British History in the Long 18th Century
30 March 2011
Sarah Lloyd (Hertfordshire)
Ephemeral Lives: On writing a ticket-centred history of 18th-century Britain

Tickets: lottery tickets, theatre tickets, turnpike tickets, admission tickets and so forth.  In the eighteenth century tickets were common if not everywhere.  So what might a history of the ticket tell us about print and culture?  What was their function?  What was their meaning?  How were they circulated?  What contractual obligations did they imply?   In this paper Sarah Lloyd discusses a variety of ticket types and the purposes given to those tickets she also presents one particular example: London charity tickets.  These give us an idea about charity activities and methods of advertisement and control.  Distinction between a ticket and an invitation is not clear and there is much difficulty in being able to identify which is which (if indeed in some circumstances there was a difference).  Tickets were also commercial ephemera which didn’t belong to any particular class or group.  They helped to regulate activities and promote products.  Finally tickets were souvenirs and collectors’ items which help to explain why some tickets survive better than others.     

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