Drink, Song and Politics in Early Modern England by Angela McShane
Between about 1580 and 1690, early modern England experienced three interrelated developments: the growth of a successful commercial popular music industry; the development of the political parties; and a substantial increase in the per capita consumption of alcoholic drinks across all social classes. This talk briefly explores the unexpected effects of these changes on cultures of politics, drink and song across the whole period. In particular, the way song was used to encourage excessive drinking to promote loyal obedience, and the political and social denigration of sobriety.
Angela McShane is the Head of Early Modern Studies for the V&A and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sheffield. She has published widely on the subject of 17th century political broadside ballads. Her book, The Political World of the Broadside Ballad in 17th Century England, is forthcoming.