Authors’ ideas come from the strangest places. Here, I’ll share one rhetorical question and one brief bit of poetry, both published in USA Victorian-era newspapers (within 6 years of my title’s setting), that contributed to the writing of Isabella’s Calico Groom.
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.
When did Americans begin celebrating the Punxsutawney Phil, acknowledging the groundhog’s emergence from its den…and whether or not it saw its shadow? Is this a new observation, or an old? We know Victorians celebrated a wide variety of holidays we still acknowledge, and some we don’t. Did the Victorians’ superstitions embrace the Groundhog and his Shadow? Come see!
Victorian-era Americans enjoyed holidays–filled with patriotism, fun, remembrance, religion, and fashion. Halloween began far earlier than the 19th century, when All Hallows Eve was a sacred, religious observation. Come catch a glimpse of our Victorian American ancestors’ fun with Halloween: “Hallowe’en Cake” and its fortune telling methods, parlor games filled with superstition, phrasing for party invitations, historical cabinet cards of Victorian Halloween costumes, and more!