Social interaction

Anacreontick's in full song, by James Gillray, 1801. National Portrait Gallery: NPG D12773. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


This entry describes conviviality as it was practised in the eighteenth century with distinctions between sociability and conviviality. It also describes the use of the term, and the specific rituals associated with convivial culture.
Temple Friendship


This entry explores the diverse uses of the language and concept of friendship in eighteenth-century Britain. Though obviously central to sociable thought and practice, friendship was also caught up in philosophical debates about the instrumentality of feeling and the nature of social obligation.

Masquerades in London

Masquerades – sociable assemblies of masked participants – developed into forms of public entertainment in eighteenth-century London, often welcoming crowds of participants in the fashionable centres of the metropolis, such as the Haymarket Theatre, Vauxhall Gardens or Ranelagh Gardens. The masquerade phenomenon provides insight into the category of personhood that was negotiated through a sociable performance of anonymity and new ‘selves’.
Daily courant

Public opinion (journalism and communication)

Journals and books played a relevant role in the construction of modern public opinion and the diffusion of new forms of sociability shrewdly investigated in the twentieth century. As some of the most significant scholars of cultural processes point out (such as Innis, Habermas, McLuhan, Williams), the construction of popular public opinion is one of the most significant characteristics of the eighteenth century, especially in England.
C. Williams, satirical print entitled

Scottish clans

This entry gives an overview of the social structures, manners and sociability of the Scottish clans during the long 18th century. It presents the debates about their place in the Scottish and British societies in the context of the Union of 1707 and the Jacobite rebellions as well as of the Enlightenment ideas of improvement in society.