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Princess in D.I.Y Marriage

Princess in D.I.Y Marriage

As the daughter of a king Princess Augusta was denied access to men of her own rank except those in her immediate family for most of her life. Like several of George III's daughters she found herself lonely and drawn into romances with gentleman at court whether they...

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Princess Blackmailed by Her Illegitimate Son

Princess Blackmailed by Her Illegitimate Son

This is the sad story of Princess Sophia daughter of George III Sophia was an unworldly and shy woman who was seduced by a man 33 years her senior. She gave birth to his illegitimate child who grew up to blackmail her to pay his father's debts. Sophia's childhood...

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The Man Who Took the Knife to London’s High Society

The Man Who Took the Knife to London’s High Society

By the 1780s John Hunter was the leading anatomist in Europe and an influential figure in Georgian high society: he had married a beautiful bluestocking poet, Anne Home, and was surgeon extraordinary to King George III. During the day, the carriages of his wealthy...

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Writing about women in the past

Writing about women in the past

The position of women in the historical novel is problematic for authors. I am interested in exploring the strengths and weaknesses of my characters and how they cope with the historical world and I want to show women in a positive and realistic light. However, when...

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Flowers, Theatre and Fashion – Fanny Abington

Flowers, Theatre and Fashion – Fanny Abington

The actress Frances Barton or Frances "Fanny" Barton was the daughter of a private soldier who started her working life as a flower girl and a street singer. As an actress, she performed in taverns and resorted to selling herself as many hard-up women did in those...

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The girl struck by lightening found a Plesiosaurus

The girl struck by lightening found a Plesiosaurus

At the age of 12, Mary Anning was to become one of the most famous palaeontologists in the country. Her discovery of a complete Icthyosaur was probably her brother Joseph's. He spotted what he presumed to be a head of a crocodilian in the layers of limestone rocks...

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75 Years of Spam

75 Years of Spam

The History of Food in Cans SPAM is celebrating its 75th birthday today. Love it or hate it we've all had it at some time in our lives and it would not have happened without Nicholas Appert an 18th-century confectioner and chef from Paris. In 1795, Nicholas Appert...

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The First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

The First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

Humble Beginnings Jeanne Baret was born on July 27, 1740, in the village of La Comelle in the Burgundy region of France. Her record of baptism survives and identifies her as the legitimate issue of Jean Baret and Jeanne Pochard. Her father is identified as a day...

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History of 18th Century Crazes

History of 18th Century Crazes

The craze for porcelain was not orchestrated – it was a by-product of another craze; the craze for drinking tea and to a lesser extent coffee. As tea drinking really took hold the East India Company's imports rocketed. By 1750 around four million pounds of tea were...

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Flaubert’s True Love – Louise Colet

Flaubert’s True Love – Louise Colet

From 1846 to 1854, Gustave Flaubert, the creator of Madame Bovary, had a relationship with the poet Louise Colet. The relationship turned sour, however, and they broke up. Louise was allegedly so angered by her breakup with Flaubert, she wrote a novel, Lui,(Him) in an...

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The Extra-ordinary life of opera singer Gertrude Mara

The Extra-ordinary life of opera singer Gertrude Mara

Gertrude was one of the greatest singers of the Georgian Period. She was born at Kassel, Germany in February 1749. Her mother died soon after the birth. Her father was a poor musician, named Schmeling. Undernourished from birth she always suffered from ill health....

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Coco, Blue Jeans and Fashion’s Glass Ceiling

Coco, Blue Jeans and Fashion’s Glass Ceiling

The origins of Haute Couture are English!  Charles Frederick Worth established the first haute couture house in Paris in 1858, championing exclusive luxury fashion for the upper-class woman and coining the term 'fashion designer' and upgrading himself from a basic...

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The Indian Joan of Arc

The Indian Joan of Arc

Lakshmi bai, the Rani or Queen of Jhansi (1828-1858) was a remarkable woman and one of the leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. She has since become emblematic of Indian rebellion against the encroachment of British imperialism and is celebrated by her country and...

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Messalina – The Most Promiscuous Women in Rome?

Messalina – The Most Promiscuous Women in Rome?

Messalina was born around 20 AD. She was a cousin of Nero and Caligula and became Empress when she married Claudius. Little is known for certain about the life of Messalina, other than her descent through both parents from Octavia, Augustus’ sister and her claim to be...

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Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress

Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress

Benjamin Franklin was a lover of knowledge; after all, he was the quintessential Renaissance man. He gave us the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, bifocals, and Poor Richard's Almanack. He was also an indispensable politician and civic activist who not only helped...

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Royal Ascot – Horses, Hats and Lots of Money

Royal Ascot – Horses, Hats and Lots of Money

Ascot Racecourse pronounced /ˈæskət/, by those in the know is close to Windsor Castle and is the Queen of England's favourite racecourse. The most famous and prestigious race is The Gold Cup. Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, "Her...

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