The project deals with the interaction of gender, politics and the press in the nineteenth century, roughly from the Congress of Vienna until the revolutions of 1848. It analyses the occurrence and the functioning of sex scandals as a political weapon during this period of social transition. Therefore, the focus is on two cities where, in many respects, opposite press regimes prevailed, namely Vienna, where strict censorship laws were enforced, and liberal London. The study considers the potential of press coverage to prompt elite women to conform to a ‘bourgeois’ sexual morality. It also examines to what extent the possible disclosure of elements of private life affected political culture and the political agency of aristocratic women in particular.