Posts by Geri Walton

Fans Related to Napoleon

The popularity of fans coincided with Napoleon’s popularity of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In fact, there were numerous fans related to Napoleon, and in France, “of the two hundred engravings deposited in the Biblothéque Nationale in … [1796] a hundred and fourteen were fan-designs mostly in praise of Napoleon.”[1] These fans also…

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Frances Nelson the Wife of Horatio Nelson

Frances “Fanny” Herbert Woolward was born on the small prosperous Caribbean island of Nevis that functioned under a slave economy on its sugar estates. Her parents were members of the colonial elite: Her mother, Mary Herbert, died while she was a child, and, her father, William Woolward, died of tetanus in February 1779.

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France’s First Serial Killer Martin Dumollard

Frances’s first serial killer Martin Dumollard was discovered after he attempted to murder a young servant from Lyons named Marie Pichon. Although the murder happened in France, his story was particularly appealing to people in England and of the incident the Norfolk Chronicle reported:

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Victorian Era Ragged Schools

Victorian era Ragged Schools were charitable organizations established around the 1840s and dedicated to the free education of society’s most destitute children in Britain. The schools combined a free education, food, clothing, lodging, religious instruction, and other home missionary services as required for poor children. The idea of ragged schools was to educate children and…

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Eighteenth Century Fans

Archaeological ruins and ancient texts indicate that fans have long been popular and could be found in ancient cultures. However, once fans were introduced to Europe, they quickly became popular and it was also not long before France became the center for fan design and production. By the eighteenth century, fans in France had reached…

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The Trials and Travails of Victorian Train Travel

Today’s guest is Bob Brooke. He is an avid collector of antiques and collectibles and has written about them. His articles have appeared in many antiques and consumer publications, including British Heritage, AntiqueWeek, American Antiquities Journal, and Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine, and he has published two books. Today, he has chosen to write on…

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The Unusual Occupation of the Leech Collectors or Leech Gatherers

One unusual and interesting occupation of in the 1700 and 1800s was performed by leech collectors or leech gatherers who obtained leeches for medicinal purposes. Leeches were used in bloodletting and were not particularly easy for physicians to obtain, which in part was why leech collectors gathered them. Moreover, both France and England imported millions…

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The French Executioner Charles-Henri Sanson

The French executioner Charles-Henri Sanson was born on 15 February 1739 and served as the royal execution during the reign of King Louis XVI and High Executioner during the First French Republic. He administered capital punishment in the city of Paris for over forty years and executed nearly 3,000 people, including King Louis XVI. He…

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