‘A kind of alcoholism’: views of novel-reading in the 19C

Although the value of 'reading for pleasure' has become part and parcel of contemporary reading culture, this much promoted past-time, to children and adults alike, was not always considered so laudable. In fact, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as the novel proliferated, numerous people and groups sought to repress this increasingly popular... Continue Reading →


Courtly Love – the libido tamed

Around the year 1170, Chretiens de Toyes completed his first romance narrative - the story of Erec and Enide. In this long poem, originally constructed in Old French, Erec (a knight) marries his beloved Enide, and feels such strong love for her that he begins to neglect his 'manly' duties. The story was new for... Continue Reading →

Members of Old Dissent: an introduction

In the 18th and 19th centuries 'Old Dissent' was a term used to describe those congregations who had roots in the 16th and 17th centuries. The following summaries below offers a brief introduction, as a prerequisite to further posts which will incorporate the family/gender dispositions of each group. Congregationalists The eldest members of English 'Old... Continue Reading →

The Roots of our Family-Centred Christmas

  Introduction Although the celebration of Christmas goes back to the Roman times, the current traditions implemented in celebrating this season were largely developed during the Victorian era. During this period, Christmas transitioned from community-centric to family-centric. Previously, Christmas was seen as a celebration between households within the community; in the 19th century its focus... Continue Reading →

What was Strict Communion? (Baptist History)

Up until the mid-19th century Baptist circles, communion was largely only practiced by church members. The prerequisite for church membership, besides publicly sharing their testimony to the satisfaction of incumbent members, was to be baptized by immersion. Therefore, while they were in many ways close to their Congregationalist brothers and sisters, they differed on one... Continue Reading →

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