What did eighteenth-century men want? – Professor Amanda Vickery

What did eighteenth-century men want? – Professor Amanda Vickery

Such is the gloom that surrounds settling down today and the glamour that attaches to mature bachelor freedom, it is hard to imagine that there was a time when marriage represented the summit of a young man’s hopes.

Forty years after the sexual liberalization of the 1970s, it is easy to forget that only marriage promised true sexual fulfillment for Christians, turning furtive or frustrated boys into fully-realized men. Marriage was the only acceptable framework for children, through whom men made a claim on the future, but also confirmed their potency. Virility was one of the most celebrated masculine qualities. The father who led a handsome family into church radiated both an air of commanding respectability and a glow of unmistakable sexual success.

Marriage promised physical excitement. Two days before his marriage in January 1754, 33 year old Josiah Wedgwood positively frothed with anticipation of ‘the blissful day! When she will reward all my faithful services & take me to her arms! To her Nuptial bed! To – Pleasures which I am yet ignorant of’. He took the precaution of working over-time the week before his wedding to clear time to enjoy his bride uninterrupted. Marriage was a sexy prospect.

In the 17th and 18th century, bachelorhood was a temporary and unprestigious state best solved by marriage. The Batchelor’s Directory of 1694 was unequivocal – ‘Matrimony – what can better agree with man and more exactly relate to his necessities?’ Even men who felt no attraction to the opposite sex had to marry to gain the full benefits of adulthood.

There were even proposals to levy a tax on mature bachelors as a deterrent and a punishment for their evasion of the burden of domestic government and social provision. Perpetual bachelors were the ‘vermin of the State’ pronounced the Women’s Advocate stonily. ‘They enjoy the benefit of society, but Contribute not to its Charge and Spunge upon the publick, without making the least return’.

We associate the history of home and private life with women, but what did house and domesticity mean to men? More than you might think argues Professor Amanda Vickery.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:


Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.


Do You Want Him Back? Learn How to Make Your Man Addicted to You!.avi

Do You Want Him Back? Learn How to Make Your Man Addicted to You!.avi


Do You Want Him Back? Learn How to Make Your Man Addicted to You!

When you and your ex first met, there was a spark, a draw – he loved the way you looked, acted, and treated him. If you want him back and want to keep him for the long haul, you need to find a way to recapture and enhance those elements of you he loves so much. This will not only ensure that he stays the course, it will make your man addicted to you! And who doesn’t want that?

There are a few behaviors one should avoid when trying to intensify their man’s interest. Men aren’t fans of clingy and co-dependent women. This makes men feel pressured and smothered in a relationship. But they also don’t want a woman who is so independent that she really has no need for her man to be around, other than for her enjoyment. He needs to feel as if there is something he has to offer that keeps him in the relationship.

Show that you trust him and care that he has a good time and a fun social like and you will make him not only swoon, you’ll make your man addicted to you! Encourage him to go for a night out with his friends on occasion and he will truly appreciate your support of him. While your man most certainly loves you, it isn’t good for either of you to spend every minute of every day together. If you really want the relationship to make it long-term, you will have to allow him his own space and learn how to enjoy yours.

Another way to make him addicted to you is to show your respect and appreciation for the things they d for you, and to also try to make his life a little easier by throwing in an extra helping hand. After a long day of work, your man doesn’t want to and shouldn’t have to be nagged and harassed constantly about doing things for you. If you need assistance, ask for his help, don’t demand it. This will help make your man addicted to you as it will show that you respect and appreciate his time.

Being your man’s number one fan and champion is another great way to endear yourself to him and make your man addicted to you. If he gets a new job or joins a sports club, make sure to express interest in his interests. Tell him that you are proud of him and always be there to support him in whatever way he needs. By doing these few little things, you are sowing the seeds for a lifetime of happiness. Your man will love you so much that he would never have any reason to leave!



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