Strange Antics: A History of Seduction (Hardback)Clement Knox (author)
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A blazingly original history of the art, philosophy and practice of seduction, Strange Antics ranges broadly and nimbly across the centuries to take in the likes of Casanova, Jack Johnson and even vampiric lovers. Masterfully marshalling a wealth of fascinating information, Knox achieves a dazzling synthesis of scholarship and juicy anecdote.
When is seduction about more than just sex? In this brilliantly original history, Clement Knox explores these questions as well as the philosophy, legality, politics, art and literature of a force that underwrites our world.
In the first history of its kind, Clement Knox charts the many guises of seduction from the Garden of Eden to the world of #MeToo. This is a grand narrative that encompasses Casanova's pursuit of pleasure, the fight for women's rights waged by early feminists Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Caroline Norton, the travails of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world, hounded for his violation of America's labyrinthine, racialised seduction laws, and the strange world of vampires, hypnotists, and monsters conjured up by Nazis and xenophobes seeking to stoke social and sexual panic.
Seduction is a problem that refuses to go away. Seemingly laid to rest during the sexual revolution, as men and women across the world shrugged off the taboos and strictures of the past, it has exploded back into public consciousness as we grapple with a world populated by pick-up artists, incels, and online dating algorithms.
Modern, big-thinking and enormously entertaining, Knox offers an extraordinary range of stories, and shows how our ideas about desire, courtship, and power have always developed in step with a changing world.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 790 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 46 mm
'...[a] big and bold book… it is through the seduction narrative, a staple of the MeToo age, that we explore some of our concerns about the modern world… the reason these complex stories were born in the 18th century is because, Knox suggests, this is when the tension between reason and passion was at its height.’ - The Sunday Times
'Clement Knox has mastered the art of reader seduction with his intriguing and expertly woven web of gripping stories and insights. Strange Antics will hold the reader in its thrall.' - Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five
'Erudite yet engaging, Strange Antics traces the history of seduction from 19th century American courtrooms to the MeToo court of public opinion. Though ambitious in its scope it is endlessly surprising in the individual stories it unearths. I found this Pandora's box of sexual mores through the ages both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining.' - Cathy Newman
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