blog, Book Club

Book Club: The curious history of dating…

As I’ve touched on in previous Book Club posts, I cannot get into fiction and haven’t been able to for a while now. I think it has something to do with my incessant need to learn new things, but I’m drawn to books that will educate me… on any topic.

I was browsing my local libraries book selection and I was instantly drawn to my next book because of the cover. It was a white hard-covered book (which I love because I take my books in my handbag) and just had blue and pink shoe prints all over it. It was The curious history of dating (from Jane Austen to Tinder) by Nichi Hodgson.


The back of the cover reads:

What if Mr Darcy had simply been able to swipe right?

Dating has never been easy. The road to true love has always been rutted with heartbreak, but do we have it easier today?

How did Victorias “come out”? How did love blossom in war-torn Europe? And why did 80’s video dating never take off?

Bursting with little-known facts and tantalising tales of lovelorn men and besotted women, Nichi Hodgson’s intriging history of amorous relationgships, from enamoured Georgians to frenziedly swiping millennials (and everyone inbetween), may leave you greatful that you live – and love – today.

The description instantly had me intrigued. I am single – completely by choice. Every time I redownload Tinder I’m bored within a day and delete the app again because frankly, I’m just not interested in dating someone right now.

I have 6 very close girl friends. Three live with their partners, one has been with theirs for a number of years now, another has recently broken up with her boyfriend and another is seeing someone. I’m always the “single” friend, but it’s never caused any issues and I spend a lot of time with my friends either separately or with their partners.

This book really caught my attention because I was interested to see how – when we live in a time where so many meet online (and I don’t really know how else if I’m honest) – that dating has changed over the years.

The book starts in the early 1700s, before moving through the Victorian and Edwardian eras and every decade thereafter. At only 240 pages it took me longer to read that I would have liked but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was a fascinating read with every chapter discussing how those in each era commonly met, courted/dated and eventually lived their “happily ever after’. It also looks into divorce, discussing that taboo subject of sex and STI’s and how those who were gay or lesbian were treated.

It also looks at women’s rights, both of their bodies and how the suffragette movement paved the way for women taking a more prominent role in their relationships, and even how (poorly) the government often handles specific issues.

It was really interesting to see how major events of the last couple of hundred years affected how people dated and the effect that had on marriage and birth rates of the time.

Nichi Hodgson writes in a way that is captivating, friendly and keeps you reading. It’s never too formal and keeps her tone interesting and fresh throughout. She is incredibly well informed, regularly contributes to the Guardian, Vice, and the Telegraph on civil liberties and censorship issues, sex and the law, and gender politics. She has spoken on Woman’s Hour about lust and her documentary on porn ethics was broadcast on Radio 4.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for someone a little different to read. You can get it on Amazon, all major bookstores or it’s likely to be in your local library.


For my other book reviews head too:

Hugs and Kisses,

Jamee xx



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