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Profs and Pints DC presents: “The History Behind Bridgerton,” a look at British life at the time depicted in the hit Netflix series, with Amy Froide, professor of history at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and scholar of British and women’s history.
The Netflix series Bridgerton was a breakout sensation when it debuted in December 2020, and its popularity shows no sign of waning with its second season. While the show makes no claims of historical accuracy in its depiction of Britain during the Regency period, it’s only natural that viewers might wonder what things were like then and how closely what they’re seeing reflects reality.
Profs and Pints has good news: While Lady Whistledown is not available to advise us, Professor Amy Froide, an expert on British and women’s history, certainly is. Come join her at DC’s Church Hall for an exquisite evening in which you’ll learn a ton.
Dr. Froide will give us a crash course on the Regency Period, discussing the dynamics of Britain’s monarchy at a time when King George III suffered mental illness and his son was declared Prince Regent to oversee the nation’s affairs. Among the key figures you’ll learn about in depth is Queen Charlotte, a fascinating figure who bore little resemblance to the socialite depicted on the show, actually being quiet and bookish and prone to retreat to her palace at Kew.
You’ll also learn how the show accurately depicts fashion during that time, including eighteenth century court dress, flimsy muslin garments popularized by the French and made from cotton imported from India.
Professor Froide also will talk about the show’s racial dynamics, and how in the Regency period peoples from other places in the empire, including India, began to be allowed into high society.
Finally, she’ll discuss the norms and mores of British high society during the time, including its obsession with tea and snuff tobacco.
To get on the guest list for this exquisite affair all you have to do is buy a ticket. Feel free to wear period costume, if you have it, to add some extra fun to the evening. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Image: From “Highest Life in London,” by George and Robert Cruikshank. New York Public Library / Creative Commons.