London Bookshops are no longer seen restrictively as retailing and publishing venues where books were made and sold. Whether it be in the City or in the polite West End, they fulfilled a wide range of functions (mail, banking, politics). Their crucial significance in various social circles could be best explained by the connections to other public places such as coffee-houses, taverns, markets and many cultural institutions (clubs, libraries, antiquarian circles).
At London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, sociability practices were realized, queried and transformed by actors and audiences. This entry describes the theatre’s physical spaces, then considers modes of sociability within the theatre, from normative theatre-going practices to disruptions such as riots.
This entry explains how the stay of James, Duke of York and Albany, and his court in Edinburgh (1679-1682) changed some of the forms of sociability. Indeed, it refashioned a royal court in the Scottish capital at a time when the merchant class had come to be the elite.
In a world of pedestrians, streets and roads formed the most demotic of social spaces. The streets demanded new rules of behaviour, new ‘rules of the road’. By reference to the practice of everyday life, the evolution of literary representations of street life, and the development of new forms of regulation, this article explores the street as a uniquely complex site of social exchange and sociability.
The West End of London generated new forms of networking and sociability. This entry argues that the West End was shaped by both patrician society and a vigorous and often obscene popular culture that was evident in the pubs and brothels of Covent Garden.