Ye Olde Pub: A Social and Cultural History of England’s Early Drinking Houses
Paper by Caroline Boswell
Given at the Weidner Center on March 1, 2016
Professor Caroline Boswell’s presentation will delve into the rich early history of those temples of British culture: the pubs. Beyond their charm and antiquity, these centuries-old drinking establishments were historic centers for social and political activity. In medieval and early modern England drinking houses—alehouses, inns, and taverns—were vital hubs of sociability, culture and news. Although drinking houses formed an integral part of the social lives of many English men and women, some feared these “dens of iniquity” bred seditious toasts and songs, subversive speeches against church and state, and lewd behavior. This talk will guide us through the vibrant social lives of England’s historic watering holes c. 1400-1800.