While I commend this work to you, I also caution you that one must laugh loudly at it in polite "mixed" company if one wishes such polite company to continue its genial course
Note that we of this enlightened age do NOT hold such views and are thankful that you have been able to join us in advancing all of humanity along its future path together with us, as equal partners in its successes and failures. It is a good read if only to put such old views into perspective and to support the great enduring cry of...
You've come a long way baby!
Keep your sight glass full and your furnace trimmed.
Past, Present and To Come
Charles G. harper
Revolted Woman 1894
Woman is altogether different from and inferior
to man: narrow-chested, wide -hipped, ill-propor-
tioned, and endowed with a lesser quantity of brains
than the male sex. She will, when sufficiently open
to conviction, allow that, mentally, she is not so well
equipped as man, but gives herself away altogether
in insisting upon the ' instinct ' that takes the place
of reason in her sex ; thereby tacitly placing herself
on a level with other creatures—like the dog or
cat—who act upon ' instinct ' rather than upon
reasoning powers. ' A woman's reason ' is a no-
toriously inadequate mental process ; and, having
once arrived at a conviction or a determination on
any subject, it is of no use attempting to argue
her out of it. That is widely acknowledged by the
popular saying that ' it is useless to argue with a
' If she will, she will, and there's an end on't :
If she won't, she won't, depend on't.'
MODERN dress-reform crusades have ever
been allied with womanly revolts against
man's authority. They proceeded originally from
that fount of vulgarity, that never-failing source of
offence—America. In the United States, that in-
effable land of wooden nutmegs and timber hams, of
strange religions, of jerrymandering and unscrupu-
lous log-rollery, the Prophet Bloomer first arose,
and, discarding the feminine skirt, stood forth, un-
ashamed and blatant, in trousers ! The wrath of
the Bloomers (as the followers of the Prophet were
termed) was calculated to disestablish at once and
for ever the skirts and frocks, the gowns and
miscellaneous feminine fripperies, that had obtained
throughout the centuries ; and they conceived that
with the abolishment of skirts the long-sustained
supremacy of man was also to disappear, even as
the walls of Jericho fell before the trumpet-sound
of the Lord's own people. For these enthusiasts
were no cooing doves, but rather shrieking cats,
and they were both abusive and overweening.
No more should 'tempestuous petticoats' inspire
a Herrick to dainty verse, but the woman of the
immediate future should move majestically through
the wondering continents of the Old World and the
New with mannish strides in place of the feminine
mincing gait induced by clinging draperies.
It is not often, however, that women writers
present us with philosophical treatises in the guise
of novels. Their high-water mark of workmanship
is the Family Herald type of story-telling, even as
crystoleum-painting and macram6-work exhaust the
energies and imagination of the majority of women
' art ' workers. What, also, is to say of the lady-
novelists' heroes, of god-like grace and the mental
attributes of the complete prig ? What but that if
we collate the masculine characters of even the
better-known, and presumably less foolish, feminine
novels, we shall find woman's ideal in man to be
the sybaritic Guardsman, the loathly, languorous
Apollos who recline on ' divans,' smoke impossibly
fragrant cigarettes, gossip about their affaires du
cosur, and wave 'jewelled fingers'—repellent com-
binations of braggart, prig, and knight-errant, with
the thews and sinews of a Samson and the morals
of a mudlark.
What a ride!
It was two years ago that I started this blog, as a place to share interesting Steampunk finds and as a place to archive my Steampunk musings. With 294 posts and counting I hope to continue to find useful and entertaining info.
Thanks to everyone for your support, comments and suggestions!
A fascinating eye witness description of the teeming multitudes that inhabited London in the Mid 19th C.
It was written, as a three volume work originally entitled London Labour and London Poor in 1851, the last edition was published in 1861, by Henry Mayhew a journalist, writer and social researcher.
My copy is one volume distillation of the 1861edition edited by Peter Quennell and first published in 1951. It is a hefty volume of 592 pages.
This book is a wonderful look at how London actually worked, that is to say how Londoner's worked. London in the mid 19thC was a city of several million people, many of whom had no fixed abode. To feed, clothe and entertain such a multitude required enormous labour and ingenuity.
Illustrated with black and white drawings that capture the gritty essence of life beneath the glitter and power of the chief city of the empire, this book is a wealth of information on a vanished way of life.
Mayhew went into deep, almost pedantic detail concerning the trades, habits, religion and domestic arrangements of the thousands of people working the streets of the city. Much of the material comprises detailed interviews in which people candidly describe their lives and work: for instance, Jack Black talks about his job as "rat and mole destroyer to Her Majesty", remaining in good humour despite his experience of a succession of near-fatal infections from bites.The original three volume work entitled London Labour and the London Poor is available online here:
Beyond this anecdotal material, Mayhew's articles are particularly notable for attempting to justify numerical estimates with other information, such as census data and police statistics. Thus if the assertion is made that 8,000 of a particular type of trader operate in the streets, Mayhew compares this to the total number of miles of street in the city, with an estimate of how many traders operate per mile.
