France

Fourth of July: Celebrating Independence Day, 1777-1870

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day as it is sometimes called, did not become an official federal holiday anywhere in the United States until the U.S. Congress declared it as such on 28 June 1870 along with three other federal holidays, Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. Part of the reason it took so long…

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Bonesetters: Joint Manipulators and Musculoskeletal Fixers

Bonesetters of the 1700s and 1800s were like today’s chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists rolled into one. They practiced joint manipulation and fixed musculoskeletal injuries using manual force. Traditionally, these practitioners did not have formal medical training but rather learned their skills on their own or from their family with bone-setting knowledge being passed down…

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Chateau de Saint-Cloud in the 1700s and 1800s

The Chateau de Saint-Cloud was built on a woody hill that overlooked the left bank of the Seine River about three miles west of Paris. It had been expanded by Phillipe of France, Duke of Orléans in the seventeen century and was in the hands of the Orléans family until protracted negotiations were undertaken by…

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Socialite Madame Récamier: Interesting Facts About Her

Socialite Madame Récamier, also known as Juliette Récamier, was a native of Lyon, France born on 3 December 1777. She was the only child of Jean Bernard, a King’s counselor, and his wife Julie Matton. She went on to marry one of the richest men in France, a banker named Jacques-Rose Récamier. She made a…

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Typhus in the Day of Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Typhus is an infectious disease caused by rickettsiae that can be transmitted by lice, ticks, mites, or rat fleas and is caused by certain types of bacterial infection. It usually causes flu-like symptoms that result in headache and fever, sometimes accompanied by delirium. The characteristics of the disease were further explained in a health column…

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Masks in the 1800s for Safety and Health

Just like we are wearing masks today to prevent the spread of covid-19, in the 1800s people wore masks but they did not necessarily wear them to protect against infection. Most masks in the 1800s were designed to protect people against eye or facial injuries. However, that would change by the end of the 1800s…

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Madame Juliette Récamier: Her Allure and Beauty

Madame Juliette Récamier was a socialite whose loveliness was internationally hailed. Many people mentioned her beauty. Among them was her adopted daughter, Marie Josephine Cyvoct who took the name Amélie and later became Madame Lenormant. She described her adopted mother in glowing terms stating:

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Patriot’s Disappearance and Theodosia Burr Alston

The Patriot’s disappearance in 1813 remains a mystery that has never been solved. Socialite Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of Aaron Burr, U.S. Vice-president to Thomas Jefferson, was the most notable of those aboard when it disappeared. She had married Joseph Alston, a wealthy landowner from South Carolina, who eventually became the 44th governor of…

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Arsenic in the 1800s: A Dangerous Poison

Arsenic in the 1800s was sometimes called “white arsenic.” It was used in diverse ways by women to beautify themselves. For instance, women like French socialite Madame Récamier, who had pale creamy complexions were envied, and women who wanted to achieve the same look as Madame Récamier would rub arsenic onto their faces and arms…

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