Unhappy Marriage in the 18th Century 

In the mid-18th century, a tragic tale of arranged marriage was told - a couple whose marriage was arranged by economic agreement ended tumultuously in misery, adultery, and ultimately - death. Earl Squanderfield, a man with a respectable title, but no fortune – as indicated by his name- tries to remedy this financially dour situation for his... Continue Reading →

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The dangers of novel-reading

Although the value of ‘reading for pleasure' has become part and parcel of contemporary reading culture, this highly proselytized past-time, to children and adults alike, was not always considered so salient. In fact, in the late 18th and 19th centuries - as the novel proliferated - numerous people and groups sought to repress these rising... Continue Reading →

The roots of homesickness

The word “homesick” first entered common parlance in the late 18th century. It accompanied a rising feeling of nostalgia for the home as it transitioned; no longer a place of residence or the locus of one’s business, it became a symbolic emblem of family, safety and love. The age of industrialisation gave cause for rising... Continue Reading →

A Domestic Cat-astrophy

On Tuesday, 21 May  1867 a peculiar case was presented to the Lewes Petty Sessions. A case of nuisance was brought against a Mr Robert Dennis Chantrell, a resident in Rottingdean. The complaint concerned Chantrell's residence, which was so inundated with animals, especially those of the feline persuasion, that it causing ill health on the... Continue Reading →

A murderous case of stolen trousers

On the 6th of April 1842 the Police Constable, William Gardner, was on duty in Wandsworth, when a tradesperson, Mr Collingbourn, approached him with a complaint. Local man, Daniel Good had stolen a pair of black trousers from his shop and he wished to press charges. Good was the coachman for Mr Shiell, in Putney,... Continue Reading →

The Mysterious Engagement of James Miller

In November 1841, James Miller published an advertisement in the Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette. In a couple of paragraphs, Miller offers the time, place, and method of a proposal for his beloved. However...in case she fails to reciprocate, he warns that an unfavourable answer will result in him forgetting her and finding a more... Continue Reading →

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