- Vol. 1. The London Street-Folk. London, UK: George Woodfall and Son. 1851. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
- Vol. 2. The London Street-Folk comprising : Street sellers. Street buyers. Street finders. Street performers. Street artizans. Street labourers.. London, UK: Griffin, Bohn, and Company. 1861. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
- Vol. 3. The London Street-Folk comprising : Street sellers. Street buyers. Street finders. Street performers. Street artizans. Street labourers.. London, UK: Griffin, Bohn, and Company. 1861. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
- (Vol. 4.) Those that will not work, comprising; Prostitutes. Thieves. Swindlers. Beggars.. London, UK: Griffin, Bohn, and Company. 1862. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
0 946495 03 3
To all you Steampunk Canucks!
I hope everyone get's to enjoy a fine day with good company and good times!
Canada is a land that was tied together by steam even as it was being born. A land where innovation, creativity, and inventiveness must be matched by hard work, endurance, and an appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of a sometimes hostile environment.
For 147 years we have struggled to carve out our home and native land from rocks, deserts, forests, rocky coastlines, vast prairies and soaring mountains. We have used every technological tool available at the time to do so.
Steam made it possible, in trains, paddle steamers, power plants, mine hoists, ocean ships, factories and even the lowly, but all important, domestic heat needed for 9 months of every year!
As Steampunks we celebrate the inventiveness and creativity of the exotic and the "might have been". What better place to do it than in a country for which such activity is not a luxury but a necessity.
Happy Birthday Canada!
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced!
H/T to The Steampunk Scholar for the image!
Dispatch from the Austrian Court
Here is the second part of Jayne Barnard's wonderful post concerning a duel according to the infamous Hungarian Imperial Parasol Duelling Rules, popular in the Astro-Hungarian Empire.
An account of intrigue and death, by parasol duel, in the court of the Empress of Austria Hungary!
Part one is here.
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
Ed: Warning to those of a sensitive nature that this document contains descriptions of possibly disturbing violence.
The Duel Begins
|A Hungarian Imperial Rules|
Parasol Duellist *
Ah! My fickle mind returns the question: was this to be a timed bout, as exhibitions were, and as I had seen the novices do? But no, my answer must wait upon events, for no word was uttered in all that vast, echoing room, so silent that the slip and pad of the leather-clad feet was clearly audible. The combatants moved around their perimeter, perhaps ten feet apart, parasols shifting in their hands, gliding through rudimentary Twirls or resting a fraction in a Plant. The first minute passed. I expected a chime, and a pause, but neither arrived. The silence, and the circling, continued, with a gradual decrease in the distance between the two. The tension was immense. I confess I would have daubed my brow with my handkerchief had I not feared to disturb the mesmerizing ritual.
By my estimate two and a quarter minutes had passed before the first contact was made. Fraulein F_’s parasol whipped neatly into an incipient Snub by Madame S_H_, leaving a two-inch slit in the fabric. Madame gave no ground, but followed up speedily with an attempted Ankling, which caused Fraulein to hop backward. More circling ensued, but faster, and with feints and parries almost a blur. My breath held for long moments, awaiting a decisive thrust, but still they continued. A Cut down Fraulein’s left sleeve exposed her sturdy forearm, and was returned to Madame’s thigh, leaving several inches of pale skin in view. (The woman has freckles there, Aubrey! What decent woman would expose that part of her anatomy to the sun?). Madame repaid that slash with one that drew blood – the Cut Direct – through the leather and into the skin of Fraulein’s meaty buttock. They fell back, circling.
When they closed again, Fraulein thrust out a truncated Snub. Madame Twirled into it, body and parasol both, and caught Fraulein a hefty smack on the cheek with the lead collar. Whether she was intent on a Cut Direct down the cheek, I cannot be sure, but by no change in demeanor did she betray either satisfaction or disappointment. Fraulein rubbed a hand over her cheek but briefly, before attacking once more, stabbing downward in a vicious Plant. Madame slid that foot neatly out of the way and, in a lunge that would have done credit to an Oxford fencing don, put the Coup into Fraulein’s upper left arm, to the full depth of the tip. Fraulein stepped unsteadily backward, clapping her right hand to the wound, bright red blood staining her fingers. The Doctor stepped forward.
I was more than ready to see it end there, for Fraulein was bleeding now in two places and her face was flushed, even sweating. This is no sport for ladies, dear fellow, and for a moment I seriously considered withdrawing from the hall. But the wounded Fraulein waved off the Doctor and saluted Madame across the circle, and the duel was on again. It was so fast I did not fully follow the events, a mere flurry of parasols before Fraulein fell to one knee with blood streaming from a second Coup, this to her right thigh. The Doctor rushed forward to examine her, but before he could reach Fraulein, she waved him off again.
A Dispatch from the Austrian Court
One of the questions I am often asked is for more details about the infamous Hungarian Imperial Parasol Duelling Rules. They have taken on quite an aura of exotic mystery if only because they are considered barbarous and violent, in contrast to the stately and more elegant forms of the Brandenburg Variations.
Jayne Barnard has written this delightful post to shed some light on these other rules. Couched in the congenial, yet precise, form of a letter from an English Diplomat in the Imperial Court of Austria to an old friend and compatriot in the Diplomatic Service back in England.
Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
|The Empress of Austria Hungary|
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