

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5 stars
45 (54%)
4 stars
17 (20%)
3 stars
16 (19%)
2 stars
4 (4%)
1 star
1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Theriot.
Author 22 books476 followers
May 22, 2018
I couldn’t wait to download the newest book from Hunter. Even though this is a history book, it will intrigue you from the beginning. All the essays are interesting, and you can see Hunter’s influence on the book, but the star is Hunter. She brings to the reader’s attention the conditions of women in the Victorian Era and what many of them had to endure. Her story shows how the early 20th century was shaped for and by women of the Victorian Era. I like that she isn’t critical of the women and men who turned to prostitution and views it as a career for them, and she doesn’t judge their choices. That makes them seem very real and human. The portrayals of Cora Pearl, ‘Skittles’, and Lillie Langtry give extra insight into how sexuality was utilized to advance on a social level. She magically blends the story arc into the unrest of the American Civil War, the sexual history of the South, as well as the settlement of the American Frontier. She has a way of explaining history through art, words, music and even fashion that is enchanting.
Profile Image for Frankie.
834 reviews61 followers
May 11, 2018
As soon as I got offered the chance to review this book, I jumped at it. True it’s not my usual reading material but I was intrigued by the premise of this book, it caught my attention. I do like how very easy to read this is, I have read history compilations before that I found very difficult to connect with and hard to follow, due to the amount of scholarly wording. But this is beautifully written so that everyone can enjoy it. You don’t have to be a scholar or someone with a hundred A level’s in history to be able to enjoy it, I can guarantee that if you enjoy learning about less known aspects of history then this is the book. I am so pleased that I got the chance to read it, it is way beyond my expectations.

This is a fascinating compilation of stories written by seven incredible female writers who know their craft well, they come together to tell seven stories of how sexuality and the varied custom’s over eras has influenced British History. With a look into all aspects of sexual history including tales of Lady Godiva, Medieval love traditions, shocking tales from the Tudor court and prostitution during the Victorian era.

Each section is carefully crafted and cleverly written, it enriches the mind and this whole book is hugely satisfying, knowledgeable and highly addictive to read. Each chapter is a different story and written by a different author, and as such it keeps the reader engrossed and you are compelled to keep turning the pages to see what comes next and see what new little titbit from history you will garner. Each tale is fascinating to read, they are thorough and wonderfully researched that keeps the whole thing very real and adds to the enjoyment that you get from the overall book.

There isn’t anything I don’t like about it, it has something from every aspect of history. It is a wonderful read that captivates you and keeps you turning the page.

Hugely recommended!

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Regan Walker.
Author 56 books759 followers
June 2, 2018
4 and ½ Stars - A great addition to the knowledge of women’s lives in history!

According to the authors’ description, Sexuality and Its Impact on History: The British Stripped Bare chronicles the pleasures and perils of the flesh, sharing secrets from the days of the Anglo-Saxons, medieval courtly love traditions, diabolical Tudor escapades (including those of Anne Boleyn and Mary Queen of Scots), and the Regency and the Victorian eras. That pretty much sums it up, however, it doesn’t fully convey that this is serious history. The last essay includes America, too… the Gold Rush and the Civil War and the women drawn to “service” the men involved. It also features a bit about the sex trade in New Orleans.

Each author presents a segment of history and women whose stories are worth knowing. Along the way, you pick up some fascinating bits about marriage traditions and laws, prostitution and the reasons for it and the life of women in those eras.

Heaven help you if you were a royal. The story of Mary, Queen of Scots was very compelling and well done. My heart went out to her, a queen at six days of age tor between those who wanted to take advantage of her claim to England’s throne. That her fellow Scots should betray her and her cousin, Elizabeth, murder her was a horrible end for so promising a life.

