People

James Lackington Revolutionized the Book Trade

James Lackington revolutionized the book trade because of his innovative book-selling practices. He was born in on 31 August 1746 in Wellington, Somerset to a shoemaker and was one of eleven children. His father had some money and young Lackington was lucky enough to attend a “Dame School,” but it lasted only a short time…

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The boy Jones Who Broke into Buckingham Palace

Edward Jones was nicknamed “the boy Jones” by newspapers and became notorious for breaking into Buckingham Palace multiple times between 1838 and 1841. His first break-in occurred in 1838 when he entered disguised as a chimney sweep having gained admission by squeezing through a hole in the March Arch at the principal entrance of the…

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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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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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Jane Austen’s Novel Persuasion

The first draft of Jane Austen’s novel “Persuasion,” a romantic novel that examines human foibles and flaws, was completed on 18 July 1816. Apparently, however, according to her nephew and biographer, James Edward Austen-Leigh, she was unhappy: “[H]er performance did not satisfy her. She thought it tame and flat, and was desirous of producing something…

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A Regency Era Female Husband – James Allen

The idea that a woman would pretend to be a male was considered shocking in the Regency Era. One woman who perpetrated such a hoax was commonly known as James Allen. Allen’s situation came to light when Allen, who was 42 years old and a sawyer, was fatally struck in the head by a piece…

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Daring Escape of Jacobite Woman Lady Margaret Ogilvy

Jacobite woman Lady Margaret (Johnstone)* Ogilvy joined with her husband, David Ogilvy, 6th Earl of Airlie, in supporting the Jacobite movement that culminated in the rising of 1745 (the forty-five). She was the daughter of Sir James Johnston of Westerhall and Barbara Murray. Ogilvy was taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden, along with several other…

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Brighton Dipper Martha Gunn

Seawater and sea bathing became popular in the 1700s as a method to improve a person’s health and well-being, and Brighton was one of the hot spots for sea bathing because of its close proximity to London. When bathing in Brighton, bathers were separated by sex. They climbed inside bathing machines (wooden, enclosed crates) using…

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