Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 August 2020
In the earlier chapters of the book we have seen that various forms of embeddedness in practices, conventions and behaviour that remained below the threshold of awareness for many, nonetheless served to complicate and shape people’s apparently more rational aspirations and conduct. This chapter examines a range of activities concerned with music and bodily movement, which most radicals treated mostly with a degree of disdain, rejecting them as corrupting of the young and fostering interests in fashion and in frivolous pursuits – such as dance, music and singing. Nonetheless, these activities were often central to the way in which people in the period experienced the world and it often served to ground them both in particular social milieu and in a set of narratives of the inevitability of the status quo. Loyalism did much to exploit the practical engagement of men and women in concerts, parades, balls, etc., as a basis for re-affirming their loyalties to the government and the nation. Radical intellectualism, in these circumstances, was often marginalised and weakened as a result.