Step back in time for some Georgian Pleasures

21 August 2013 09:49:00

The Georgian Pleasures conference will take place in the city of Bath on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September.

This interdisciplinary two-day public conference will look at the many different experiences of Georgian Pleasures. New and established academics, period performers and musicians will come together for a lively conversation exploring the concept and practice of pleasures in the eighteenth-century.

The event is co-sponsored by the Centre for History and Culture, and Musical Research at Bath Spa University, and the Regional History Centre at the University of the West of England.

Georgian pleasures were countless. Some were exclusive - specific to certain classes, ages or genders – whilst others were inclusive and overlapping. Elaine Chalus is Professor of British History at Bath Spa University and one of the organisers of the conference. Commenting on the event, she said: “While it would be going too far to say that the Georgians discovered pleasure, they certainly embraced it with gusto: high life or low life, licit or illicit, private or public, domestic or commercial, the Georgian period provided pleasures to suit all tastes and circumstances. And where better to explore them than Bath, the queen of the eighteenth-century spas?”

This conference will explore what it was that people of the period enjoyed and what we can learn about society and culture through a better appreciation of pleasure, Georgian-style.

The conference is being held in two historic venues in Bath: On 12 September at Bath’s Royal Literary and Scientific Institution and on 13 September at the recently refurbished Holburne Museum, itself the centre-piece of Sydney Gardens, the last of Bath’s famous Georgian pleasure gardens.

On Friday evening the conference will be concluded with a special evening of authentic Georgian entertainment, organised by Dr Matthew Spring of the Bath Spa University Centre for Musical Research. For one night only, the gardens of the Holburne Museum will be alive with all of the delights that made this the place to see and be seen in Georgian Bath.

The evening will feature Georgian music performed by The Vauxhall Players, with all manner of other historic amusements including a comedic band of players who will perform The Death & Resurrection of Punchinello, strolling entertainers and illuminations.

Refreshments will be available from the Holburne Museum Cafe and eighteenth century dress is welcome, but not compulsory. Guests are advised to bring a rug to sit on and appropriate clothing for all weather conditions.

More information about the conference programme and registration details is available here: