Molly Houses and Madams: Unravelling Georgian Subcultures

18.00 – 18.50

Sunday 5th April

Established in 1691, the Society for the Reformation of Manners aimed to suppress all immoral behaviour in London – from profane plays and prostitution to salacious art and sodomy. Its results were a raft of highly publicised prosecutions and raids on brothels, molly houses and contemporary literature. Yet, an unexpected consequence of this growing surveillance on manners was the interest it fuelled into previously under-acknowledged subcultures. In this fascinating talk, Victoria & Albert Museum LGBTQ tour coordinator Dan Vo speaks to historians Dr Rictor Norton and Professor Kate Williams about the underacknowledged worlds of eighteenth century London – from the growth of Molly Houses to trailblazing writers like Eliza Haywood.

Sunday and Weekend Pass holders will have access to this talk.

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Images kindly provided by the Mary Evans Picture Library