Country roads were rough, tough, and uneven. But the agile, handsome, and (sometimes) opulently dressed running footmen traversed these treacherous roads to scout, deliver messages, and honor their masters with their ultramarathon endurance. Holding a staff, an egg, and maybe a little white wine, was the running footman the first professional runner of the modern age?
Anderson, Earl R. "Footnotes More Pedestrian Than Sublime." Eighteenth-Century Studies 14:1 (1980): 56-68.
Bovill, E.W. English Country Life, 1780-1830. Oxford University Press, 1962.
Radford, P.F. and A.J. Ward-Smith. "British Running Performances in the Eighteenth Century." Journal of Sports Sciences 21 (2003): 429-438.
In the 16th century, high taxes and fears of apocalypse went hand in hand, and from the fairly common practice of calling for church reform emerged a series of movements which have become known as the capital-R Reformation. This week we’ll be discussing insults to the Pope, the problem of identifying Lutherans, and how civic and ecclesiastical leaders accidentally created an agreement that was called the most important event in the history of the world.
From the early to mid-twentieth century, queens of crime Sayers, Christie, Marsh, and Wentworth reigned supreme over British detective fiction. Their works not only reveal whodunit but give insight into how queer women lived in and were viewed by wider society from capital to countryside.
In the middle of the Reformation, Parliament passed a law criminalizing some forms of sexuality. This became known as the Buggery Law of 1533. Why would the government be interested in regulating sex? An investigation into official records reveals that it had less to do with the bedroom and everything to do with power, privilege, and piety.