So what hidden gems did these secret writings contain? Hot goss, mostly
July 27, 2020 6:49 PM   Subscribe

An Insane Secret Diary Was Written On The Floorboards Of A French Castle "While crafting the floor between 1880 to 1881, Martin apparently had plenty of free time to take up the art of journaling. He wrote 72 entries over several months, carefully penciling them onto the floorboards before flipping them over and nailing them down."

Hot goss, indeed: Martin reported on all kinds of gossip, from juicy cheating to horrifying baby murder and squicky men of the cloth.

"Wives had to tell Abbot Lagier not just how often they had sex but also how, giving detailed accounts because the abbot wanted to make sure that couples were exclusively using Church-sanctioned positions."

"Perhaps Martin, a lowborn carpenter highly aware of how the upper class liked to walk all over him and his achievements, knew that the only way he could safeguard his truth for posterity was to hide it in the one place he knew would be forever kept in pristine condition: some rich guy's chateau."

Also, do you keep the secrets of your dad's mistress's son? (Warning: murder.)
posted by jenfullmoon (14 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Previously on MeFi, via a BBC story.
posted by jedicus at 6:54 PM on July 27 [6 favorites]

The chronology is confused. It says the diary was written in 1880-1881, then says "As Martin was writing his diary only a few years before the French Revolution took place...". The French Revolution happened between 1789 and 1799. The writer is off by 100 years.
posted by Xoc at 7:05 PM on July 27 [7 favorites]

Yeah, the dates were all over the place, I have no idea when that was supposed to have happened. Super confusing. Was describing the murders as "Medieval" just supposed to be descriptive or does the author think the 18th (or 19th?) century was part of the middle ages? I would assume the former but with the rest of the confused dating I'm not sure. Anyway, whenever it actually happened, it's an interesting, weird story.
posted by biogeo at 7:16 PM on July 27

The picture includes a date (1880), so it's 19th century. Not medieval, not 18th century, and not just before the French Revolution.
posted by zompist at 7:21 PM on July 27 [5 favorites]

Ah, the BBC link jedicus shared includes this text: "The 1880s were a time of rapid change. France's Third Republic was bedding in, having seen off a final challenge from the monarchists, and across the country reforms were being introduced that limited the powers of the church." I'd bet that the Cracked author read the same article and got confused between the French Revolution and the Third Republic.
posted by biogeo at 7:26 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]

The writer definitely flunked their history classes.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:07 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]

I wonder if the story about the abbot is true. I remember reading somewhere that it was common for men to assume priests used their time alone with women in the confessional for liaisons. Sort of like the cliches about milkmen in the 50s. Doesn’t mean the suspicions weren’t sometimes based on truth though.
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:45 PM on July 27

I remember reading somewhere that it was common for men to assume priests used their time alone with women in the confessional for liaisons. Sort of like the cliches about milkmen in the 50s

...a demarcation dispute with some longevity.
posted by flabdablet at 9:01 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]

Also, from the BBC link, it was the Abbé Lagier. Not the Abbot. Abbé is the title of a sort of a country priest, they use the term "séculier" to describe them, though that doesn't translate well. An Abbot would live in a monastery and wield much more power.
Oh, Cracked.
posted by kaelynski at 9:13 PM on July 27 [3 favorites]

I did something similar when I tiled my bathroom except it just says I HATE TILING on the back of every tile 100 times.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:58 AM on July 28 [15 favorites]

We just finished a massive re-do of an 1873 Victorian that included the kind of structural work that only gets done every century or so. As we’d encountered coins, photographs etc that enriched our understanding of the house’s historical context, we took the opportunity to hide messages ourselves. Most are along the lines of “Donald Trump is a horror, I hope by the time you read this folks have learned something.”
posted by kinnakeet at 8:26 AM on July 28 [11 favorites]

Insane? Really? Ableism is absolutely everywhere; all I’m asking is that we not perpetuate it here.
posted by epj at 3:07 PM on July 28 [4 favorites]

Fuck that website, seriously. The ads cover the text, and I noticed that clicking in the "X" in the Valvoline ad doesn't cancel the window, it brings you to a brand new page advertising Valvoline.

Fuck that website, did I mention that?
posted by adam hominem at 4:29 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]

The inclusion of advertising in a web page is best understood an opening negotiating position from the site's operator.

You're in no way obliged to configure your browser in ways that immediately accept site operators' opening positions as the final outcome of the automated negotiations it routinely conducts on your behalf.

Tools like uBlock Origin, NoScript, Enhancer for YouTube, YouTube Ad Auto-skipper and Bypass Paywalls will help you automate standard counter-offers that most sites, included, will immediately accept on behalf of their operators, yielding far more satisfactory results.
posted by flabdablet at 7:09 PM on July 28 [8 favorites]

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