19th Century Life

Happy Halloween!

on October 31, 2021

Celebrating Halloween with some vintage postcards via the New York Public Library!                                  

What was that ghost thinking?

on October 28, 2021

That’s what I wanted to know when I wrote my ghost story Mr. Borden Does Not Quite Remem… Mr. Borden, of course, being the father of Lizzie. Just in time for Halloween weekend, here’s Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast rendition of my story.  Enjoy!

Fantastic Victorian ZOOM Backgrounds – thanks to The Great Dickens Fair!

on November 22, 2020

A while back I shared my favorite historic Zoom backgrounds. Thanks to The Great Dickens Fair (entirely online this year), I–and you–have a lot more Victorian backgrounds to choose from. Here are a few of the luscious backgrounds offered:   All of these images are via dickensfair.com/dickens-fair-at-home/zooms.

Eat, Drink, and enjoy the lagniappe*

on November 15, 2020

I hope you saw Friday’s PLW post where I shared historic holiday menus and recipes. Not for the first time, I researched and wrote more content than I could include in that post. But in the spirit of holiday giving, today I’m sharing what I couldn’t include. Here goes…   Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household… Read More

More great quotes about photography…

on July 11, 2020

Yesterday’s links essay on Paper Lantern Writers featured some great quotes about photography, including this one: “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” – President Abraham Lincoln There were, in fact, so many great quotes about photography and being photographed that I couldn’t used them all. But I would like… Read More

“May I secure your likeness?”

on July 9, 2020

“May I secure your likeness?” is a quaint, mid-19th century way to ask if you can take someone’s photograph. It’s also the name of my first Links Essay for Paper Lantern Writers.   GREAT links in this essay for readers, writers, & historians.  I hope you enjoy them.

My Favorite Historical ZOOM Backgrounds

on June 28, 2020

We’re all on ZOOM these days, right? I ZOOM in from my home office, which unlike everyone else’s beautifully-bookshelfed office, is really not that attractive. (No, I’m not going to provide photographic proof!) So I often use the ZOOM virtual backdrop option and these are my favorite backgrounds so far: Since I didn’t have a… Read More

Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day…Stinky Vinegar Valentines!

on February 14, 2020

The feast of Saint Valentine of Rome was designated in the year 496. The date? February 14th, of course. About 900 years later, Saint Valentine and his feast day (already celebrated with food, drink, jousting, poetry, singing, and dancing) somehow became associated with romance, passion, and love. And so began the need to send Saint… Read More