In Bed With Georgians: Sex, Scandal & Satire in the 18th Century

In Bed With Georgians: Sex, Scandal & Satire in the 18th Century

by Mike Rendell


In Bed with the Georgians provides a fascinating insight into life under the bedclothes in Georgian England, where the Madams and pimps were able to thrive in the eighteenth century like never before. It looks at high-class seraglios as well as the brothels, jelly-houses and bagnios which flourished openly, especially in the area around Covent Garden. It looks at courtesans from the highest echelons of society, the kept women, the sex-workers in ‘houses of pleasure’, down through to the street walkers and common whores. It shows the way that the sex scene was portrayed in contemporary letters and press reports, and focuses on royal scandals, aristocratic shenanigans and immoral behavior. The book looks at the role of Grub Street, the growth of celebrity status, and the way courtesans occupied a demimonde of great popularity, with their enormous wealth and conspicuous spending. In particular it looks at the way that caricaturists, such as Gillray, Rowlandson, Newton, and Cruikshank, pilloried the rich and famous for their peccadilloes, satirizing their wild excesses, and by so doing helped inform the general public of what their ‘social superiors’ were getting up to.

This book is lavishly illustrated in color and contains a useful glossary of many aspects of the world of the sex trade in London two and a half centuries ago.


This is a fascinating read. It has a comprehensive list of well known figures of the time and biographical information about them and their sexual interactions in society. It also has terms that were popular in that time. Some of them I had to read a few times just to make sure I was reading it right. When I think of the Georgian Britain, Architecture is the first thing to pop in my head and the last thing I think of is their torrid sex lives. I think more people would read history if it encompassed the entire human experience, which of course would include their sex lives. We tend to think of the people of history in a very pristine light. Writing their little folded letters with beautiful script and romantic wax seals. Telling stories about how they folded their laundry perfectly or some other mundane episode of life, not I had a go at the lady so and so and it was great! This book vividly portrays Georgian society and how they moved though it. Loved it!