People

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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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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Laura Bell Courtesan and Preacher

Laura Eliza Jane Seymour Bell was born in 1829 in Glenavy in Northern Ireland to Captain R. H. Bell, who managed Hertford’s Antrim estates, and to the illegitimate daughter of Lord Hertford. Laura who supposedly had an unsupervised childhood, eventually moved to Belfast. There she worked as a shop assistant but was alleged to have…

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Napoleon’s 13-year-old Friend Betsy Balcombe on St. Helena

Napoleon’s voyage into exile ended on 15 October 1815 at half past ten when the Northumberland anchored at St. Helena. That night he slept aboard the ship and on the morning of the 17th, he traveled to Longwood House, the residence of the lieutenant-governor that was designated as Napoleon’s future residence. He seemed satisfied with…

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Van Hare the Ultimate Showman of the 1800s

G. Van Hare was the ultimate showman of the 1800s and traveled to nearly every European country during his fifty-year career. In his travels he experienced an endless string of odd adventures and unusual experiences that included interesting incidences with not only people but also dogs, lions, and a gorilla. One interesting story about Van…

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George Cruikshank the Caricature Artist and Humorist

George Cruikshank, the caricature artist and humorist, was born in London on a Thursday on 27 September. His mother was Mary Macnaughten and his father, Isaac Cruikshank, a leading caricaturist of the late 1790s. Mary and Isaac had five children: two died in infancy and then there was artist Isaac Robert born in 1789, George…

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Francis Tussaud: Madame Tussaud’s Son

Francis (François in French) Tussaud was Madame Tussaud‘s son. He was born to her and her husband François on a Saturday, 2 August 1800. Two years later, Madame Tussaud decided to promote her waxworks in England, and she left her son Francis behind in the care of her husband, mother, and aunt, and took her…

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What Did Jane Austen Look Like?

There are few images of Jane Austen drawn when she was alive, and because she never sat for a professional portrait, people often wonder what did Jane Austen look like? To answer this question, there are some published descriptions by those who knew her best. One description of Jane comes from a relative of Anne…

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