Posted by Marie Bernadette on December 23, 1997 at 17:28:18:
In response to can you quote, please?, written by Caroline on December 23, 1997 at 12:11:31
In The Family, Sex and Marriage I found this:
"...a phase of permissiveness, even licence, that ran for over a century from 1670 to 1810. This was followed by a new wave of repression that began in 1770, was spreading fast by 1810, and reached its apogee in the mid-Victorian period."
And also from the same book:
"There are clear signs that during the middle years of the eighteenth century attitudes towards sex in England, especially in London, were unusally relaxed. It is an open question how far the attitude towards sexuality can be judged from the amount of sexual provocation or sexual concealment in women's clothes. Assuming that there is some correlation, it is noticable that in the mid-1780s the fashionable dress included grotesquely enlarged breasts and buttocks, the former created by wirework and the latter by cork attachments... within a decade this fashion was replaced by the flowing see through style in which women floated about in diaphanous veils with bosoms exposed or lightly covered, the contours of their bodies fully displayed."
] I have two books that deal with this (and other related) subjects. They are The Family, Marriage and Sex in England 1500-1800 by Lawrence Stone and The Reshaping of Everyday Life by Jack Larkin. The first does extend into the 1800's eventhough its subtitle suggests otherwise.
] Do either of these books shed any light on Leslie's original question, namely , whether there was a change in attitudes to morality during Jane Austen's lifetime? And if there was, does it correspond to a change in fashions?
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