From the early modern period to the nineteenth century, one of the most popular forms of inexpensive literary entertainment was the chapbook
. (The phenomenon was not limited
to English-speaking countries.) Encompassing everything from nursery rhymes to shocking tales, chapbooks (also known as "small books." among other things) were targeted at both adults and children. Frequently, as in the case of Gothic chapbooks
, these ephemeral books provided readers with (much shortened) access to popular novels. (Other chapbooks
were more wholesome and/or educational in intent.) McGill Library
and Ball State University
have some of the most extensive chapbook collections now online.
posted by thomas j wise
on Jul 7, 2014 -
In seven minutes, you can see the evolution of London, as seen in its road network
, from the Roman port city of Londonium
through the Anglo-Saxon
, Early Georgian
and Late Georgian
, Early Victorian
and Late Victorian
, Early 20th Century
and Postwar London
, set to the scale of the 600 square miles of modern London, though the original city core is a very dense square mile. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on May 10, 2014 -
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897)
online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
posted by The Whelk
on Jan 17, 2014 -
Meet the Victorian women who fought back.
Once, Queen Victoria was the only woman in the realm with no legal impediment because of her sex. She reigned over a society that was full of intelligent women going mad with frustration - and then they began to do something about it.
posted by adamvasco
on Oct 20, 2013 -
"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 Victorian England,
getting a job was all about who you knew, [but] Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the Treasury 1840-59, was horrified by the Barnacle types in the civil service, once describing a colleague, as a "gentleman who really could neither read nor write, he was almost an idiot"."
posted by marienbad
on Jul 23, 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 -
by founding curator, the Danish botanist Nathanial Wallich
at the premises
of The Asiatic Society
, the Indian Museum
* is the oldest
museum in Asia and the
9th oldest in the world. Referred to as a "museum of museums
", considered outdated
, its Victorian Era majesty
dimmed by modernization, the grande dame
of Indian history still
manages evoke paeans
to its otherworldly
With collections to rival the Smithsonian and the British Museums, it isn't just a storehouse of countless artifacts from the world over. The building seems to be a tiny world, an island in the midst of a busy street. The tall gates with their spikes are the doorways to different recorded ages. All those entering through the high steps are travelers in a time machine. But this is not all that Kolkata's Jadughar or "House of Magic" has to offer. Its jadu lies in the magic with which it houses portions of man's past. The high ceilings seem to stretch to infinity. Amid the silence there is vibrant life. Showcasing essential elements of different cultures, the dark, often dank, interiors show up the objects more sharply. Gradually the eyes grow used to the absence of light; the smell seems natural. It is this ambience that gently draws you in and makes the textbook history we are used to, a tangible living reality.
It remains a wonderful time-warp
with plenty of mangy-looking
stuffed animals, fish and birds, together with fossils so beloved
of Victorian collectors, as well as fascinating
Indian friezes, bas-reliefs and stone carvings and art
posted by infini
on Jun 7, 2013 -
Each event has a different theme, revolving around a past era. Previously, Steam Garden did a Meiji-themed party — a fascinating time when Japan was opening its doors to the West, and fusing Victorian fashion with traditional kimonos and obis. This time, the code word was Celtic Fantasy. Luke describes it as “a blend of industry, fantasy, and epic adventure set to a soundtrack of exciting tribal and Celtic music.”
- Japanese Steampunk, complete with bagpipes, medieval food, fire dancers and wood elves.
posted by Artw
on May 18, 2013 -
We all know that people messed around with photos long before there was Photoshop. But you might not have realized how crazy the Victorians were about headless portraits. They literally lost their heads over this trend. Check it out
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Apr 12, 2013 -
The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi)
, in the Darwin Correspondence Project
, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and ﬁnd information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters
: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 31, 2013 -
A new exhibit on the sometimes maligned, but often adored, Pre-Raphaelite painters is at the Tate Britain.
"You get the impression, in this exhibition
, that the Pre-Raphaelites had a good time because they were the only Victorian men who recognised women as sexual beings"
posted by Isadorady
on Sep 11, 2012 -
The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2.
