The Digital Encyclopedia of British Sociability in the Long Eighteenth Century

Explore the wide range of topics related to British sociability from 1650 to 1850 and discover how the circulation of models of sociability shaped European and colonial societies.

The Project

An innovative tool and an interdisciplinary approach

  • An open-access digital encyclopedia with a multi-modal search engine
  • An international and interdisciplinary project led by the GIS Sociabilités / Sociability since 2017
  • An EU-funded project (Horizon 2020-MSCA-RISE) since 2019, promoting staff exchange and intersectoral collaborations
  • A digital humanities project managed by an experienced editorial team
  • Encyclopedia entries written in English or French by eighteenth-century scholars in various fields (history, art history, literature, philosophy, material culture, linguistics ...) and reviewed by a dedicated committee
  • A complementary anthology of texts related to various aspects of sociability and connected to the entries

Find out more

Bringing academic research on eighteenth-century sociability to a wider audience

  • Explore the wide range of topics related to British Sociability from 1650 to 1850 and learn about the circulation of models of sociability that shaped European and colonial societies.
  • Discover the collaborative work between academic researchers on primary source material in their respective fields of expertise
  • Browse through 200 entries enriched with illustrations, hyperlinks, footnotes and further reading suggestions
  • Search by keywords, by alphabetical order or by categories (People, Places, Practices, Concepts, Objects) and sub-categories
  • Navigate easily through a dynamic and updatable resource
  • Share content with online media and social networks

Latest entries


Women's travel writing

PAGE-JONES Kimberley

This entry deals with female travel narratives to the Continent, with a focus on those written during the revolutionary decade (1789-1800). It aims to show how sociability – sociable practices, culture, values – was a key topic for understanding the Continental other (its character, manners and mores) but also a rhetorical mode of writing one’s self in relation to the other.

Erasmus Darwin

DAUPHIN Caroline
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was the author of The Temple of Nature, in which he considers the concept of sociability as one of the keys to the evolution of species: love and sympathy guide the species toward perfection through the multiple changes caused by transformism.

Elizabeth (Robinson) Montagu

Called the ‘Queen of the Bluestockings’ in her own time, Elizabeth Montagu was perhaps the best-known salon hostess during the second half of the eighteenth century.


As part of its H2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE-2018)), the European Commission has granted significant financial support to DIGITENS, the flagship project of the Scientific Interest Grouping (GIS) “Sociabilités/Sociability”.


Latest News

The Rules of the Game in the Early Modern Period

June 30th 2021
Appel à communications: Les règles du jeu à la période moderne Colloque organisé par l’unité de recherche VALE (Sorbonne Université) avec le concours du GIS Sociabilités Les règles du jeu à la période moderne 18 & 19 novembre 2021

Sociabilité et libertinage au siècle des Lumières

June 3rd 2021
Cycle de conférences - 3 et 17 juin - en parallèle de l'exposition "L'Empire des sens, de Boucher à Greuze" au Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris.

Sociability and the Discourses of Nature in the Long Eighteenth Century

May 31st 2021
Call for papers for a collective volume: "Sociability and the Discourses of Nature in the Long Eighteenth Century", ed. T. Adamczewski, J. Lipski, K. Wood.