America/United States

Socialite Madame Récamier: Interesting Facts About Her

Socialite Madame Récamier, also known as Juliette Récamier, was a native of Lyon, France born on 3 December 1777. She was the only child of Jean Bernard, a King’s counselor, and his wife Julie Matton. She went on to marry one of the richest men in France, a banker named Jacques-Rose Récamier. She made a…

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Typhus in the Day of Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Typhus is an infectious disease caused by rickettsiae that can be transmitted by lice, ticks, mites, or rat fleas and is caused by certain types of bacterial infection. It usually causes flu-like symptoms that result in headache and fever, sometimes accompanied by delirium. The characteristics of the disease were further explained in a health column…

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Masks in the 1800s for Safety and Health

Just like we are wearing masks today to prevent the spread of covid-19, in the 1800s people wore masks but they did not necessarily wear them to protect against infection. Most masks in the 1800s were designed to protect people against eye or facial injuries. However, that would change by the end of the 1800s…

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Madame Juliette Récamier: Her Allure and Beauty

Madame Juliette Récamier was a socialite whose loveliness was internationally hailed. Many people mentioned her beauty. Among them was her adopted daughter, Marie Josephine Cyvoct who took the name Amélie and later became Madame Lenormant. She described her adopted mother in glowing terms stating:

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Patriot’s Disappearance and Theodosia Burr Alston

The Patriot’s disappearance in 1813 remains a mystery that has never been solved. Socialite Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of Aaron Burr, U.S. Vice-president to Thomas Jefferson, was the most notable of those aboard when it disappeared. She had married Joseph Alston, a wealthy landowner from South Carolina, who eventually became the 44th governor of…

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Arsenic in the 1800s: A Dangerous Poison

Arsenic in the 1800s was sometimes called “white arsenic.” It was used in diverse ways by women to beautify themselves. For instance, women like French socialite Madame Récamier, who had pale creamy complexions were envied, and women who wanted to achieve the same look as Madame Récamier would rub arsenic onto their faces and arms…

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William Morgan: The Disappearance of an Anti-Mason

William Morgan was a resident of Batavia, New York. He was also a bricklayer and stonemason and was married with a wife and two children. In addition, Morgan was friends with David C. Miller, a local newspaper publisher, who was attempting to keep his paper afloat. Because Morgan was indigent, he hit on a plan…

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Left-Handers of the 1700s and 1800s: The Famous and Infamous

There are many famous and infamous left-handers of the 1700s and 1800s. However, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries being left-handed was often viewed as a defect. For example, in The Maternal Physician published in 1818 by American Mary Palmer Tyler, a thirty-five-year-old matron who published one of the first childcare manuals, talked about the…

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Laudanum: An 18th and 19th Century Wonder Drug

Laudanum is a tincture of opium and was considered a wonder drug in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries. Reddish-brown and extremely bitter, it contained almost all opium alkaloids, including morphine and codeine and was therefore used to treat many conditions. However, it was primarily used as a pain medication and cough suppressant.

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Harry T Hayward: Socialite, Arsonist, and Murderer

Harry T Hayward may have been a socialite, but he was also an arsonist and murderer. From a phrenologist’s point of view he was deemed at the time to be a “man of low type, the lower face being especially heavy, while the rear top head presents the gable conformation characteristics of the criminal class.”[1]…

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