It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online
. (via hark, a vagrant)
It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen
, The Victorian Flower Garden
, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden
- and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley
, A Tudor Feast at Christmas
, Victorian Farm
, Victorian Farm Christmas
, Victorian Pharmacy
, and Edwardian Farm
. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex
on Feb 26, 2012 -
| Edwardian Farm
-- 18 hours of BBC experimental archeology/historical documentaries, online. Archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and historian Ruth Goodman spend two years living the life of rural country farmers.
posted by crunchland
on Jan 15, 2012 -
The Elements of Drawing: John Ruskin's Teaching Collection at Oxford
digitizes the drawings, engravings, and paintings that John Ruskin
collected (and created) for use in teaching drawing. The objects can be viewed separately or in their teaching order and context, with Ruskin's own catalog annotations. The site also suggests how modern art students can put the collection to use, with instructional video and a variety of drawing exercises. Ruskin also assembled another fine art collection for working-class viewers in Sheffield; you can see that collection at the Museum of Sheffield
, which also helps sponsor a digital reconstruction of the original museum building, the St. George's Museum
posted by thomas j wise
on Nov 14, 2011 -
BRUCE ROSENBAUM and his wife, Melanie, cook their food on what looks like a cast-iron Victorian stove. But the stove, like many items in the Rosenbaums' kitchen, has been gutted and repurposed. There's a modern appliance inside that antique shell, a theme that repeats itself from the fridge to their water heater.
"We created this romantic Victorian feel to it," Bruce Rosenbaum said. "But everything works."
The Massachusetts couple have steampunked
their kitchen. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear
on Feb 28, 2011 -
Chris Kimball prepares a 12-course meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 cookbook.
Using only a coal stove and other authentic Victorian-era kitchen staples, the chef, who lives in Fannie Farmer's former home
, recreated a classic holiday Victorian meal from her iconic 1896 cookbook.
The twelve courses included: "rissoles (filled and fried puff pastry), mock turtle soup with fried brain balls, lobster à l’Américaine, roast goose with chestnut stuffing and jus, wood-grilled salmon, roast saddle of venison, Canton punch, three molded Victorian jellies and a spectacular French-inspired Mandarin cake."
Chris Kimball is the creator of public television's America's Test Kitchen
) and Cook's Illustrated
. Naturally, he chronicled the experience in a book, aptly titled, Fannie's Last Supper
. In it, he offers some moden adaptations of Fannie Farmer's recipes. A film depicting the difficulties of authentically re-creating the meal airs this Fall.
posted by misha
on Oct 6, 2010 -
Platt Rogers Spencer
was born in 1800 near the Hudson River. His family was too poor to afford paper so Spencer practiced on whatever was handy – leaves, bark, snow and sand – everything was a canvas for handwriting. [more inside]
posted by Sara C.
on Jul 20, 2010 -
An attempt at a collaborative translation of Plato’s Protagoras
. Every day for a few months, Dhananjay Jagannathan will post roughly a page of the dialogue, side by side in Greek, in his own translation, and in Jowett’s classic 1871 translation. He's invited readers to comment and offer suggestions to improve the translation. Jagannathan's goal is to communicate Plato in English the way readers of his would have interpreted his Greek.
posted by unliteral
on Jun 30, 2010 -
"On a sun dappled summer day a science expedition propels two children toward an enigmatic encounter at the edge of their known world. Arriving on an isolated beach, they stumble upon the shipwreck of a robotic squid submarine." A short film, project site
posted by dhruva
on Apr 23, 2010 -
In the 1880s at a time when most Europeans were denied access to the Japanese interior an Italian photographer managed to capture many images of Old Japan. These were then beautifully and realistically hand painted and serve as a remarkable record of a world long since disappeared. Victorian-era photos of Japan.
posted by shakespeherian
on Feb 22, 2010 -
Few things in history are as compelling as the duel. Refined and barbaric at the same time, this practice has had a checkered history.
The rules of dueling were codified by the Irish in 1777 in the Code Duello (summarized here
), which was codified at Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777. As evidenced by these documents
, dueling was in practice prior to the Irish rules being drafted. The procedure and philosophy behind duels is illustrated in this article
Dueling gained some traction in America in the 19th century
, culminating in the famous Burr-Hamilton affair. There are many more resources to find out more here
. For a list of famous duels, you can check out this list
Lest you think men were the only ones dueling, here are a few short anecdotes
of women dueling.
Reportedly, dueling is still legal in Paraguay
, as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
posted by reenum
on Sep 15, 2009 -