A vintage newspaper article, published in The New York Times on June 12, 1884, titled Oat-Meal. This prime example of Victorian sense of humor, calling for the legislature to protect children from the horrors of oatmeal, is a “slice of life” story that reveals much about life in that moment in American history.
It’s Valentine’s Day! Millennials (and old folks like me) understand society’s expectations of how committed couples acknowledge Valentine’s, and how expression of love is done (or we believe should be done). But what about our Victorian ancestors?
How did Victorian Americans say “I love you”? …Or, did they?
Did advice of the era shed light on such matters?
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.
OBSERVATIONS: WIDTH OF A WOMAN’S SKIRT
The humor in a newspaper columnist’s observations taught me plenty about a man’s attitude regarding the width of women’s skirts, comparing the tight fit of the day’s fashions to the wrapping of a mummy or a soaked bathing suit clinging to the unfortunate woman’s form. He infers that the pursuit of fashion is so all-important that the wearers sacrifice comfort, modesty, safety, decency, the capacity to go anywhere by both carriage or the power of one’s own two feet. The Victorian humor in this brief piece published in 1875 is evident!
Shanna Hatfield supports the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, both by spreading the word and with a significant financial donation–and you can help! Shanna explains the true-to-history setting of her Hardman Holiday Series. This ghost town was once a thriving city, and Shanna’s research provides her fiction with a solid setting readers can ‘see’. Shanna Hatfield is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet romance.