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Posts Tagged ‘19th century’

Before I start, I would like to link you to the website Curious Expeditions, which I think is very great and you might think so too.

Mal du Siecle is closely related to Weltschmertz (though the latter seems to have started a little earlier. The most famous sufferer of Weltschmertz is Goethe’s Young Werther.) Both conditions seem to generally occur in sensitive gentlemen who become very sad or passive because they do not feel at home in the current society.

“Mal du siècle, which can be roughly translated from French as “pain of the century,” is a term used to refer to the hopelessness, sadness, disillusionment, and melancholy experienced by primarily young adults of Europe’s late 19th century, when speaking in terms of the rising decadent movement. This may also simply be termed the “ennui.”” (Wikipedia)

“Mal du Siecle is a mood of melancholy and pessimism associated with the poets of the Romantic era that arose from their refusal or inability to adjust to those realities of the world that they saw as destructive of their right to subjectivity and personal freedom—a phenomenon thought to typify Romanticism.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

The sufferers of Mal du Siecle felt that the world was now dominated by money and fame and older aspects, for example honor and beauty, were therefore lost.

Weltschmertz is related to Melancholism, of which Friedrich is a famous protagonist.

A very interesting article on romanticism in France, in French.
An article on Baudelaire’s degeneration theory.

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Victorian health and medicine

Some Victorian trivia

Were left-handed people repressed?

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Coffee appeared in Europe for the first time in the 17th century. Not long after, the example of the Ottoman Empire was followed, and coffee houses were build. The drink and new establishements soon became immensely popular.
The first coffee houses appeared in Venice, due to the trade of this city with the Ottoman Empire. The first coffee house in England was set up in Oxford in 1650 by a man named Jacob, and the first coffeehouse in London was opened in 1652. By the middle of Queen Anne’s reign the number of Coffee Houses in London and Westminster had grown to several hundreds, some imaginative estimates putting the figure at 2,000.

The coffeehouse was not just popular because you could drink coffee there, but also for the many lively debates that were held. Many media historians see the coffeehouse as an important aspect in news and information exchange during the 19th century. It is even said that the idea of the Encyclopedie originated from coffeehouse conversation. It was a place of information exchange, where many pamphlets and international newspapers were available and where you could share your opinion.
Governments weren’t always very happy with this free exchange of ideas: Charles II of England tried to suppress coffeehouses as “places where the disaffected met, and spread scandalous reports concerning the conduct of His Majesty and his Ministers.” Apart from conversation, a lot of business was done in the coffeehouse (in fact, the world-famous Lloyd’s insurance company of today has its roots in early transactions conducted in Lloyd’s coffee house in London,) as well as gambling. Newspapers were read aloud, and discussed afterwards.

At first coffeehouses were social levellers, open to men of any social status. In the mid-18th century the club (There’s a little on clubs in this comment) became more popular for the aristocratic clientele, and afterwards the coffeehouse was frequented more by workers and lowerclass men.

Women, however, were never allowed in coffeehouses because they were supposed to stay at home. The only exception to this rule was the “limonadière”, the lady cashier behind the counter, whose outward appearance could contribute significantly to the popularity of a coffee house. Being an explicitly ‘male’ location, and in view of the double standards by which the middle classes lived, the coffee house had also established itself, even from an early stage, as a place of prostitution. Coffee houses did not open their doors to the female public until the second half of the 19th century. (from here)

Sources & further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_houses
http://www.johann-jacobs-museum.ch/index.php?id=227&L=3
http://www.victorianweb.org/history/clubs.html

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To give you information about Jane Austen in general would be, I guess, a little superfluous. Instead, I’ll link you to my favourite Austen blog, my favourite Austen book, a Jane Austen action figure (!), and the beautiful portrait that was in the news a lot recently.

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As a follow-up to my post about Ludwig II of Bavaria, a post about the castles he built.

I think in his time, Ludwig might be seen in the same manner we regard someone like Michael Jackson, and his castles remind of MJ’s Neverland Ranch.

The most impressive castle is Neuschwanstein, which was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner.

Herrenchiemsee is the biggest palace, but nor very impressive compared to Ludwig’s fairytale-style castles.

The Linderhof is the smallest castle, and the only of his buildings that Ludwig saw completed.  You can clearly see how it was inspired by Louis XIV’s Versailles, in the shape of the castle.

The Königshaus am Schachen is, as the name says, more a house then a castle. It can only be reached after hours of walking. It was officially meant to be a hunter’s resort, but Ludwig used it to celebrate his birthdays.

Castle Falkenstein is a ruin Ludwig bought in 1883, with the intention to transform it into a fairytale castle. However since he died in 1886, the castle was never completed. This is how it was supposed to look when finished:

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Some of you might have seen them already but here are a few Victorian Valentine illustrations.

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First of all, the Victorian Era blog was rated a 9.2 by Blogged.com. Thanks!

Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Bavaria, (August 25, 1845 – June 13, 1886) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death. He is also referred to as the “Swan King” or “der Märchenkönig” (the Fairytale King.)

Ludwig ascended to the Bavarian throne at 18, following his father’s early death. His youth and brooding good looks made him wildly popular in Bavaria and elsewhere. One of the first acts of his reign was to summon opera composer Richard Wagner to his court in Munich. Ludwig had admired Wagner since first seeing his opera, and for the rest of his live he would be Wagners patron and a great influence on his works. King Ludwig lived in a fairytale world, so he felt at home in Wagner’s stormy operas about old mythes and sagas.

At the end of his life, Ludwig was declared insane by his family. Many historians believe that Ludwig was indeed sane, an innocent victim of political intrigue. Others believe he may have suffered from the effects of chloroform used in an effort to control chronic toothache rather than mental illness.

Mystery surrounds Ludwig’s death on Lake Starnberg (then called Lake Würm). On June 13, at 6:30 p.m., Ludwig asked to take a walk with Professor Gudden, the psychiatrist that headed the team of Ludwigs doctors. Gudden agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. King Ludwig and Professor Gudden were found dead floating in the water near the shore of Lake Starnberg at 11:30 p.m.

Mystery! Suspense! Ludwig built many beautiful castles, but I’m saving those for a next post.

Here is an interesting website with an extended biography.
I haven’t read this book but it seems very promising.

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