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Fashion and celebrity may be twenty-first century obsessions, but they were also key concepts in Regency culture. Both celebrated and condemned for their popularity, silver fork novels were extremely prolific during this period. These texts detailed the lives and loves of London fashionables and in doing so became a form of conduct book, offering guidelines for members of the socially aspirant middle class. Wilson looks at the social and literary impact of this significant genre and charts its role in the development of the novel as a form and its status in the literary marketplace.
This study presents us with an insightful sociological exploration of sexual practice, within five different types of relationship and from varying perspectives of gender and age: lifelong love; serial loves; searching; devitalized relations, and parallel relations. Based on the accounts of almost two hundred adults in Finland, these real-life experiences reflect the way in which sexuality has evolved both within the lifetime of the individual, and over generations. Also examined is the impact of major historical events on love and sexual relationships - from war to economic crisis - and that of the 'spirit of the age': from the emancipatory zeal of the 1960s to the new-age holistic ideals in the 1980s.