Category: Victorian

Unlucky Friday 13th, 1899

Friday 13th today, and I started wondering how long this idea of an unlucky tradition had been around. It sounds ancient, and apparently does have medieval origins in that, at least, Fridays and the...

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Dinner, 1835

I was pretty pleased recently to buy a 1904 Cassell’s Public Library edition of Charles Dickens pieces for 10p – from Henry Bohn Books in Liverpool, one of my favourite shops in the world....

Bad Breasts, 1872

I do love an advert for a Victorian “cure-all”. Here we have Holloway’s Ointment in an advert from 1872. It claims to cure (deep breath) – coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, irregular action of the...

Allergies in the Past

Allergic reactions are on the increase in all parts of the developed world – asthma, hay-fever and food allergies are all more common than they used to be, although no-one has a definitive answer...

Oddities, 1841

I love picking a newspaper at random from the British Newspaper Archive and reading it all – or nearly all, tiny print in the older papers is tough on the eyes, even with some...

The Bullingdon Club, 1894

After Cambridge’s Footlights, Oxford’sĀ all-male Bullingdon Club is probably the most famous student club going. Cambridge wins the clubs, I think. Bullingdon originated in the Eighteenth Century as a sports club for the elite, focussing...

The Peculiar People, 1870

One of my husband’s most often-uttered phrases is “that’s a good name for a band!” (Being a heavy metaller, though, he generally has very different ideas to me on what might make a good...