Friday, 28 August 2009

Yet more historical news

Despite the constant round of parties, tourism and fetes available to the Victorian middle and upper classes, life in the city was nasty, brutish and short, even for these delicate flowers, as Michel Faber's and Sarah Waters's books depict.

Yet the new science of detection was all the rage, and ex-coppers were available to hire, just like Hauk in the The Wire:

PRIVATE INQUIRY OFFICE, established 1852, Eldon-chambers, Devereux-court, Temple, under the direction of CHARLES FREDERICK FIELD, late chief inspector of the detective force of the metropolis. This office has had the conduct of some of the most remarkable cases of the day–namely the Smyth and Worcester forgeries, the Rugeley murders, horse poisonings, incendiary fires, &c. Agent for New York, Mr. G. Hays, Bank detective police.

Still, if you survive into comfortable middle age, you can indulge yourself:

SMALL YACHT, for £20, with sails complete, or with anchor, chain cable, dingy, sweeps, and all stores, £25. Apply to W. C., 51, King William-street, E. C.

MR. GLADSTONE.–A beautifully-executed PORTRAIT of the Right Hon. W. E. GLADSTONE, on toned paper, with a biography and a review of his recently published edition Homer, will be given with the CRITIC, weekly literary Journal of August 7. Price 4d., or 5d. stamped. A copy in return for 5 stamps. Office, 29, Essex-street, Strand.

PICTURES.–To collectors and Connoisseurs.–An original, by Berrittini ; one by Van Heemskerke–both on panel ; six others on canvas. The largest an Italian landscape, by Stuart, 3 ft. 10 in. The whole for immediate cash, £50 ; cost £400, On view, after 12 o'clock a.m., at 20 Queen-street, Camden-town.

That's enough for today. I'm off to celebrate Emma's birthday - say happy birthday everybody - then home to see the Aged Parents and all my happily married siblings for a couple of days, then it's the UK School Games for a week. I'll check in once a day probably, but will be spending most of my time making children happy and safe. And not in an Austrian fashion. I'm the Welfare Officer.

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