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The Lives of the English Rakes Hardcover – 27 Apr 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Portrait; 1st Ed. (U.K.) edition (27 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074995096X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749950965
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'This is a proper book: academically sound as well as being a good read.' Independent on Sunday" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

This unique and fascinating book charts the scurrilous history of the English rake. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE LONG HEYDAY OF THE ENGLISH RAKE lasted roughly from 1660, when Charles II returned from exile, until the death of George IV in 1830. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Costeris on 17 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book collects accounts of the lives of some of the most dubious characters in English society from The Restoration until the Victoran age.
It is not a bad read but it is a bit of a copy and paste job. A large part of the text consists of quotes from secondary sources. They are all properly credited as far as I can tell, but that does contribute to the feeling that the writer didn't do any origional research but just constructed a narrative around things written by other people. That is not necessarily a problem, but I do find it odd to see 21st century history books quoted alongside Pepys, as though their information carries the same power to illustrate the 17th century.

It's the work of a former Sun journalist not a professional historian and had I known that before I bought it, I probably would have left it on the shelf.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookworm on 8 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book before, and thought I would have my own copy. I was impressed by the good condition, for a second hand book, it was very clean, condition anyway, some of the content was not!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well researched, slightly obscene, and VERY interesting 27 Jan. 2011
By R.M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a romance reader with an intellectual bent, I've often wondered about the historical accuracy of the Regency Romance novels I've read. For instance, was it really possible to reform a rake? Weren't people worried about sexually transmitted diseases? And what did they do if they had one? (answers: "No", "Absolutely", and "Usually treat it with quack remedies like drinking/bathing in mercury - yep, the poisonous metal")

The author takes us through 200 years of British history by focusing on the famed Rakes of the past and laying out all the sordid details of their lives. This book rips away the fiction that all rakes were 6'2" with flat bellies and well muscled thighs, with plenty of money and sexual skill. These men were ordinary, some fat, some short and very few handsome. Yet to a one, they used their rank to live the high life, spending their money with abandon and caring only for the pursuit of transitory, physical pleasures.

Bottom line: Well written and accessible to the average reader, this book should be required reading for all romance writers thinking of writing in the historical genre. For the rest of us: we get to learn about money, drugs, and sex, all couched in an intellectual format you could read in your Mother's house without shame. What's not to like?
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