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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Porcelain and Madame de Pompadour

Today’s guest is Nancy Bilyeau. She has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at City University of New York and a regular contributor to Town & Country, Purist, and The Vintage News. She…

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Massarti the Lion Tamer Killed in 1872 by His Lions

Manders’ Menagerie was a traveling circus that relied on Massarti the Lion Tamer for one of their most famous acts. Massarti, who was born Thomas Macarte* in Cork around 1838, had been hired by Mr. Manders in 1871 to replace the African lion tamer, Martini Maccomo,** allegedly a native of Angola who had arrived in…

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Humorous and Cheeky New Year’s Resolutions from Punch in 1889

Punch; or, The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humor and satire established in 1841 that helped to coin the term “cartoon” in its modern sense. The magazine also offered its satirical viewpoint and because of its its sophisticated humor and absence of offensive material, other papers ran small pieces from the magazine…

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Christmas Crime in the Victorian Era

The holidays of the late 1900s were often thought of as a time of cheer, but along with that cheer came Christmas crime in the Victorian Era. It was plentiful and resulted in anything but peace on earth. Perhaps, that was why the following Christmas card, although wishing Christmas cheer, displays a dead bird.

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French Masquerade Ball Costumes in the 1700 and 1800s

There are many descriptions of what people wore in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in France. Some of these descriptions were printed in books about acceptable masquerade ball costumes that could be worn to dances and parties. Descriptions also sometimes included actual fashions worn by peasants, gentlemen, ladies, merveilleuses, incroyables, and nobility. Here are some…

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Napoleon’s Coronation

Because there were so many attempts on Napoleon’s life, it was decided there needed to be an institution that would survive him, and, thus, the idea of a monarchy was re-born and Napoleon was proclaimed “Emperor of the French” by his hand-picked Senate, known as the Sénat conservator. The hereditary title was given him on…

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