Wednesday 16 June 2010

Rude Britannia on the BBC

BBC 4 series explores British traditions of satire and bawdy and lewd humour.

In the early 18th century, Georgian Britain was a nation openly, gloriously and often shockingly rude. This was found in the graphic art of Hogarth, Gillray, Rowlandson and George Cruikshank, and the rude theatrical world of John Gay and Henry Fielding. Singer Lucie Skeaping helps show the Georgian taste for lewd and bawdy ballads, and there is a dip into the literary tradition of rude words via the poetry of Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift and Lord Byron, and Laurence Sterne's novel Tristram Shandy.

Manages to be both more academic AND less pretentious than the Tate show, though rather London-centric.

Two episodes up on i-player so far; third will be there tomorrow.


  1. We have our own Kings of Bawdy among the ranks of the FNBs (one is a teacher, the other a leading civil engineer). Frankly, they make me blush.

  2. Aw shucks. You're so kind. That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me for ages.

    CEng FICE

  3. He's Chairman of the Bawd.

    Seriously, I thought we were just smutty, not bawdy.

  4. I think thumbing lifts from police cars is quite bawdy. Potentially dangerous too.