"Avoid flattery. A delicate compliment is permissible in conversation, but flattery is broad, coarse, and to sensible people, disgusting. If you flatter your superiors, they will distrust you, thinking you have some selfish end; if you flatter ladies, they will despise you, thinking you have no other conversation."
- 37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen from 1875
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 2, 2013 -
In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer
( 2 3 4 5
), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton
and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Jul 4, 2013 -
"Whereas yesterday's Cora Pearl was eccentric, charming and a little cold-hearted, today's Victorian courtesan, La Païva, is straight-up eerie. Like, so eerie that a lot of people thought she was a vampire. My hand to Baby Jesus, people actually believed she was a supernatural being.
" Bizarre Victoria
shares (what else) bizarre, scandalous, and noteworthy stories form the Victorian era (and more). What do you serve at a country club for fat men
? Devil's footprints
! Lola Montez: servant whipper, de facto ruler of Bavaria
. Empress Sissi and her No Good Very Bad Life
. Aristocratic marriage at gunpoint
. Public pubic hair trimming
. Specialties of the Victorian Brothel
. Curing hiccups by setting your shirt on fire
. Gilded Age Arranged Marriages
posted by The Whelk
on Jul 3, 2013 -
William Temple Hornaday was an early--and probably a founding--member of the American conservation movement, and was also director of the National Zoological Park. He wrote a tremendously bitter and accurate report for the U.S. National Museum in 1894 on the extermination of the American bison, an absolute head-shaker, detailing the history of the bison in North America and its destruction at the hands of sportsmen, hunters, mindless dolts and many others who massacred tens of millions of the animal ("murdered" is the word Hornaday uses constantly). To put the whole issue in perspective, Hornaday issued a famous map showing the shrinkage of the North American bison herd, setting out the enormity of the issue instantly on one piece of paper, a summary of hundreds of pages of bad stories and big numbers.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 15, 2011 -
The National Library of Medicine has put a selection of murder pamphlets from the late 1600s to the late 1800s
These pamphlets have been a rich source for historians of medicine, crime novelists, and cultural historians, who mine them for evidence to illuminate the history of class, gender, race, the law, the city, crime, religion and other topics. The murder pamphlets in the NLM's collection address cases connected to forensic medicine, especially cases in which doctors were accused of committing-or were the victims of-murder. [more inside]
posted by gman
on Nov 7, 2010 -
ASCII art of 12 April 1888.
A map of Michigan's dry counties. "We found this part troublesome enough to set, and if any printer thinks it a simple job, he may try it for two or three days."
posted by jjray
on Dec 9, 2009 -
Rev. George Whitefield, an 18th century preacher much admired by Benjamin Franklin, was an astonishing orator. According to a contemporary source, he "could make his audiences weep or tremble
merely by varying his pronunciation of the word Mesopotamia. Garrick once said, 'I would give a hundred guineas if I could only say 'O!' like Mr. Whitefield.'"
posted by lolichka
on May 18, 2009 -
Photographs of the dancers, actresses, cafe-life figures and prostitutes who were the subjects of Toulouse Lautrec's paintings,
including such luminaries as Sarah Bernhardt
, "La Goulue
" (Louise Weber; remember this
?), and Jane Avril
, who was the model for this last, iconic, Lautrec poster
. View pages of the art matched up with photos, here
, and here
, and go to this page
to rummage around in even more collections that include photos of Lautrec, his friends and family, street and location scenes, and lots of other tidbits. [Spanish language site; NUDITY]
posted by taz
on Jul 5, 2007 -
A Dictionary of Amercanisms
by John Russell Bartlett, published 1848. A "vocabulary of the colloquial language of the United States" during the mid-19th century. As noted by jmorrison at the nonist
(the source for this link), it is interesting to see much of what we find so common today " called out as 'americanisms' not yet included in the dictionary." The site
has other goodies too, such as The Slave's Friend
, a Christian anti-slavery tract, and Memoirs of a Captivity Among the Indians of North America
, by John Dunn Hunter, published in 1823 and 1824 and recounting his life after being captured as a young boy and raised by Native American tribes. It provides an intimate, inside look at their societies, customs and battles.
posted by caddis
on Dec 17, 2005 -