Posts by Geri Walton

Madame de Staël and Madame Récamier: A True Friendship

Madame de Staël and Madame Récamier became friends when Madame de Staël, whose first name was Germaine, was selling her father’s home in Paris. Her father was Jacques Necker, a prominent and popular banker and statesman who served as Director-General of Finance under Louis XVI. He was selling his rue du Mont Blanc home because…

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Fourth of July: Celebrating Independence Day, 1777-1870

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day as it is sometimes called, did not become an official federal holiday anywhere in the United States until the U.S. Congress declared it as such on 28 June 1870 along with three other federal holidays, Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. Part of the reason it took so long…

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Maria Mitchell: First Woman Astronomer in America

The first woman astronomer in America was Maria Mitchell. She was born on 1 August 1818 at No. 1 Vestal Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts, a year or so after Jane Austen died in Winchester, England. Maria’s father was William Mitchell, a cooper who then became a schoolteacher and her mother, Lydia Coleman, a library worker.…

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Bonesetters: Joint Manipulators and Musculoskeletal Fixers

Bonesetters of the 1700s and 1800s were like today’s chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists rolled into one. They practiced joint manipulation and fixed musculoskeletal injuries using manual force. Traditionally, these practitioners did not have formal medical training but rather learned their skills on their own or from their family with bone-setting knowledge being passed down…

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Chateau de Saint-Cloud in the 1700s and 1800s

The Chateau de Saint-Cloud was built on a woody hill that overlooked the left bank of the Seine River about three miles west of Paris. It had been expanded by Phillipe of France, Duke of Orléans in the seventeen century and was in the hands of the Orléans family until protracted negotiations were undertaken by…

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Jane Cakebread: The Drunkest Woman in the World

Jane Cakebread, or “Miss Cakebread” as she liked to call herself, was a homeless and destitute woman considered the drunkest woman in the world in the 1800s. That was because she broke all records being arrested hundreds of times and convicted an amazing 281 times for drunkenness. Her constant drunkenness also meant that she constantly…

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Female Prisoners at Newgate and Elizabeth Fry

There were many female prisoners at Newgate during the 1700 and 1800s. Part of the reason why is that the living standards for rural women in England and Wales appears to have worsened as the Industrial Revolution progressed. This may have been one reason why one study provided by Stephen Nicholas and Deborah Oxley titled…

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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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