Husband Wanted, Military Man Preferred

Possibly my favourite possession in the world is my little collection of eighteenth-century newspaper scraps, apparently compiled by a Georgian gent with a particular interest in matrimonial adverts (fascinating) and buying horses (not so fascinating). Frustratingly I have no idea who he was, although his few helpful scribblings suggest that he was busying himself with... Continue Reading →


How to help your friend get over his ex, c1350

"The 14th century is not 'Georgian', you raving lunatic!" I hear you cry. Quite right too. But this medieval suggestion for curing lovesickness is too brilliant not to share. And, in any case, who's to say some desperate soul didn't give it a shot a few centuries later (she asked, busily clutching at straws)? So,... Continue Reading →

The Frenzy of Unrequited Love, 1810

"A melancholy instance of the fatal effects of inordinate passion took place on Wednesday night at a house in Leicester-fields. A young lady, seventeen years of age, a native of Paris, but who had received her education in England, and is described to us as a most beautiful, elegant, and accomplished creature, put an end... Continue Reading →


Be Advis’d to Resolve Against Wiving, 1690

I have fallen in love with a broadside song of 1690, entitled 'Advice to Young Gentlemen... to the tune of The Ladies of London.' It reads: "All Jolly Blades that Inhabit the Town, And with the fair Sex are contriving, From the Gay Fop, to the honest bred Clown, be advis'd to resolve against Wiving;... Continue Reading →


The 70-Year-Old Virgin, 1738

To Georgian Edinburgh, where in the summer of 1738 an almost-centenarian wed a nervous "undefiled" lady of about seventy. My interest was caught by the idea that her primary reason for pursuing marriage at such an advanced age was a fear of the "old maid's curse" – presumably the already well-established saying that old maids... Continue Reading →


Let’s Talk About Sex, c18th Style

Detail from Love & Wine (1787) Here we have a choice selection of words relating to the amorous act, taken from Blackguardiana by James Caulfield (c.1790). As entertaining as it can be to discover those words that have fallen from use (note: kettle drums and wap) it is also interesting to consider those that are... Continue Reading →


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