The Lonely Hearts of Yesterday: Love & Mischief in 19th Century Personal Ads
Personal advertisements have been around as long as newspapers themselves. If you're curious about what a "matrimonial ad" from the 1800s looked like, this is your book. Read it aloud and marvel at missives like:
"Gentleman, 38, height 5 ft., 9 in., weight 170, black hair, brown eyes, fair complexion, wishes to meet lady, 35 to 38, refined, normal weight, good looking, good teeth, not tired of society, and invest and accept half interest in a manufacturing business; can handle her own money; view to matrimony. Stamp for reply."
"I hereby give notice to all unmarried women that I, John -----, am at this writing five-and-forty, a widower, and in want of a wife. As I wish no one to be mistaken, I have a good cottage, with a couple of acres of land, for which I pay 2--- a year. I have five children, four of them old enough to be in employment; three sides of bacon, and some pigs ready for market. I should like to have a woman fit to take care of her house when I am out. I want no second family. She may be between forty and fifty if she likes. A good stirring woman would be preferred, who would take care of the pigs."
This book of 19th and early 20th century matrimonial advertisements--along with newspaper stories about romantic advertising adventures gone awry--will lighten your mood and reveal the unchanging optimism of men and women searching for love. The collection is organized by year, with ads from 1775 to 1918.
- Planet Explorers, May 2012
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