Online Video: Of False Hair, Bolstered Hips and Witchcraft


Online access to our gothic month pre-recorded talk: Of False Hair, Bolstered Hips and Witchcraft: The Act of Parliament that Never Was. Instructions will be sent you in your Chawton House Shop purchase confirmation email.



Part of the Gothic Month series of events.

In this fascinating talk, award-winning speaker Alison Daniell discusses the Matrimonial Act 1770 (or, as it is more commonly known, The Hoops and Heels Act 1770), which ostensibly permitted husbands to divorce wives who had seduced and betrayed them into matrimony by using perfume, make-up, heels and other commonplace beauty aids; the wives were also to ‘incur the penalty of the laws now in force against witchcraft, sorcery, and suchlike misdemeanours’. The catch? It’s a fake law!

Join Alison as she discusses some of the cultural factors associating women’s power over men with witchcraft and a mutable female body.


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