Historical Questions for Ladies 1853

If you were a respectable young lady in the Victorian Era, Gentle Reader, here are a few conversation topics you might be expected to have words on.  This is the kind of thing Lady Linette might instruct the girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s with, in order to adequately prepare them for societal integration.

Historical Question for Ladies

(Taken principally from the Reign of Queen Victoria.)

  • What do you mean by the “Crush-Room of the Opera;” and why is it so called?
  • When did gigot sleeves go out of fashion, and did such sleeves have anything to do with the popular French phrase of “Revenons à nos Moutons?”
  • What do you mean by “Crochet Work”? and can you set the pattern for ladies of “How to make a purse for your brother?”
  • Who edited the “Book of Beauty?” and mention a few of the aristocratic names whose portraits have had the honour of appearing in its splendid pages.
  • Can you describe the habits and haunts of the “Swedish Nightingale?” and can you mention the highest note it ever reached, and also why it sang in a Haymarket?
  • State the name of the “Bohemian nobleman” who first brought over the Polka to England.
  • In what year of VICTORIA’S reign was the celebrated Bal Costumé given at Buckingham Palace? and describe the dress that HER MAJESTY wore on that interesting occasion.
  • Give the names of the principal singers who distinguished themselves at the two Italian Operas during the rival administrations of GYE and LUMLEY, and describe the nature of the feud that existed between those two great men.
  • Give a description of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and state all you know about the “Weasel,” and what was the origin of his going “Pop.”   
  • Who succeeded WIGAN in the Corsican Brothers? Mention the names of the principal watering-places, and say which was considered
  • the more fashionable of the two—Margate, or Gravesend?
  • When did flounces come into fashion, and state the lowest and the highest number a lady could wear?
  • Describe the position of Chiswick—and give a short account of its Gardens, and the Fêtes that were held there every year.
  • What were the duties of the Ladies of the Bedchamber, and in what respects did they differ from the Maids of Honour at Richmond?
  • Mention the names of the most delicious novels that were published between the years 1840 and 1853, and name the character and scene that pleased you the most.
  • Whose gloves do you consider were the best? What was the last elopement that created any sensation at Gretna Green?
  • State who was Jullien? Also, whether he had anything to do with the soup that bears his celebrated name?

~ Mostly garnered from the Ladies Home Journal, 1853

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The Delineator Magazine, July 1914. Illustration by Carl Kleinschmidt
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SICILY, SYRACUSE- AR LITRA — ARETHUSA_OCTOPUS 466-460 BC Diameter- 13.1 mm Weight- 0.67 grams Obverse- Pearl-diademed head of Arethusa right; ΣVPA before Reverse- Octopus

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The Yixing teapot Exhibition at the Tea Institute

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Movies That Are Better Than Their Bookish Inspirations


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  1. Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said:

    I know the weasel one!

    A clock reel was used to measure skeins of spun thread or yarn. The little counter in the reel was called a weasel (for reasons unknown). When the clock reel reached a full skein, the weasel would click or pop.

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