SCHMID Susanne


Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Englische Philologie Department Studies.

Research expertise

English; history of sociability; British salons; English romanticism; history of drinking.



Hôtel d'Angleterre at Calais (The)

The Hôtel d'Angleterre at Calais with its proprietor Monsieur Dessein, which appears at the beginning of Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Journey (1768), is by no means a fictitious space but was a well-known institution, popular among English travellers to the continent, who praised the quality of accommodation, architecture, and service.

Beau Brummell (George Bryan)

For two decades, George Bryan Brummell, the archetypal dandy, exercised his power, frequenting London’s elite clubs, balls, and dinners. Not only did he introduce a new clothing style for men, based on clear lines, a sparing use of colours other than black and white, and little ornament, but he also created eagerly absorbed rules about comportment in society. 


Luxury has always been difficult to define. The eighteenth century saw a shift from ‘old’ to ‘new’ luxury (de Vries), from aristocratic displays of wealth and power to the widespread and sociable use of commodities like porcelain and silk. Such displays of tasteful and fashionable objects enhanced individual status, in domestic settings and in public spaces.


The late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were a veritable ‘golden age’ of the inn. Inns, where coaches arrived and departed, were nodal points of the transport system. They offered rooms to stay overnight, food, and stables, and were often huge purpose-built business complexes with shops and storage facilities, situated alongside major roads in the provinces, and town centres, and in cities.


In the eighteenth century, sugar, once a luxury item, became more affordable and was used as a sweetener for tea and baked goods at a time when the tea-table was coded as domestic and feminine.