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Harriet Howard: Mistress to Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)

By Geri Walton | January 11, 2021

Harriet Howard was born in 1823 as Elizabeth Ann Haryett. She was the daughter of a boot maker who made fashionable footwear for the British aristocracy and in addition her grandfather owned the Castle Hotel in Brighton. It was a coastal resort situated on the southern coast of England where people like Jane Austen and…

Decorative Hair Combs of the 19th Century

By Geri Walton | January 4, 2021

Decorative hair combs date to the earliest of times and were created from all sorts of materials. For instance, ancient combs were made from wood, bones, ivory, feathers, and other natural type materials. Sometimes they were “studded” with gems or painted with designs. These early decorative hair combs were also often flat in construction but…

Mark Twain: Interesting Facts About Samuel Clemens

By Geri Walton | November 30, 2020

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was called “the father of American literature,”[1] by William Faulkner and noted to “unhesitatingly be called ‘all-American’”[2] partly because of his famous novels that include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel,…

Great Blizzard of 1888: The Great White Hurricane

By Geri Walton | November 16, 2020

The Great Blizzard of 1888, also known as the Great White Hurricane, was one of the most severe recorded blizzards in American history. Snow fell from 10 to 58 inches and sustained winds reached more than 45 miles per hour producing snowdrifts more than 50 feet high. The storm paralyzed the East Coast from Chesapeake…

Thomas Neill Cream: Lambeth Poisoner and Serial Killer

By Geri Walton | November 9, 2020

Thomas Neill Cream, also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, was a Scottish-Canadian serial killer of the late 1800s. His first known victims lived in the United States and the rest were residents of Great Britain. However, there is also the possibility some of his victims lived in Canada.

Madame Moustache: The Notorious Life of Eleanor Dumont

By Geri Walton | November 2, 2020

The initial beginning of Madame Moustache remains conjecture but what is known is that she arrived in Nevada City, California in 1854. At the time she was about 20 years old. Her reason for being there was that she was hoping to capitalize on the fascination held by the rough-and-tumble men of the West for…

Mary Ann Cotton: Female Serial Killer of the 1800s

By Geri Walton | October 26, 2020

Mary Ann Cotton was an English serial killer convicted of poisoning her stepson Charles Edward Cotton in 1872. She supposedly did it using arsenic, a terrible poison that causes intense gastric pain and results in a rapid decline of health. He was not her only victim as it is likely she also murdered a total…

Wyld’s Great Globe: A 1850s and 1860s London Attraction

By Geri Walton | October 19, 2020

Wyld’s Great Globe, also known as Wyld’s Globe or Wyld’s Monster Globe, was a world globe that served as an attraction in London’s Leicester Square between 1851 and 1862. It was constructed based on the ideas of James Wyld, a British geographer and map-seller, who was the oldest son of James Wyld the elder and…

Ina Coolbrith: First California Poet Laureate

By Geri Walton | October 12, 2020

Ina Coolbrith was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, and christened Josephine Donna Smith on 10 March 1841. Her parents were Agnes Moulton Coolbrith and Don Carlos Smith, youngest brother to the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith. Unfortunately, Don Carlos died of tuberculosis four months after Josephine’s birth and her…

Château de Rambouillet, the Estate, and its History

By Geri Walton | October 5, 2020

The Château de Rambouillet also known in English as the Castle of Rambouillet, is a château in the town of Rambouillet in northern France about 31 miles southwest of Paris. It was originally a fortified manor that dates to 1368. King Francis I died there in 1547 and during the reign of Louis XVIII it…