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The HangoverA Literary and Cultural History$
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Jonanthon Shears

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621198.001.0001

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‘The Nausea of Sin’: The Early Modern Hangover

‘The Nausea of Sin’: The Early Modern Hangover

(p.33) Chapter 2 ‘The Nausea of Sin’: The Early Modern Hangover
The Hangover

Jonathon Shears

Liverpool University Press

The chapter pursues the representation of the hangover in poetry and drama, religious and political writing and in the culture wars of the seventeenth century in England. It begins by exploring why the hangover has been obscured in writing about early modern depictions of drunkenness through a study of Anacreontic verse by Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick and Richard Lovelace. Hangovers, it contends, are more prominent in other forms of literature such as Protestant tracts and sermons and in bawdy verse and drama of the Restoration. They also feature regularly in what the chapter terms ‘anti-symposiastic’ verse written by Whigs in the 1690s. The chapter argues throughout that the hangover – whether leading to feelings of guilt and shame or defiance – takes us beyond studies of male fellowship and tavern culture, increasing our understanding of the way that the body becomes a route to discuss moral and spiritual failings in this period. It also gives examples of the way Withdrawal-Relief recovery methods – sometimes known as the hair of the dog – became associated with defiance.

Keywords:   anacreontea, sermons and tracts, protestantism, bawdy, physical and metaphysical

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