HIST 2259 Plagues, Prisons and Print in 18th-century London (HB) (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS) (HPE, HEU)
Monday and Wednesday: 2:45-4:00
Professor Rachel Weil
London grew fast in the 18th century. Along with more coffee-houses, newspapers, operas, abandoned children, fashion choices, immigrants, slaves, diseases, debtors’ prisons and crime came a sense of utopian possibility and a fear of social dissolution. What was the experience of rapid social change like, what solutions were proposed to meet a perceived crisis, and what do our present-day ideas about the threats and possibilities of large, diverse cities owe to the 18th century? We will use fiction, diaries, criminal trials, and proposals for the betterment of society to explore how urban change was represented and experienced.