Eight reasons why a dog is the broken-hearted woman’s best friend

Any readers who also follow me on twitter will have guessed by now that I am also quite fond of the history of animals, and most especially that of dogs. They have been our loyal and loving companions for thousands of years, and in eighteenth-century art are frequently to be found playing a small (and so often neglected) role in human love... Continue Reading →


A New Sort of Holyday for Husbands, or a warning to troublesome wives, 1733

Here is a particularly heartwarming (*cough*) report of one man's enthusiastic embrace of widowhood in London in 1733. Yes folks, the 'new holyday for husbands' is to be enjoyed when your troublesome wife drops dead. Charming. (Although I do appreciate the tactful description of said wife. Next time anyone asks me about a break-up I am going to... Continue Reading →

Some familiar c18th New Year’s Resolutions

Struggling to come up with some New Year's Resolutions for 2014? Here is some eighteenth-century inspiration (and some of them seem terribly familiar...) 1. To sort out your love life (whatever form that may take) Resolv'd to be Married!!                                ... Continue Reading →


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 →


The Hasty Marriage, 1772

An ill-begotten child and an impudent wife. Poor old Dick. - From The Covent Garden Magazine, 1772 *** "The HASTY MARRIAGE. Scarce had five months expir'd, since Dick did wed, When lo! his fruitful wife was brought to bed; How now, cry'd Dick – this is too soon, my Kate; No, Dick, said she, you married... Continue Reading →


The reluctant father: An c18th joke

'A girl big with child had two gallants, one with a wooden leg; the question was put, which, he who had the wooden leg, offered to decide it thus: "If the child (says he) comes into the world with a wooden leg, it is mine, if not it must be yours."'   - from 'The... Continue Reading →


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