Author Archives: William Savage

About William Savage

Author of mystery stories set in Georgian Norfolk.

“Great Cry and Little Wooll …”

One of the joys of looking through editions of early eighteenth-century newspapers is finding the unexpected. Only last week, I was browsing through the pages of the Ipswich Journal for April 15th, 1721, when I came across this gem: the … Continue reading

Posted in Theatre, Tid-bits | 2 Comments

Georgian Household Goods

Much of what we can see today of the contents of a Georgian house is based on the largest and grandest properties of the time, since those are the ones preserved. It’s also inevitable that much of what was there … Continue reading

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A Personal View of the Gordon Riots

Laetitia Hawkins (1760–1835) was the daughter of a wealthy London lawyer and magistrate. She never married, living with her bachelor brother in Twickenham after both her parents had died. Some while ago, I discovered a book, published in 1926, which … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Politics | 3 Comments

Melancholy and the Romantic Movement

How did the concept of melancholy came to be seen as especially associated with Romanticism and creativity in the arts? In the 18th century, the concept of sensibility—a refined feeling of emotion and delicacy of perception—was synonymous with social refinement … Continue reading

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Fears of Terrorism and the ‘Swinish Multitude’

My series of mysteries featuring Dr Adam Bascom are all set in the early years of the struggle between Britain and revolutionary, later Napoleonic, France. Several feature the British government’s real concerns about spying, infiltration and subversion by the French. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Melancholy and Madness

In the eighteenth century, melancholia was thought of not as a curable mental affliction, but as one of the primary forms of madness. Melancholia means ‘black bile’, one of the four bodily humours recognised by the Hippocratic and Galenic systems … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science | 1 Comment

Competing Pleasure Gardens

The most famous pleasure gardens of the eighteenth century were undoubtedly those in London. However, other towns and cities established similar gardens, amongst which Norwich had, perhaps, the most and some of the longest-lasting. At one time, five main gardens … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Georgian Society, Leisure | 2 Comments

Was Melancholy THE English Malady of the 18th Century?

“Mine, you are to know, is a white Melancholy, or rather Leucocholy… which though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls Joy or Pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of a state … But … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian Society, Medicine & Science, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Electioneering and Corruption in Georgian England

Voting in parliamentary elections in Georgian England was neither democratic nor free from undue influence. By modern standards, the whole system could be labelled as corrupt and biased. The presence of so-called ‘Rotten Boroughs’ — elections decided by a handful … Continue reading

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Some Georgian Medicine (from the archives)

Elizabeth Postlethwaite in 1777 (© Copyright National Portrait Gallery, London) A little while ago, rummaging in a secondhand bookshop as I often do, I found a small, locally-published book containing extracts from the correspondence of two Norfolk sisters, Elizabeth and … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine & Science, Uncategorized | 4 Comments