Henry Sacheverell and the Cult of Eighteenth-Century Personalities
Fri, January 27, 2012 • 2:45 PM - 4:30 PM • Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206
Brian Cowan MCGILL UNIVERSITY
The 1710 trial of Dr. Henry Sacheverell initiated one of the most celebrated controversies of the eighteenth century. This seminar talk will discuss the ways in which his personality was presented in such things as statues, effigies, seal-dies, clothing, and other fashion accessories. The argument is that this form of celebrity politics can be understood as a transition between traditional monarchical or aristocratic forms of political celebrity and an emergent modern form of cult celebrity.
Brian Cowan holds the Canada Research Chair in Early Modern British History at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He is the author of The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (2005). He co-edits the Journal of British Studies with Elizabeth Elbourne. He is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Historical Studies at UT.