Dating disasters of the Regency era

Confession: First Dates is my televisual jam. (For the uninitiated, in brief: strangers are set up on dates at a London restaurant by a suave Frenchman called Fred {above}, said date is filmed, & they are then subjected to having their dating style reviewed. It’s hugely high-brow.) From teenagers looking for their first love to... Continue Reading →


Miss Wish-Husband & The Old Maid’s Advice, 1748

Today it occurred to me that if I were living in the eighteenth century I would be quite firmly set in the realm of confirmed spinster. Setting any associated nervous breakdown aside for the moment, I feel compelled to console myself by sharing this (awful) advice of an Old Maid from the 1740s. The social position of... Continue Reading →

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 →


Learning to love yourself… it is the greatest love of all (1775)

And I think this bloke has got it covered. - Print probably from The Matrimonial Magazine, c.1775. Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library


If Georgian England’s single ladies were in charge… (1800)

Knowing how consumed most single ladies were with the mission of securing a husband, just imagine what harassment England's bachelors might have been subjected to if the women were given charge of romantic proceedings. The Leap Year tradition of allowing women to make their own amorous advances clearly played on the mind of one print-maker... Continue Reading →


A peep inside a bachelor pad, 1752

I once had the pleasure of living in a house with 5 boys. It was an eye-opening, stomach-turning sort of experience.* The bachelor pad – rarely lauded as a palace of hygiene and grace – has horrified genteel ladies (such as myself, *cough*) for centuries. The following verse was written in 1752 "in Answer to 'The... Continue Reading →


The Ruined Girl, 1786

THE RUINED GIRL. 'Oh! fatal Day when to my Virtues wrong, I fondly listen'd to his flattering Tongue, But oh! more fatal Moment when he gain'd, That vile Consent which all my Glory staind.' In this print of 1786, a young woman of some fashion appears to have received a letter from her beau, informing... Continue Reading →


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