In practice however, they rarely do more than gloss well known printed sources. The discourse itself was the result of religious and political debates that reached back to the 17th century. Wharton's Hell-Fire Club were more like pub-theologians worrying about the Trinity than priapic diabolists. While there is much to be said on early 18th-century interest in these organizations and belief systems, it is unclear to the reader what exactly were their historical contexts. Crowley meant it, but Dashwood, once a member of the Society of Dilettanti a fey fancy-dress art club was more restrained. Sex, Satanism and Secret Societies, review no. Nor does it engage seriously with recent academic discussions of libertinism, sociability, the public sphere, or masculinity that should be central to an analysis of the groups she describes.
Back to 1 Roger D. They did things differently in the age of Enlightenment, as Evelyn Lord demonstrates. Clearly many clubs were more innocuous than their reputations. The discourse itself was the result of religious and political debates that reached back to the 17th century. For example, she writes: Historical research into the complexities of the Georgian social framework contradicts any such categorization. But it's the organisation of excess that interests Lord: Lord is most comfortable assembling a compendium of tales but less certain when contextualising or teasing inferences from them. The third is the intersection of class, gender, and space as elements of socio-economic conditions. The first club that Lord describes as a Hell-Fire Club was not actually a club p. The hell-fire clubs can be seen as parodic inversions of the polite societies of the age, with satyrs replacing sages, binge-drinking instead of refined debate. The 'Ballers' went in for administrative flummery even though their singular purpose was dancing with prostitutes excepting a botched operation to import Dutch dildoes. Sex and Satanism are central to their narratives. Within days, papers supporting High Church positions expounded upon the context of the proclamation. Seventeenth-century antecedents can be found in the high spirits of the 'Damned Crew', 'Tityre Tues', and 'Hectors' - boys' gangs with grotty jokes, secret passwords and a taste for casual violence. Evelyn Lord outlines three preoccupations that guide her analysis. Linking the Whigs with nonconformity and atheism was a way to show their threat to the state — a counter-narrative of sorts to a rhetoric linking Tories with Jacobitism. Most importantly, these groups were nurseries for Arianism. Existing at the nexus of religion and politics, they were a powerful symbol that could be used by High Church Anglicans and Tories alike. It outlines several major associations and individuals, and it is a fine introduction for researchers beginning their investigations on associated topics. Do the fires of hell fuelled by the figures of naked demons flicker through these pages? There were many variants. The brawling 'Mohocks' sparked a moral panic requiring legislation in , although nocturnal secrecy and Grub Street invention make it impossible to prove such groups actually existed. Otherwise the passage of time is meaningless. It was an invention of the press in response to a royal proclamation on 28 April stating: This lack of engagement with the historical literature is evident in the other topics that Lord investigates, notably space and gender. She concludes that 'clubs were evidence of a universal assertion of masculinity', even if their particular forms reflect the ideas and institutions of Georgian Britain.
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