Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I was vastly surprised to find myself in the middle of a Napoleontic war. Luckily, I managed to snap some pictures. (If you’re on a feedreader, sorry for the huge amount of pictures. A cut seems not to work well in feedreader.)


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Darwinism & Ota Benga

Darwin’s book “Origin of the Species” was first published in 1859, and dealed not only with evolution but also with natural selection, and the survival of some races, where other races didn’t survive. This led to a great debate on who was, and who wasn’t, human. And among the humans, who was the most human?
A result of the debate was the case of Ota Benga, a pygmee who was found in the Kongo in 1904 by expeditioner Samuel Verner, and introduced to the president of the Bronx Zoo, William Hornaday. While he was usually seen as a boy, Ota Benga was in fact twice married, his first wife and two children were murdered by white colonists.
Ota was exhibitioned as a ‘symbolic wild,’ along with other pygmees, in the antropological wing of the St Louis World Exhibition of 1904.

To read the entire story: Wikipedia
Great article in Dutch

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mustaches and manners

My favourite blog right now is this one, Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century. What a fun subject for a blog! Great mustaches are featured, like this one:

Very sexy indeed!

Another site which provides hours and hours of amusement is this site, of the McCord Museum. It’s very educational but also a lot of fun, especially the game about manners. Do turn off your sound though, the elevator music might be a bit too calming!

The lazy blogging will stop soon, when exam period is over. I apologize!

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In the mid-1870s, the woman of an upper-class household planned lunch and evening meals, but she had a cook to actually do the work for her. Because upper-class families were not doing hard physical labor during the day, their largest meal was served in the evening. When they entertained, they served twelve or thirteen course meals. When they dined alone, they ate five or six courses. An example:

  • Savory Soup
  • Roast Turkey with Dressing or Roast Pork with Specialty Potatoes or Chicken Fricassee served with Rice
  • Two Vegetable Side Dishes
  • Citrus Ice
  • Fresh Dinner Rolls with Sweet Cream Butter
  • Jams, Jellies & Sweet Pickles
  • Fancy Cake & Preserved Fruit
  • Coffee, Hot Punch & Water
  • Usually, one would eat dinner in late afternoon and then supper at early evening, or dinner at early evening and then supper later at night. You could say Supper is the Victorian mid-night snack ;)

    Some other food that was used in the Victorian (judging by when these words were first used in the English language,) are: crêpes, consommé, spaghetto, soufflé, bechamel, ice cream, chowder, meringue, bouillabaisse, mayonnaise, grapefruit, eclair, and chips.

    The cambridge encyclopedia of the English language, D. Crystal.

    This post is part of a series on cooking! Follow the links to see the other posts:
    A Victorian Christmas
    Victorian cooking
    Victorian kitchens
    Links to recipes & etiquette

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    other blogs

    My favourite posts from fellow bloggers this week.

    Kaori writes on the harmony of colour in the 19th century

    Victorians knew drama (the elections of 1800)

    Please please please don’t click this at work! Victorian-style erotic clipart.

    Amanda writes about another time I’m a big fan of: the 1920s

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    19th century tattoos?

    You might think tattoos are a 20th century thing, at least in the west. It isn’t! In 1862 the Prince of Wales, later to become king Edward VII (he was the son of queen Victoria!) received his first tattoo, a Jerusalem cross made by Francois Souwan, while he visited Jerusalem. He was then around 18 or 20 years old, and send to the East by Victoria, who seemed to have not been particularly fond of her dandy son.
    While most British ports had had professional tattoo artists in residence since the 18th century, Edwards tattoo started a fad among aristocracy. In 1882, Edward’s sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York (George V,) were tattood by the Japanese tattooist Hoti Chiyo, George V received a tattoo of a dragon on his arm. Later on the prince received more tattoos, by Tom Riley and Sutherland Macdonals.
    Prince George (Edward’s son) wrote in a letter “we have been tattooed by the same old man who tattooed papa, and the same thing too, five crosses. You ask Papa to show you his arm.” (This contradicts the BBC source at the end of this article.)

    All the 19th century dictionaries and encyclopaedias suggest that among Europeans tattooing was confined to seamen, and sometimes soldiers. The first permanent tattoo shop in new york city was set up in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing military servicemen from both sides of the civil war. Samuel o’Reilly invented the electric tattooing machine in 1891.
    In 1861 French naval surgeon Maurice Berchon published a study on the medical complications of tattooing and after this, the navy and army banned tattooing within their ranks.

    Another 19th century thing is people who claim to have been unwillingly tattood, for example John Rutherford who arrived on the exhibition scene in 1827 with a full Maori Moko tattoo on his face. He made quite a profit from telling how he was captured and tattood by force.

    Sadly, none of the British princes seems to have been keen on showing off their tats in public. The only pictures of 19th century tattoos I could find are these, but please click at risk, as these have been removed from the rest of the body:
    It made me a little queasy.

    Disclaimer: the issue of tattoos, being something of the body, is not very well documented in contemporary sources. All info in this post was found on the net, I only included what seemed to make sense but keep in mind there are no ‘official’ sources!
    I found this on the BBC website, which I consider a fairly academic source:
    During the 19th Century leading figures in society criticised the practice, associating it with the rough life of sailors, port towns and prostitutes.
    However in 1882 King George V was given a large dragon tattoo on his arm on a visit to Japan.
    In 1900, it was estimated that 90% of all sailors in the US Navy were tattooed, while the Second World War saw a surge in patriotic tattoos among servicemen

    Edit: Commenter Elisabeth linked me to a forum where some excellent research was done on Victorian tattoos, and a picture was found showing Nicolas II with a tattoo, from the 1890s. You can read all about it, here.

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    Victorian spooky stuff!

    Everyone likes Victorian creepy stuff right? These are my favourite resources right now:

    A blog researching the truth behind Dracula.

    A blog on ghost stories in general, I’m linking you to a 19th century ghost story.

    A new blog, researching Dracula and Bram Stoker. It looks promising!

    I eagerly wait for the day that I get my first google hit for ‘Victorian Dead Babies’. Anyway, that’s what’s on the page, please check it out at risk.

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    inpromptu update

    Don’t worry, there will be an actual update tomorrow. In this post I will link to my fellow wordpressers.
    “I wish I had been born in the 19th century,” says Bancheese in this post. A very humorous post with remarks like: “Take, for example, corsets. Women wore these beneath their dresses to appear thinner and more desirable, even though it was the equivalent of being strangled by a middle-size boa.”

    Tesla was a 19/20th century genius who literally illuminated the world we now live in and brought us to the science fiction levels our technology now enjoys. Suprisingly he has remained largely historically obscured. You’re right! Lots of info I didn’t know either, so check it out.

    Life as a Victorian Lady book review. I know I’m adding it to my wishlist!

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    some prints and links!

    To see them larger please click the image!

    Victorian fashion in Japanese prints…isn’t this the most curious thing ever?

    Some blog entries I found while tagserving that are worth a read:

    Bucketeers! American railroads!The River Knows bookreview!

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    some Ebay auctions, all below $25





    (check out this seller’s store, they have great things)


    Please remember to check the description carefully, and bid on your own risk! If you’re in doubt, ask the seller for some more pictures and info.

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