The Art of Courtship: Vintage wisdom relayed from the mid-nineteenth century to a newspaperman thirty years later (in 1887) sheds light on choosing a wife, beginning a courtship, different types of girls (shy, coquette [flirt], “vidders” [widows], and old maids, etc.). Victorian attitudes are prevalent, including the general idea that the sick and infirm aren’t suitable to marriage (think of the children!). Everything you wished your great-great grandpa had told you about courting… and more.
In 1905, The Courier of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania published an article detailing a “Correspondence” Courtship Scam. A young, innocent girl lost more than her heart, more than $1,000 (a fortune in today’s dollar)–she lost her confidence and her trust in humanity.
In Part 2 of this blog series, I share 70 newspaper clippings from Victorian America, wherein reports abound that husbands have sold their wives. Prices range from $0.05 (5 cents) to thousands of dollars (US, Victorian). I provided price comparisons, just for impact. Throughout, I provided my opinions regarding TRUTH or JOKE. Ultimately, there had to be some of both. What a bizarre practice!
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.
In 1893, expectations surrounding courtship made it improper for a couple to show affection for one another in public. Baltimore apparently outlawed simple signs of affection in their city parks, raising the alarm in New York City where Central Park was a key location for courting couples to go about their courtship (which included simple things like sitting on a bench together, a man’s arm about his sweetheart’s waist). This article includes a newspaperman’s interview with two different Central Park policemen, one who favored strict laws prohibiting such displays of affection and one who was most tolerant. Step back in time and enjoy an entire vintage newspaper article and historic images of Central Park in the late 19th century.