Anyone who remotely knows me in real life (or on Twitter) is aware of my frustration and existential rants about job hunting and the point. I’m at a stage where I am considering turning my attention to a new career sector. Except I don’t know what I want to do.
July marks the return of Wimbledon and in this post I look at the later career of a great tennis player, Alice Marble (1913 – 1990). Marble was an American tennis player, the number one player between 1936 and 1940. Marble won the singles title of Wimbledon in 1939, 80 years ago this year. She had a remarkable career; in total she won 18 Grand Slams across singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions. Marble’s talents and versatility stretched to areas outside of sport; after retiring from tennis Marble worked as an associate editor on the Wonder Woman Comics (originally Sensation Comics) and is credited as creating the Wonder Women of History feature which ran alongside the Wonder Woman comic.
Is something still beautiful if its backstory is not quite as elegant, not quite as delicate, nor innocent or valued?
“At all events if a crinoline must be the fashion then every lady should wear a fire screen.”
I find historical fashions fascinating. Fashion, textiles and popular crazes can be analysed to be more than aesthetics. I particularly enjoy the medical impact of fashion. Fashion has power over the physical body, it manipulates and shapes the anatomy. The productions of fabrics often contained cocktails of dangerous chemicals, poisoning and scarring the body overtime. Fashion also contributed to sudden and accidental deaths – deaths you only associate with horror movies, nightmares and exaggerations.
I came across this content when searching my online folders. I had initially researched and written this piece on historic shapewear for a magazine segment, but sadly it never materialised. I still enjoyed the content when I re-read it, so now it is featuring on my own blog.
“I MISS LORINA BULWER AM A TRUE LOYAL PERSON….I MISS LORINA BULWER AM FREE.”
In this post I discuss the interesting, yet emotional, life and story of Lorina Bulwer, an inmate at the Great Yarmouth Workhouse. On arrival to the workhouse, Lorina was confined to the lunatic ward. She expressed her thoughts and feelings by stitching long monologues of capitalised words which are often considered as rambles, rants and in some cases, powerful nonsense. There are currently three known surviving “Lorina” samplers in Britain. I refer to Lorina by her first name in this post as her embroidered texts depict a clear personality and a particular level of familiarity and modern day relevance.
This post is inspired by a subject I studied during university. I really enjoyed this research and thought it would be a shame to not revisit it! Here is a summary of my thoughts and findings on 18th century patchwork.
I adore historic houses; there is nothing I love more than having a spare couple of hours to delve into the histories of unique country manors, town houses or the small yet powerful dwellings of previous earthly occupants. I’ve visited a variety of houses around Yorkshire – a lot on numerous occasions – yet I was ashamed to have not visited Castle Howard in my adult memory. I had a spare weekend and decided to take the rural and scenic route to the Howardian Hills to visit Castle Howard at Christmas. The overall theme of the house and grounds is The Twelve Days of Christmas, with each room of the spacious, yet intimate, building representing each day of festivities.
Studies of witchcraft often centre on groups of witches or spirits, the Salem witch trials, the Pendle and Samlesbury witches or even the Loudun possessions in 17th century France. Persecution and superstition of witchcraft began to fade towards the end of the 18th century, yet the concept of spirits and possession which were often associated with witchcraft began to be overruled by notions of deviation, criminality and manipulation. One example of individual witchcraft is the extraordinary life of the “Yorkshire Witch”, the creator of “The Prophet of Leeds Hen Hoax”, the serial thief and convicted murderer of Rebecca Perigo.
The title for this post is an amalgamation of one of my favourite novels (a text set in York, it’s by Kate Atkinson, you need to read it) and one of my recent museum projects. The purpose of this post is fundamentally the latter; I just needed to use the pun…