Tag: history

Sarah Wallis Bowdich’s Ship Encounters Pirates

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, English ladies rarely travelled abroad, let alone sail to Africa with their baby daughters to meet their husbands. But that’s exactly was Sarah Wallis Bowdich (1791-1856) did (only to discover that her husband had briefly returned to England!, and their poor daughter fell ill and died in Africa,

Marie Antoinette: Revolution And Death

The financial situation in France in the late 1780s was disastrous. The debts accumulated to fight wars had brought the country on the verge of bankruptcy. To make things worse, very harsh winters in 1787 and 1788 resulted in crop failure, draughts and famine. The people were starving. To attempt to pass the financial reforms

Giving Birth While Travelling, in 1818

Giving birth in the nineteenth century was a harrowing and painful experience. Women would just give birth at home, assisted only by a midwife or more commonly at this time by a physician. There were no hospitals, no drugs to ease the pain and the risk of dying was very high. Now imagine going through

Sheridan Canvasses At Westminster

One of my favourite pastimes is to read old magazines (yes, I’m weird like that, but they are much more interesting than modern magazines really) and, while perusing the August 1818 edition of La Belle AssemblĂ©e, I stumbled upon a fun episode involving Mr Sheridan canvassing for an election. It made me chuckle so I

Marie Antoinette: Childhood

Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna was born in Vienna on 2 November 1755. She was the 15th child of Empress Maria-Theresa of Austria and her husband Emperor Francis Stephen. Soon after the birth, the baby was put into the care of a wet-nurse named Constance Weber, the wife of a magistrate. As she grew, she would

A Medieval Love Story: Abelard and Heloise

The love story of Abelard and Heloise is one of the most famous, romantic and tragic of all time and one that still moves us today. Abelard was a French philosopher and considered one of the greatest thinkers of his time. But because his teachings were controversial, he was accused of heresy. Heloise was the

Marie Antoinette: Queen

Louis XVI was crowned king on July 11, 1775 at Notre Dame de Reims. His wife, Marie Antoinette, was present but she wasn’t crowned with him because a double ceremony would have been too expensive considering the bad financial situation the country was in. The new king and queen were very popular at the beginning

Marie Antoinette: Dauphine

It took several weeks to reach France, but on 7th May 1770, Marie Antoinette finally entered her new country. There was a ceremony to mark the occasion and afterwards, she met her French attendants. Marie Antoinette was now officially French. Seven days later she met the King Louis XV, who was charmed by this young