During the 18th century, a popular subject for spoof cartography was marriage, as shown in this fantasy ‘map’ made in a typical 18th-century style. Marriage here is depicted as a safe harbour only reached by braving challenging conditions; money and virtue offer safe avoidance of the hazards, but only on islands.
The map contains a lot of moralising about the state of matrimony and love, with some sly double meanings. Here, ‘road’ is used in one of its older senses of ‘a partly sheltered stretch of water near the shore’. There are two prominent classical Greek references: Cupid (god of erotic love and desire), and Hymen (god of marriage ceremonies) – though the word’s anatomical meaning, and association with virginity, is clearly to be understood too.
- Article by:
- Holly Furneaux
- Gender and sexuality
How repressed were the Victorians? Dr Holly Furneaux challenges assumptions about Victorian attitudes towards sex, considering how theorists such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler have provided new ways of understanding sex and sexuality in the period.
- Article by:
- John Mullan
- The novel 1780–1832
Professor John Mullan explores the romantic, social and economic considerations that precede marriage in the novels of Jane Austen.
Related collection items
She Stoops to Conquer (1773) overview Kenneth Tynan wrote that ‘English drama is a procession of glittering ...