Filed under 19th century literature

Health Advice for Young Gents – 1836

Health Advice for Young Gents – 1836

This is from the i paper of 30 December As the season of overindulgence takes its toll, it is perhaps heartening to know that pre-Victorians faced a similar dilemma over gym regimes and fad diets. Researchers at Cambridge University have unearthed an 1834 manual called British Manly Exercises, which aimed to help the middle and … Continue reading

Executions on Newcastle Moor

Newcastle had a temporary gallows built on the Town Moor, near the barracks of This is a list of the people who were despatched there. It is a varied and pretty comprehensive list of the types of crime that were designated capital offences at the time. It is also interesting how few there were for … Continue reading

The Dawn of Air Travel

The Dawn of Air Travel

Forget about the Wright Brothers, the first flight was in England, a beautiful machine called Ariel. This is from a lovely illustrated book on a 19th century family of publishers who are still in business, Ackermann 1783-1983, and is one of the many strange items associated with this printing house: In 1843 Ackerman & Co. published … Continue reading

An Unhappy Tenant

This is a wonderfully wry ad from a London paper dated October 1815: WANTED IMMEDIATELY to enable me to leave the house which I have for these last five years inhabited, in the same plight and condition in which I found it, 500 LIVE RATS for which I will gladly pay the sum of £5 … Continue reading

A Local Witch

This comes from Joseph Ashby of Tysoe 1859-1919, a real goldmine of  first person details. This is unusual as it shows the boys misbehaving, but also the old woman treating them with what seems to be benign indifference. Was this sort of behaviour so commonplace at the time? Or did she know they meant no … Continue reading

English Fairy Stories

English Fairy Stories

Here are some accounts of fairies from Nancy Arrowsmith’s A Field Guide to the Little People. Like a lot of such stories they seem somehow incomplete, as if the heart of the story has been lost through retelling, or mishearing over time. : A little girl had wandered far from he friends while picking flowers. … Continue reading

Old Love

This is a charming piece from the Illustrated Police News, 1892, a reminder that some people did see old bones, and were still active in the past. PASSING NOTES Last week in a little meeting-house just outside Feltham David Macnamara, pensioner, who served in the Inniskilling Dragoons nearly 60 years ago, and who, though in … Continue reading