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Binge Drinking in the Age of Hogarth

This talk considers the gin craze of the 18th century.

Hard liqueur, gin and geneva, in bottles and on the street, by the glass and by the pint, drove elite 18th century London society into a frenzy of anxiety. Artist and social critic, William Hogarth depicted drunken mothers dropping their newborn babies to their deaths, and Acts of Parliament were repeatedly and ineffectually passed between the 1730s and 1750s in a vain attempt to control the abuse of ‘Mother Gin’. This talk considers the gin craze of the 18th century and how the leisure activities of London's working class became the stick with which to drive forward an ever more intrusive social policy.

Tim Hitchcock is Professor of Eighteenth-Century History at the University of Hertfordshire and author of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London (2004). He is co-director of the Old Bailey Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org).


Professor Tim Hitchcock | talks


Date and Time:

4 November 2008 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, concessions £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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