Wednesday 18th April at 7pm; Phoenix Theatre, Ross-on-Wye – Ticket £6
This is a history of offensive language, insulting gestures, insolent behaviour, brawling and scandal in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with practical tips on just how to horrify the neighbours.
Every age and every social strata has its bad eggs, those who break all the rules and rub everyone up the wrong way. This is not a history of criminal behaviour as such, although some of the activities in this book shade into the legally dubious; rather, it is a study of the niggling, anti-social, irritating ways that people have kicked back against prevailing social mores. Drunkards, swashbucklers and harridans rub shoulders with people with disgusting table manners and neighbours whose dung heaps and noise drove others crazy.
Historian and popular TV presenter Ruth Goodman draws upon advice books and manuals, court cases and sermons, drama and imagery to outline bad behaviour from the gauche to the galling, the subtle to the outrageous. Ruth will explore the details of those behaviours, such as just how far apart your feet should be if you wish to mock a soldier or how to parody the walk of a preacher to the amusement of your friends and if you do blow your nose during dinner how to put everyone off their food.
Ruth Goodman is a social historian and has presented a number of BBC series, including Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm and, most recently, Full Steam Ahead. She is also a regular expert presenter on The One Show. As well as the books accompanying her many series, she has written the critically acclaimed How to be a Victorian and How to be a Tudor.