Nelson’s last letter to Emma Hamilton, 1805

The notorious love affair between military hero Horatio Nelson and lady-of-dubious-morals-turned-society-beauty Lady Emma Hamilton is perhaps one of the most famous of the eighteenth century. As the story of a romance between a naval officer and a probable former prostitute, it was always going to be a favourite of mine. Quite by chance, however, I... Continue Reading →

Stuck-up sweetheart? How to bring her down a peg or two

Many a hopeful suitor has been disappointed because he falls short of his beloved's ridiculously high expectations. For anyone who has experienced such a heart-breaking rebuff, why not follow this seventeenth-century advice for how to bring her down a peg or two? 1) Tell her she is not as attractive as she thinks. 2) Cast... Continue Reading →

La Moustache, 1815

As it turns out, waiting until someone falls asleep and then drawing a fake moustache on them is not a new phenomenon – still hilarious after 200 years. Nice to see some immature nineteenth-century behaviour immortalised in print... (not entirely relevant but couldn't resist sharing – a Movember double whammy) Image: Detail from 'La Moustache'... Continue Reading →

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