University Events

Archive Items

Mutton dressed as lamb (British Society for 18th-Century Studies Patron’s Lecture)

Amanda Vickery, Professor in Early Modern History, Queen Mary University

Date/Time: 19th November 2015

In the 18th century, as today, perceptions of age bore unevenly on women and men. A misogynist attack on dressy older women was pungent, but mature women still had to clothe themselves. Accusations of frolicking in a lamb fashion were mortifying, but keeping up appearances was vital too.

This lecture examines the interplay of age and fashion, re-creating the distinctive way women negotiated the pitfalls of dressing past their prime, charting a perilous course between indignity and scorn on the one hand and invisibility on the other.

Speaker biography

Amanda Vickery was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire. Growing up in a matriarchal mill town fostered her fascination with the history of family, work and commodities, as well as a life-long love of clothes.

Now Professor in Early Modern History at Queen Mary University of London, she has written on men and women, consumerism and art, love and power. Her books include Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (a book of the year for The Guardian, Independent, New York Times, Scottish Herald and History Today) and The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (winner of the Whitfield prize, the Wolfson prize, and the Longman-History Today prize).

Her many broadcasting credits include the thirty-part History of Private Life for BBC Radio Four, and At Home with the Georgians and The Many Lovers of Jane Austen for BBC Television.