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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The Kiss of the 1800s and Tales Associated with It

A kiss is the touching or pressing of one’s lips against another person and the romantic kiss of the 1800s was much like a romantic kiss of today, one that expresses sentiments of love, attraction, affection, romance, or passion. Author Kristoffer Nyrop in his 1901 book, The Kiss and Its History, had a lot to…

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The Importance of Bees to Napoleon Bonaparte

The importance of bees to Napoleon Bonaparte became obvious when he decided to adopt this ancient symbol older than the fleur-de-lys. Supposedly, when Napoleon thought about wearing the imperial purple, he decided to adopt the bee based on the following story:

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Glossary for Fans

Fans were popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and this glossary for fans provides definitions for styles, parts, techniques, and materials used in the creation of them during this period.

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Felix Nadar’s Giant Balloon or Le Géant

Felix Nadar’s giant balloon, or as it was christened, Le Géant, made its debut on Sunday 4 October 1863 in Paris in the Champ de Mars when it launched at 5pm. The promoter of this enormous balloon was Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, better known by the pseudonym Nadar. He had made history in 1853 when he took…

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10 Facts About Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel with a protagonist named Elizabeth Bennett and her love interest, the aloof but handsome Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. The book was first published on 28 January 1813 by bookseller and publisher Thomas Egerton. It was preceded by Sense and Sensibility and followed by Mansfield Park, but Pride…

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The Literary Madman Gérard de Nerval

The literary madman Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French writer, poet, essayist, and translator Gérard Labrunie. He was a major figure of French romanticism and is best known for his poems and novellas. He was interested in literature from a young age and at 16 wrote a poem about Napoleon’s defeat called…

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Mid-nineteenth Century Jardin des Plantes

The mid-nineteenth century Jardin des Plantes or the Jardin des Plantes de Paris was France’s main botanical garden. It was founded in 1626 and originally known as the Jardin du Roi. However, in 1635, Louis XIII’s physician, Guy de La Brosse, planted medicinal herbs in it, and it opened to the public in 1640.

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1802 Parisian Millinery Fashions According to English Newspapers

Parisian millinery fashions in 1802 were something that English newspapers always remarked about because the most fashionable of women knew that they could not be seen without the proper hat when they hit the streets. Newspapers loved to provide all the details related to the last fashions, and millinery was no exception. However, because fashions…

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