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Dr Rachael Johnson

I am a historian of long eighteenth-century Britain, with a focus on social, leisure, gender, and medical history. My research centres on the history of England’s spas and seaside resorts, which grew during this period to become thriving centres for fashionable leisure and pleasure. My PhD, ‘Spas and Seaside Resorts in Kent, 1660-1820’, is a comparative study that examines the social, cultural and medical life of the county’s watering places. Particular attention is paid to Tunbridge Wells and Margate, as Kent’s most successful resorts and I am especially interested in understanding the visitor experience. Two articles are forthcoming from this research and I am in the process of turning this study into a published monograph. Staying in the realm of the eighteenth-century resort, my current project focuses on the Masters of Ceremony. Masters of Ceremony were charismatic, flamboyant and often peculiar characters who were appointed to lead the social life of Britain’s most successful watering places. The project is a study of the profession and the post-holders. At Kingston, as a Lecturer in History, I teach British and European history at undergraduate and Masters level.