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18th Century Calcutta: Life for the British

By Geri Walton | January 13, 2020

Exactly what British life in 18th century Calcutta was like varied. It was often dependent upon a person’s job or status within the East India Company (EIC). Some Englishmen prospered significantly under the EIC and returned to Britain with great wealth, which allowed them to establish sprawling estates, create lucrative business, and gain political power.

What Marie Antoinette Wore in the Eighteenth Century

By Geri Walton | January 10, 2020

In the eighteenth century everyone talked about what Marie Antoinette wore and she came to be perceived by the French public as a trendsetter in fashion. However, because France began to face economic woes, Frenchmen began to think of her as frivolous and immoral and they ultimately came to despise her labeling her “Madame Deficit,”…

Elizabeth Ross: Convicted Burkeite and Murderess

By Geri Walton | January 6, 2020

Thirty-eight-year-old Elizabeth Ross was the common law wife of fifty-year-old Edward Cook, and therefore, sometimes called Mrs. Cook. The couple lived with their 12-year-old son Edward, known as Ned, in a one room apartment in Goodman’s Yard, where they had recently moved. As the couple knew 84-year-old Caroline Walsh they encouraged her to move nearby.…

Twelve Popular History Posts for 2019

By Geri Walton | January 3, 2020

The year 2019 was a great year. My book, shown on the right, was published on Madame Tussaud through Pen and Sword. I also had some posts that were extremely popular with readers. Here are twelve of them from 2019 in case you missed them:

Christmas Shopping: A Victorian Thought on It

By Geri Walton | December 6, 2019

The Victorian Era involved Christmas shopping during the holiday season, which in turn resulted in newspapers publishing all sorts of articles about shoppers and Christmas gifts. Here is one nineteenth-century person’s version from 1884 and presented here almost verbatim:

British Social Life in India in the 18th Century

By Geri Walton | December 2, 2019

British social life in India during the 18th century was filled with numerous activities for those who worked for the East India Company (EIC). Among the British living in India were many well-to-do bachelors who were senior officials of the EIC. James Mackintosh wrote about them in his Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa 1771-81…

Thanksgiving Day: Sarah Josepha Hale’s Campaign

By Geri Walton | November 22, 2019

Thanksgiving Day in America exists primarily because of Sara Josepha Hale’s tireless campaign to create it. Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire, to Captain Gordon Buell, a Revolutionary war veteran, and Martha Whittlesay Buell. Her family annually celebrated a Thanksgiving holiday, just as she did after she met and married David Hale in 1811,…

Banyans: Garments that 18th Century Gentlemen Loved

By Geri Walton | November 18, 2019

Banyans were garments that became popular with gentlemen in the 18th century. They were oriental in style being influenced by Persian and Asian clothing and called morning gowns, robe de chambres, wrappers, or nightgowns. However, “by the year 1730 certainly, and possibly earlier, these Indian gowns had become known generally by the name banyan, banjan,…

Point Breeze Estate or Joseph Bonaparte’s Park

By Geri Walton | November 15, 2019

Joseph Bonaparte, older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, ending up owning the Point Breeze estate, or Bonaparte’s Park, in New Jersey after he took refuge in America in 1815. How it happened begins several years earlier when Joseph and Napoleon were looking at a map of the United States. At the time Napoleon was supposedly thinking…

Nellie Bly: Pioneer of Investigative Journalism

By Geri Walton | November 11, 2019

Nellie Bly was christened Elizabeth Jane Cochran on 5 May 1864, but when her father died six years later, her life drastically changed. Her father, Michael Cochran, started out as a laborer and mill worker but later became a merchant, postmaster, and associate justice at Pennsylvania’s Cochran’s Mills (which was named for him). He also…