tue02nov6:30 pmLecture: The Eighteenth-Century Advent of the Egalitarian HandshakeLecture by Penelope J. Corfield6:30 pm Donald Insall Associates, 12 Devonshire Street, London, W1G 7ABBook now

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Conventional greetings between the Georgians required that gentlemen raised their hats and bowed, while ladies curtseyed. Yet, quietly, a new salutation was also emerging, in the form of the egalitarian handshake. In this lecture, Penelope Corfield analyses the origins, extent, and meanings of this significant cultural shift. It will be shown that, just as today when meeting someone entails a quick mental audit of suitable greetings, somewhat similar calculations applied in the social flux of eighteenth-century Britain. The study of inter-personal salutations in the past has the added challenge that people rarely recorded this sort of intimate detail of daily life. Etiquette books, letters, diaries, travelogues, novels and plays are all sources for potential analysis, however all have their limitations in accurately recording how people greeted each other in Georgian Britain.

Professor Penelope J. Corfield is an expert on Georgian urban, social and cultural history; and is currently researching the dynamics of inter-personal greetings in the long eighteenth century. She is Professor Emeritus at Royal Holloway, London University; Research Fellow at Newcastle University; and President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Doors open 6pm, talk starts 6.30pm (inc. wine). All welcome. Please note that this talk will be taking place at 12 Devonshire Street, London, W1G 7AB.

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(Tuesday) 6:30 pm


Donald Insall Associates

12 Devonshire Street, London, W1G 7AB

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