As an author of historical romance who does extensive research for my stories, I found the book of keen interest. Others who just love reading about history will find it of interest, too. A great addition to the knowledge of women’s lives in history!
Profile Image for William O'Brien.
Author 42 books844 followers
May 29, 2018
Sexuality and Its Impact on History: The British Stripped Bare
by Hunter S. Jones (Goodreads Author), Annie Whitehead, Jessica Cale (Goodreads Author), Judith Arnopp (Goodreads Author), Gayle Hulme, Dr Beth Lynne

An excellent read, which opens up many historical aspects and interesting viewpoints

Highly recommeded
Profile Image for Pamela.
178 reviews
September 7, 2020
Some of the essays were better than others. Interesting though. My dog rolled in something gross and all I can think about is that smell. So this review is clouded by this irritating dog and her antics.
Profile Image for Dottie.
287 reviews27 followers
July 29, 2018
So many interesting essays from some fantastic historians! Learn the origins of the story of Lady Godiva, hear about the love affair of Anne Boleyn and poet Thomas Wyatt! Love potions, seduction and murder! This book is a must read for any history fan.
Profile Image for Herman.
494 reviews20 followers
January 19, 2021
Hunter S. Jones 'Sexuality and it's impact on History' the British stripped bare. Starts off with a cover of salacious Victorian porn by way of a painting of Lady Godiva by John Collier done in the Pre-Raphalite style perfectly suited to the books subject matter it's the first time for me that a cover contributes as much as the content it describes so one star for an involking cover but the rest of the book is a collection of academic essays dealing with sex, procreation, scandal, and the status of women in British Society. This narrow focus contrasts with the expansive title of the book 85% of which deals with English Society beginning with the Norman invasion and ending around the Victorian era. The rest of the book is divided between what was happening in the United States from the Civil War on wards and what was happening in Paris in the 1880's obviously a very narrow focus and seems to ignore the rest of the world as if other cultures had nothing to contribute to this collection of stories. Off the top of my head I can think of at least a dozen examples from Sultan Suleyman slave Roxelana to the Comtesse La Motte-Valois and many many more so this book leaves so much off the table that as a reader I feel a bit cheated, like if I went to an event that describes itself as the best in foods while all the time just offering pizza and fast food, so if you take off the cover art and the misleading title you get a three star read and that is what this book feels like to me. The best chapters were near the end In Lips of Flame and Heart of Stone The Impact of Prostitution in victorian Britain and it's Global Influence which was written by the Author, he should have build more upon just the Victorian attitudes and I think this would have been a better book, it did have some interesting information but overall except for a chapter or two this was just a average read. Three stars.
Profile Image for Lucy.
343 reviews20 followers
August 4, 2020
I'll be honest a lot of these essays just didn't work for me because they focused on time periods, or individuals, I'm not particularly interested in. My ratings below are purely a reflection of my enjoyment of the essays and not whether the essays themselves are worthy of merit:

1 star:
Godiva: Lady, Legend, Legacy by Emma Haddon-Wright
The Art of Courtly Love: The Ideal and Practice of Love in the Middle Ages by Jessica Cale
'These Bloody Days' - The relationship between Anne Boleyn and Thomas Wyatt by Judith Arnopp

2 stars:
Rioting in the Harlot's Embrace - Matrimony and Sanctimony in Anglo-Saxon England by Annie Whitehead

3 stars:
The Tudor Marriage Game by Maryanne Coleman
The Marriages of Mary Queen of Scotts by Gayle Hulme
Succession, Confusion and Ramifications: Who Should Wear the Crown? by Dr Beth Lynne

5 stars:
Lips of Flame and Heart of Stone - The Impact of Prostitution in Victorian Britain and its Global Influence by Hunter S. Jones

Lips of Flame and Heart of Stone was the stand-out essay for me, but then I've always had an interest in Victorian history and I loved all the connections made between art, literature and society in relation to sexuality.
Profile Image for Lisa Flores.
1 review18 followers
May 17, 2018
The concept is exceptional; the only problem with this book this that the chapter named Rioting in the Harlot's Embrace isn't necessary
Profile Image for Emma Dargue.
1,184 reviews57 followers
July 10, 2018
Really enjoyed this book as it is a series of essays about several of history's sexual intimacies such as Henry VIII's many wives to Lady Godiva as well as Victorian society and prostitution. Really interesting and I found out a lot about things I never knew about.
11 reviews
April 11, 2020
It was well written and I learned a lot about historical times and their relationships. I was hoping for more of a sexual read. It was facts, mainly. I would recommend this book if you are looking for facts on relationships from the early ages. But, not for mainly sexual purposes.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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