‘Genteel and placid’ fighters? The technical skills of Bristol’s boxers in the ‘Golden Age’ of pugilism

Two hundred years ago, Bristol was famous for its bare-knuckle boxers. Prize fighting of the time often seem now as brutal, ferocious and devoid of skill. In this article, Matthew Napier argues that many early boxers, particularly those associated with Bristol, utilised tactical techniques which emphasised science over strength.

‘Fiddles, raffles and vociferation’: Looking back at Bristol’s St James’s Fair

St James’s fair in Bristol was a wonderful microcosm of Georgian life. The Georgians were globally aware, acquisitive and had a hearty appetite for entertainment and vice. Madge Dresser and Steve Poole explore different aspects of this social occasion; from trade and entertainment, both local and exotic, to thievery and debauchery. The fair caught the attention of moral reformers who viewed it as an arena symbolic of the cheating and corruption which they so fervently opposed.