History A'la Carte 10-17-12

And now, a  new installment of History a’la Carte for your Thursday enjoyment. I am always amazed to find out how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Trying out a new format with week with article blurbs.  Tell me what you think about it–keep it this way or go back to the previous list only?

  • Regency mourning and burial customs
      • … unless you were very wealthy, having new mourning clothing sewn or garments set aside for the occasion was not possible. Most people made due with an existing wardrobe by dying to a dark color…Hats would be covered with black crepe, the bright ribbons or flowers removed. In some cases even that was not an option, the mourner left to adorn their plainest garments with a black ribbon or armband…
  • Cancer and medicine in the middle ages
      • …The Medieval belief was that black bile was systemic.  It wasn’t located in just one place.  Unless there was something wrong and it built up in a particular area.  Those log-jam build-ups of black bile were also known as tumors…
  • A fashion Accessory to Avoid–Hair Shirts
      • …Louis could be the poster child for cilices as a fashion accessory.  He so valued his hair-shirt and eventually (when persistent irritation to the skin on his torso caused his physicians to advise Louis him to set such shirts aside) his hair-belt (you don’t want to know where he wore that) that he left a used hair-belt to his daughter upon his death…
  • Politeness never goes out of style
      • …“In preparing a book of etiquette for ladies, I would lay down as the first rule, ‘Do unto others as you would others should do to you.”…politeness is inevitable if you follow this rule.    Faux pas made because of lack of etiquette knowledge are overcome by politeness.
  • Tudor Era Watering holes
      • London then, even in Tudor times, was a city of great variety, especially in terms of its eating places and watering holes. Whether you were a poor man looking for a quick bite to eat in your daily search for work, or an important merchant wishing to impress your clients or entertain a courtesan behind your wife’s back, London had the perfect spot for you.
  • A History of Clowns
      • The term “clown” is a derivative of cloyne from roughly the 1560s, meaning “rustic, boor, peasant.” The origin is uncertain, but perhaps from Scandinavian dialect (Icelandic klunni “clumsy, boorish fellow;” Swed. kluns “a hard knob, a clumsy fellow”), or akin to N.Fris. klönne, a “clumsy person,” or less likely from Latin colonus, “colonist, farmer”…
  • The Hidden Treasure Captured by Sir Francis Drake
      • But the key moment was when he captured a small fleet of transports loaded mostly with wood ‘about 16 or 17 hundred ton in weight.’ To a pirate like Drake, whose eyes glinted with Spanish gold, this may have seemed something of a disappointment at first. But he was smart enough, all the same, to know how important this cargo was, and exactly what to do with it.
  • Medical superstitions
      • …In Devon, to cure the quartan ague, you baked the patient’s urine into a cake, then fed the cake to a dog, who would take on the disease….
  • At the heart of a great estate is…
      • Now, there are two significant types of great landowners in the 18th century–the aristocratic Whig grandees who pretty much spend their time running the country, but who are rather less hands-on in regards to their estates, and the vast majority of Tory land-owning gentry, who are very hands-on.
  • A Visit to the Regency Era Opera
      • Female performers were seen as glorified prostitutes and shunned by society, which had some basis in fact Dorothea Jordan, had a long-running and much-publicized affair with the duke of Clarence, bearing him ten children
  • The London Tornado of 1091
      • A huge tornedo occurred on October 17th 1091 during the reign of King William II (called Rufus). This was the first recorded tornado in the British isles and it hit London hard. It is estimated to have been about T8 strength.
  • Defining the London Season
      • The English custom of the elite in society passing months in London rather than their country homes began somewhere in the 17th century and continued to dominate the culture until well after WWI.
  • The Lady’s Monthly Museum
      • ….  The contents include … articles titled:  Impostors, The Generous Host, Habit, a series of invented letters called The Old Woman, three chapters of a  serialised romance by the title of The Castle De Warrenne, the Editor’s Reply to Mrs. Saveall’s Letterwith some useful hints upon the government of the Temper, On Celibacy and Marriage, A Character, The Poor Sailor Boy, On a Passage in Sterne…and last, but not least, Jane of Flanders; Or, the Siege of Hennebonne, Scene III of a Drama in Two Acts which is continued from Volume IV (perfect for home dramatics)
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