Monthly Archives: November 2015

Eighteenth-Century Haircare

I’ve been reading Karen Bowman’s Corsets and Codpieces: A Social History of Outrageous Fashion (2015) from Pen and Sword Books, which has provided some really fun information, but is sadly far, far less academically rigorous than I would have liked … Continue reading

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Sarah Drake, “Murderess of Harley Street”

I found this story in E.S. Turner’s What the Butler Saw. Turner writes, “In 1849 Sarah Drake, a cook-housekeeper in Harley Street, was brought to court charged with murdering her two-year-old child, who had been farmed out [i.e. she paid … Continue reading

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Richard Dadd

I found this story in the BBC’s recent article here. The article opens with: “Promising artist Richard Dadd murdered his father in the summer of 1843. Detained as a “criminal lunatic“, he continued to paint during his incarceration. He is … Continue reading

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Gladstone Anagrams

I got this post from Futility Closet’s blog here. “William Gladstone was cursed with a well-balanced name, one that his political enemies found well suited to anagrams. The conservative-minded Lewis Carroll found that WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE can be rearranged to … Continue reading

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Bowdlerizing

I found the following story on Jeff Kacirk’s “Forgotten English” calendar from July 11, 2013. Thomas Bowdler was a reverend and an uptight rogue editor who lived from 1754-1825. “Sanitized synonyms, still known as bowdlerisms … were found in Bowdler’s best-selling … Continue reading

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

I found this story on Jeff Kacirk’s “Forgotten English” calendar for November 23/24, 2013. There’s loads to be said about Toulouse-Lautrec. I could write you essays about his artwork (which, by the way, if you’re not familiar with it, then … Continue reading

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Shooting Range

Just a quick one today. I heard this story on an episode of QI (series M, episode “Military Matters”). During the Boer War (1899-1902), it was noted that British soldiers generally had poor aim with their rifles. In an attempt … Continue reading

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