Laughing Histories: From the Renaissance Man to the Woman of Wit (Paperback)

Laughing Histories: From the Renaissance Man to the Woman of Wit By Joy Wiltenburg Cover Image
Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New


Laughing Histories breaks new ground by exploring moments of laughter in early modern Europe, showing how laughter was inflected by gender and social power.

"I dearly love a laugh," declared Jane Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet, and her wit won the heart of the aristocratic Mr. Darcy. Yet the widely read Earl of Chesterfield asserted that only "the mob" would laugh out loud; the gentleman should merely smile. This literary contrast raises important historical questions: how did social rules constrain laughter? Did the highest elites really laugh less than others? How did laughter play out in relations between the sexes? Through fascinating case studies of individuals such as the Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini, the French aristocrat Madame de S vign , and the rising civil servant and diarist Samuel Pepys, Laughing Histories reveals the multiple meanings of laughter, from the court to the tavern and street, in a complex history that paved the way for modern laughter. ​

With its study of laughter in relation to power, aggression, gender, sex, class, and social bonding, Laughing Histories is perfect for readers interested in the history of emotions, cultural history, gender history, and literature.

About the Author

Joy Wiltenburg, Professor Emerita of History at Rowan University, studies the cultural history of early modern Europe. Her publications include Disorderly Women and Female Power in the Street Literature of Early Modern England and Germany (1992) and Crime and Culture in Early Modern Germany (2012).

Product Details
ISBN: 9781032162072
ISBN-10: 1032162074
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: June 6th, 2022
Pages: 200
Language: English