Category: Victorian England

Madam, Ma’am, or Miss: Proper Address for Unmarried Young Ladies

La Mode, 1836.
(Met Museum)

During the nineteenth century, the proper address for an unmarried young lady was very much a matter of rank—both the rank of the one being addressed and the one doing the addressing. For instance, a maidservant might acknowledge a command given by her young unmarried mistress by saying “Yes, miss.” Whereas a gentleman might address the same unmarried young lady with a “Yes, madam” or “Yes, ma’am.” […]Continue Reading

Interview and Giveaway with Historical Fiction author Clarissa Harwood!

It’s release week for Fair as a Star, and I’m thrilled to share it with one of my favorite historical fiction authors, the brilliant Clarissa Harwood. Clarissa’s book Bear No Malice is being released this week in paperback. To celebrate, she’s here with a special interview and giveaway![…]Continue Reading

The Winter Companion Release Day: Blog Tour, Giveaway, & More!

It’s release day for The Winter Companion (Parish Orphan of Devon, Book 4)! To celebrate, I’ll be embarking on a virtual book tour this week, complete with interviews, reviews, and a giveaway. You can also find me at Frolic with an exclusive excerpt, at Reading is My Super Power for their Kissing Books spotlight and giveaway, and tomorrow, I’ll be over at Fresh Fiction with a special Winter Companion-themed Valentine’s Day recipe (and another giveaway!). To top it all off, the eBook price of The Winter Companion is reduced to just $2.99 for the entire week![…]Continue Reading

Ether for Every Occasion: Wedding Nights, Frolics, and Flammable Binges

The First Use of Ether in Dental Surgery By Ernest Board, 1846.
(Wellcome Images, CC BY 4.0)

Derived from ethyl alcohol, ether was a sweet-smelling, colorless liquid that came into medical prominence in the nineteenth century. When vaporized and inhaled, it produced varying degrees of unconsciousness. First employed as a general anesthetic by American doctors in the 1840s, its popularity quickly spread to Victorian England. But ether wasn’t only used during surgeries. It was also used recreationally, as well as to address myriad calamities of life in ways that ranged from the mundane to the outright creepy.[…]Continue Reading

The Girl with the 19th Century Curl: Hot Tongs, Setting Lotions, and False Hair

Il Bazar, 1869.
(Met Museum)

During much of the 1860s and 1870s, hair arranged in artfully placed curls and ringlets was all the rage. But for ladies with naturally straight hair, those curls weren’t always easy to achieve. Who can forget the scene in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women when Jo burns off her sister Meg’s hair with a pair of hot tongs?[…]Continue Reading

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