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


Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi

Often considered a contradictory character herself, Hester Thrale Piozzi, now best remembered as a Bluestocking hostess and biographer of Samuel Johnson, embodies some of the contradictions of eighteenth-century sociable lives.

Jane Austen

DILLE Catherine

As a novelist of manners and an acute observer of human interactions, Jane Austen analysed the implications of late Georgian and Regency sociability with regard to gender and social rank. Critiquing earlier notions of polite sociability, her fictions recognise new sites of provincial recreation and explore the intersection between sociability and courtship while also probing sociability’s power to unify communities.



Hunting had been the foremost recreation of British kings, nobles and elites since the middle ages, but the hunting of the fox had traditionally been held in low esteem. Foxes were vermin and so lacked the status that had made hunting a noble pursuit for centuries. In contrast to other coveted quarry – deer, boar, pheasant, partridge, and hare – the fox’s flesh is unpalatable and inedible; and unlike other animals of prey, the fox poses no danger to human life.


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

Levantine Sociabilities in Europe in Giacomo Casanova’s time: Spies, Impostors, Courtesans and Men of Culture

September 22nd 2022
Call for Papers: International conference organized within the framework of the EU project DIGITENS and in partnership with the GIS SOCIABILITÉS/SOCIABILITY Chieti-Pescara (Italy), 22 & 23 September, 2022

Before Suffrage: Women, Politics and Society in Europe 1789-1850

September 15th 2022
Call for Papers: International Workshop organized by Mark Philp and Anne Verjus, in the framework of the DIGITENS project and in partnership with the GIS Sociabilités/Sociability Lyon, France, 15 & 16 September 2022.

Launch of the 2021 edition of the GIS Sociabilités/Sociability Master's Thesis Prize

December 5th 2021
Deadline extension: 5 December 2021 - Call for submissions for the GIS Sociabilités Master's Thesis Prize 2021. Aiming to encourage young researchers working on subjects related to European and colonial sociabilities in the long eighteenth century (1650-1850), this call is open to Master’s students from European or Canadian universities in the following disciplinary fields: history, civilisation, literature, art history, philosophy, social sciences, linguistics.