Victorian America: Women Control Happiness At Home

Victorian America: Women Control Happiness At Home

Vintage newspaper articles from 1827 and 1876 illustrate the Victorian-era attitude regarding a woman’s work within the home. Far more than meal preparation and child-rearing, these brief statements memorialize the era’s viewpoint of differences between men and women, and the wife’s cherished role as confidante, partner in sorrows and joys, whose feminine endowment brings “exquisite tact which rounds the sharp corners, and softens the asperities of different characters, enabling people differing most widely to live together in peace…”

Sweet Romance: 99-cent special!

Sweet Romance: 99-cent special!

USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has a well-loved book on sale! Hurry–the price reduction lasts only through Tuesday, May 23rd. This 99-cent sale is available at all major eBook retailers.

This Day in History: May 21

This Day in History: May 21

One hundred and thirty-seven years ago, today, was May 21, 1880. Three newspapers (two from Kansas and one from Louisiana) covered three timely subjects–two of which surprised me deeply. One–Leap Year–I knew about and had become comfortable with. But wait until you see the other two. Technology in 1880 was far more advanced than I realized…you might be equally surprised.

Corsets: Tight Lacing! (1879)

Corsets: Tight Lacing! (1879)

An unnamed Dress Reformer, utterly against “tight lacing” (corsets), uses the art of poetry to explain that everything that ills a woman–from her attitude to her nature, from length of life to a red-tipped nose–is all a result of the ill-fated habit of tightly cinched corsets. This vintage newspaper publication is an example of the American Victorian’s use of humor to blame fashion on craziness with a price too steep to pay.

Defect in Form: Evils of Tight Lacing (a.k.a. Corsets), 1897

Defect in Form: Evils of Tight Lacing (a.k.a. Corsets), 1897

Despite the voice of reason from scientists of the day, medical doctors, dress reformers, nineteenth century women continued to cling to advertisements claiming health depended upon corsets and laced tightly to achieve the beautiful figure they desired. Advertisements didn’t promote mere beauty–they went so far as to claim health. A newspaper article published in Chicago Daily Tribune of Chicago, Illinois, on April 24, 1897 spoke of Roentgen’s Light–X-rays–and the malformation caused by lacing. Today, the argument seems sound, prudent, and almost laughable that anyone fell for corsets.

Potato Chips in the Old West

Potato Chips in the Old West

Potato Chips are an American (and world-wide) favorite. Invented by accident–or should we say “accidentally-on-purpose”?–these potato crisps first graced the table of an elite resort in 1853 in upstate New York. News of the “invention” spread far and fast, and quickly became part of every homemaker’s repertoire, available on grocer’s shelves, served in restaurants, peddled by salesmen, and inspired further inventions.

Truth in Courtship: 1865

Truth in Courtship: 1865

An 1865 newspaper article persuades all young people to tell the truth in courtship, and attempts to convince all readers of the stark benefits, compared to disastrous tragedies, when his advice is ignored. A powerful view into Victorian history and attitudes about courtship and marriage.

World Book and Copyright Day: April 23rd

World Book and Copyright Day: April 23rd

World Book (and Copyright) Day is relatively new (about 20 years old) and celebrates books, literature, authors, writing–and most importantly, READING, worldwide. Because of loose literary connections in history, April 23rd, each year, is the official day. What will you do to take note of this holiday?

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