I got this at the Museum of London last summer because I tend to see museums almost as much as bookstores as anything else.
Or so it would seem, considering the amount of books I carry home whenever I go.
This was stirring and yet easy to read. I did learn some things but mostly Steinbach offered a different perspective to things I had already read. Such as, for example :
- How instrumental bland Queen Victoria was in maintaining British monarchy as the nation moved on to parliamentary democracy. Had the monarch presented herself as less domestic, patriotic and unthreatening, she might have gone the same way as Louis XIV.
- That the more narrow scope of "normal sexual behaviour" that came into being after 1750 and its focus on vaginal sex as the one expression of true love had multiple and far-reaching consequences : A new emphasis laid on virginity, premarital intercourse leading to earlier marriages, often with pregnant brides, larger families, more deserted women with more illegitimate children leading to an increased vulnerability of women in general, a clear division of women into whores and madonnas and, ultimately, to a considerable increase of the population in England.
- The multiple connections between imperialism and gender; how imperialism shaped views of male and female, and vice-versa.
In short : Very interesting!