Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘history’

I just finished reading The Glass of Time by author Michael Cox. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised! Usually I’m not a big fan of modern Victorian literature (mostly because it’s done badle quite often) but The Glass of Time makes a very nice read.

The book’s main character is Esperanza Gorst, who is send to serve as a lady’s maid to Baroness Tansor, by her mysterious Madame. By way of three letters, it is revealed to Esperanza why she is in the household and what her task is. During the course of the book, many secrets are revealed, some murders are witnessed, the beautiful architecture of the setting is described in detail, and we get to see some nineteenth-century London.
While the book at times tries to imitate actual nineteenth century literature, it’s a lot quicker than period literature and therefore makes a nice, easy read. In fact, I stayed up ’till late at night to find out whether Esperanza would succeed in her task! Definitely recommended.

The book’s not out yet but it’s up for preorder here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

King Louis Philippe once said to me that he attributed the great success of the British nation in political life to their talking politics after dinner. (source)

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS (born Benjamin D’Israeli; 21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881), was a British Conservative statesman and literary figure. He served in government for three decades, twice as Prime Minister—the first and thus far only Jewish person to do so (although Disraeli was baptised in the Anglican Church at 13). Disraeli’s greatest lasting achievement was the creation of the modern Conservative Party after the Corn Laws schism of 1846.


An interesting (long!) article on dandyism.net

—————————————————————————————
Unrelated: If you are into history blogs and websites, check out this great article, listing one hundred history blogs. It’s quite a collection!

Read Full Post »

Cannibalism

For those of you with a strong stomach or a bit of a morbid curiosity, here are some wikipedia links on cannibalism in the nineteenth century. There was quite a lot of cases of cannibalism in the nineteenth century, mostly by shipwrecked sailors.

The Boyd Massacre
The Boyd massacre took place in 1809, when local Maori killed 66 people at Whangaroa, a northern New Zealand harbour, as revenge for the crew of the ship The Boyd whipping the son of a chief who refused to work.
Read more

The Cospatrick
The Cospatrick was a sailing ship that was the victim of one of the worst shipping disasters to a merchant ship during the 19th century. The ship caught fire south of the Cape of Good Hope on 17 November 1874 while on a voyage from Gravesend, England to Auckland, New Zealand. Only 3 of 472 persons on board at the time ultimately survived.
Read more

Dalles des Morts
Dalles des Morts, also known as Death Rapids in English, was a famously bad stretch of the Columbia River upstream from Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada, now submerged beneath the waters of the Lake Revelstoke Reservoir.
Read more

The Donner Party
The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the “westering fever” of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism.
Read more

The whaleship Essex
The whaleship Essex left Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1819 on a voyage in the whaling grounds of the South Pacific to hunt sperm whales. On November 20, 1820, the Essex was struck two times by a sperm whale. The ship sank 2,000 miles (3,700 km) west of the western coast of South America. The twenty sailors set out in three small whaleboats, with wholly inadequate supplies of food and water, and landed on uninhabited Henderson Island.
Read more

The Medusa
The Medusa (original French name: La Méduse) was a French frigate that gained notoriety when it struck the Bank of Arguin off the coast of Senegal in 1816, resulting in the catastrophic evacuation of its company, and one of the most infamous shipwrecks of the Age of Sail.
Read more

Read Full Post »

Southern Gothic literature builds on the traditions of the larger Gothic genre, typically including supernatural elements, mental disease, and the grotesque. Much Southern Gothic literature, however, eschews the supernatural and deals instead with disturbed personalities. Southern Gothic is known for its damaged and delusional characters, such as the heroines of Tennessee Williams’ plays. Instead of perpetuating romanticized stereotypes of the Antebellum South, Southern Gothic literature often brings the stock characters of melodrama and Gothic novels to a Southern context.

My favourite writer was only born three years before the end of the nineteenth century, so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting it here.

William Faulkner is an American fiction writer whose work is deeply rooted in the Southern United States, particularly in his home state of Mississippi. William Faulkner, who lived from 1897 to 1962, had a unique, stream-of-consciousness writing style and was far more experimental with his texts than many of his fellow writers were. Though relatively unknown for much of his career, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. Today, William Faulkner is considered to be one of America’s greatest Southern writers, along with Mark Twain.

Probably his most well-known story is “A Rose for Emily,” which is both romantic and creepy. You can read it online, here.

Read Full Post »

Aubrey Beardsley was so extravagantly foppish, so precious in his speech and so languid in his posturings that Oscar Wilde claimed him for his own invention

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898) was an influential English illustrator, and author. Beardsley was born in Brighton. In 1883 his family settled in London, and in the following year he appeared in public as an “infant musical phenomenon,” playing at several concerts with his sister. He attended Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School in 1884, and in 1888 he obtained a post in an architect’s office, and afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company. In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art,

He was aligned with the Yellow Book coterie of artists and writers. He was an art editor for the first four editions and produced many illustrations for the magazine. He was also closely aligned with Aestheticism, the British counterpart of Decadence and Symbolism.

Aubrey Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work.

(From here)

A gallery of his work

A sad story about his final days.

His writings and drawings in a book, free to read online

Read Full Post »

I wanted to write this out but fashion-era’s site is very comprehensible. So here are three links which will show you how hair was worn during the nineteenth century!

1800-1840

1840-1870

1870-1899

A site with many articles on everything hat-related:

Victorian Hats

“Wearing every article of the same colour is fashionable only on condition the strictest uniformity of tone is maintained. “There is nothing more distressing than seeing a dress of deep blue, inclining to purple, with a bonnet with sky-blue ribbons.”

Beauty advice from a 1863 Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine.

———————————————————————————
Unrelated: Catherine Sherman posted a review on a book which seems very interesting: Kate Summerscale’s “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.” you can read the review here. The book is a detective novel, set in 1860. It’s definitely on my to-read list! (On Amazon)

Read Full Post »

Many people with an interest in 19th century literature will have read some Oscar Wilde (or at least seen a movie adaption), but have you read the fairytales? Wilde’s fairytale are unlike most fairytales. They feature beautiful boys, and very sad endings.

During the 18th century, rational and Enlightened thinking was valued, and folk legends and fairytales were not popular at all. However in 1823, with the publication of Edgar Taylor’s translation of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, (translated as German Popular Stories ), fairy tales became, almost overnight, a respectable study for antiquarians, an inspiration for poets, and a permissible source of wonder for the young (from csulb.net)

Wilde wrote subversively to undermine stereotypical Victorian values. “He clearly wanted to subvert the messages conveyed by [Hans] Andersen’s tales, but more important his poetical style recalled the rhythms and language of the Bible in order to counter the stringent Christian code” (from csulb.net)

A (bit lengthy) essay on the fairytales and how Wilde’s psyche can be known through them

Read some stories online

My favourite part, which shows the unexpected edge to the fairytales, is from “The Star-Child:”

And they fell on his neck and kissed him, and brought him into the palace and clothed him in fair raiment, and set the crown upon his head, and the sceptre in his hand, and over the city that stood by the river he ruled, and was its lord. Much justice and mercy did he show to all, […] taught love and loving-kindness and charity, and to the poor he gave bread, and to the naked he gave raiment, and there was peace and plenty in the land.
Yet ruled he not long, so great had been his suffering, and so bitter the fire of his testing, for after the space of three years he died. And he who came after him ruled evilly.

——————————————————————

More or less related, if you are interested in reading, books, and studying online and connecting with other bibliophiles, check out this great site which has links to pretty much anything book-related:
100 Places to connect with bibliophiles online

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »