Fern Riddell on Sex: Lessons from History

In this talk first delivered in June 2021, Fern Riddell takes us on an illuminating journey to uncover the sexual lives of our ancestors

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Fern Riddell takes us on an illuminating journey to uncover the sexual lives of our ancestors. From flirtation to orgasm and everything in between, she shows us that they were just as preoccupied as we are with sexual identity, masturbation, foreplay, sex and deviance – facing it with the same confusion, joy, and accidental hilarity that we do today.

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Dr Fern Riddell is a cultural historian specialising in sex, suffrage and culture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She appears regularly on TV and radio, and hosts the well-known history podcast #NotWhatYouThoughtYouKnew, where she explores how history has made us who we are today. Fern was the Historical Consultant for the BAFTA award-winning BBC drama Ripper Street and has advised on dramas for both the BBC and ITV. As an on-screen expert, she has also appeared in documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Arts. Fern has appeared as an expert historian on Audible, Spotify, BBC Radio 3 and 4 programmes, and has written for the Guardian, Huffington Post, Times Higher Education, Telegraph, New Statesman and BBC History Magazine