Filed under romance

Suffering for Beauty

Suffering for Beauty

the late 18th and early 19th centuries were an age when young ladies vastly outnumbered men, so they had to work incredibly hard to get themselves married. This is why improving activities were so popular, as well as various beauty techniques. Here is a picture by Edward Burney, cousin to playwright Fanny and nephew to … Continue reading

Missing his Wife

Here’s a truly bizarre way to grieve for a departed partner. From the Chester Chronicle of May 1775, an extract of a letter from a gent in London to his friend in this city: “Mr Van Butcher, a celebrated dentist, had the misfortune about 5 months ago to lose his wife, form whom he had … Continue reading

20g For a Wife

Here’s another northern wife sale from vol 1 of old Yorkshire: “On 4 February, 1808 a man called George Gunthorm of Patrington sold his wife in the market place of Hull for the sum of 20g and with a halter delivered her to a person named ?Hoyena “

Slow Club

This is a duo that have been around a while, but I’ve just discovered them. They have a new album out which is great, and I’ve had this song, Not Mine to Love buzzing round in my head for weeks. Enjoy!

Jimmy’s Hall

This has been rumoured to be veteran Ken Loach’s final film, but it is his last using real film stock & was helped out by Pixar to find enough of it. It had the potential to be so PC driven to be mawkish, but it steers a fine line between politics and humanity It is … Continue reading


This obscure little gem of an indy movie deserves more recognition than its slot on the library shelf. Perhaps held back by being in Welsh and Spanish doesn’t help, but that is at the heart of the film. It is actually two completely separate stories, one of a young Welsh woman who accompanies her boyfriend … Continue reading

Thomas Smitten

One of my favourite artists was the portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence, a child protege son of a failed innkeeper who managed to support his large family painting pastel portraits before he was a teen. I’ve done a post about him elsewhere, but he clearly loved women, and his paintings are full of bare pink … Continue reading

Were They Happy?

We tend to think of arranged marriages as generally bad things, as they often only present in the news as involving kidnapping or some sort of abuse, but, even now, these are a minority, and as with most things, they happened differently back then.  The world was much smaller and much more dangerous, so people … Continue reading

Cross Hands

Scattered around England are pubs called the Cross Hands, and sometimes Cross Keys,  titles that make no sense whatsoever, though some at least seem to be at crossroads, so partly explains the title. Much of this misinformation is due to the long disruption of the English Civil War, which put an end to much accurate … Continue reading

Words in Water

Christmas is a time of families and friends coming together,  of sharing, but it can also be a time when people remember old grievances and fall out. Here is a story from Simon Garfield’s wonderful book Just My Type, concerning the font known as Doves. There is some irony here as doves are often symbols … Continue reading