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Most people have always been interested in sex, love and marriage. Now, this entertaining and informative book explores the surprisingly varied and energetic sex and love lives of the women and men of Queen Elizabeth's England. A range of writers, from the famous, such as Shakespeare, John Donne and Ben Jonson, and lesser-known figures popular in their time, provide, in their witty stories, poems and plays, vivid pictures of Elizabethan sexual attitudes and experiences, while sober reports from the church courts tell of seductions, adulteries and rapes. Here we also encounter private journals and scenes from ordinary marriages, with complaints of women's fashions, bossy wives and domineering husbands. Besides this, there are accounts of the busy whores of London brothels, homosexual activity and the Court's amorous carousel of predatory aristocrats, promiscuous ladies and hopeful maids of honour. We conclude with the frustrations of The Virgin Queen herself.
This lively review of Elizabethan sexuality, in its various forms, much of it brought together for the first time, should intrigue and amuse anyone with an interest in history, and how love used to be lived, 'in good Queen Bess's golden days'.