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The 'perpetual fair'Gender, disorder and urban amusement in eighteenth-century London$
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Anne Wohlcke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090912

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090912.001.0001

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(p.209) Conclusion
The 'perpetual fair'

Anne Wohlcke

Manchester University Press

The afterword summarizes the main themes of the book concludes that debates over the place of festivity and usefulness of fairs in eighteenth-century London reveal that concerns about morality and gender order were vital in ordering eighteenth-century London. The afterword also considers how discourses about politeness and festivity can obscure the realities of what fairs offered Londoners in terms of culture and employment. Existing fair records complicate our understandings of gender and work in interesting ways, and provide us one means of looking behind literary and visual depictions of men and women at fairs. The afterword goes on to make connections between fairs and commercialized versions of outdoor entertainment that emerged in London from the mid eighteenth century. Pleasure gardens, such as Vauxhall, Sadler’s Wells, or Ranelagh House provided Londoner’s regular and more controlled spaces for socialising, eating, and music during summer evenings. The circus also emerged at this time and continued some types of fair amusements. Finally, the afterword considers how exhibitions at eighteenth century fairs are forerunners to the types of exhibits offered at nineteenth and twentieth-century fairs, such as London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 and World’s Fairs.

Keywords:   The Great Exhibition, World’s Fairs, Pleasure gardens, Vauxhall Gardens, Sadler’s Wells, Ranelagh House

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