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Victorians

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Flash
163085.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:28 pm Reply with quote

Disraeli:


Palmerston (and Cobden, deploring some Chinese people):


Abraham Lincoln:


etc

 
eggshaped
163115.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:34 am Reply with quote

Flash, I think it was me originally who posted that fact - frustratingly my original post has been deleted now, along with a source (if I posted one).

I'm not familiar with Gladstone though, so the quote about his hat must've been in the original source.

 
Bunter
163123.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:54 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Flash, I think it was me originally who posted that fact - frustratingly my original post has been deleted now, along with a source (if I posted one).


Not deleted young sirrah (nothing as been deleted from the DVD stuff)...merely moved from DVD basket one into DVD basket two.

Your exact post was as follows:

Quote:
Theophilus Carter is the most commonly accepted inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter, which of these did he invent?

Multiple Choice:
a) An alarm clock which threw you out of bed
b) A clockwork tooth-brushing machine
c) A pair of slippers with wheels on the soles
d) A hat which combed the wearer’s hair


Answer: a) It is thought that Carroll based his character on Theophilus Carter, an upholsterer from Oxford, who was known as the Mad Hatter, because of his resemblance Gladstone (the then Prime Minister). He enjoyed the comparison and wore a top hat to increase the resemblance.

Carter was the designer of ‘The Alarm Clock Bed’ exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851, a bed which woke its occupant up by tipping them out onto the floor at a set time.


Sorry for forgetting the original author. x

 
eggshaped
163125.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:55 am Reply with quote

So I didn't have a source in the original post? How naughty.

 
Bunter
163126.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:56 am Reply with quote

Very few of the DVD questions had sources...

 
Flash
163132.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:15 am Reply with quote

I'm not bothered, you understand - just pointing out to Justin that I don't see why someone should be given that nickname because they looked like Gladstone (there may well be a reason, but it isn't apparent in the answer we're giving).

Straight Dope has this:

Quote:
There have been many guesses about whether Carroll was satirizing any particular individual with his Mad Hatter, or whether Tenniel (the first and most famous illustrator of Alice) was caricaturing anyone. Speculation ranges from Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer near Oxford (most likely) to Prime Minister Gladstone (highly implausible).


and this, on the origin of the term "Mad as a hatter":

Quote:
Lewis Carroll did not invent the phrase, although he did create the character. The phrases "mad as a hatter" and "mad as a March hare" were common at the time Lewis Carroll wrote (1865 was the first publication date of Alice). The phrase had been in common use in 1837, almost 30 years earlier. Carroll frequently used common expressions, songs, nursery rhymes, etc., as the basis for characters in his stories.

The origin of the phrase, it's believed, is that hatters really did go mad. The chemicals used in hat-making included mercurious nitrate, used in curing felt. Prolonged exposure to the mercury vapors caused mercury poisoning. Victims developed severe and uncontrollable muscular tremors and twitching limbs, called "hatter's shakes"; other symptoms included distorted vision and confused speech. Advanced cases developed hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mmadhatter.html

 
Bunter
163144.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:26 am Reply with quote

A nice picture of Carter's old shop. You may or may not recognise it:

http://headington.org.uk/oxon/high/tour/north/048.htm

 
MatC
163151.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:41 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Good stuff, Mat - excellent ready-made fare, as delicious as a Vesta Paella.

We corresponded once about how clever it is that you can get from one side of London to the other just as quickly now as you could in Victorian days when the population was so much lower - did you ever track down the stats on that?


Swan Vesta was always my favourite. I can't remember whether I ever found anything final on the Victorian traffic problem; I shall have a look.

 
Jenny
163343.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:42 am Reply with quote

Here's some nice stuff that links the Mad Hatter with Victorian adventures in ESP via Lewis Carroll.

It repeats the info we already have about the Mad Hatter and the symptoms of mercury poisoning, and the info about Theophilus Carter, but adds:

Quote:
The phrase “mad as a hatter” was certainly in use before Carroll wrote about the Mad Tea-Party, but it tended to mean mad in the sense of angry. To be “mad as a March hare”, though, definitely referred to the other sort of madness. It derived from the way the English wild hare was thought to behave during its spring mating season.

Another theory suggests a quite different origin of the phrase (again, with ‘mad’ in the sense of ‘enraged’. The phrase ‘mad as a hatter’, so the theory goes, used once to be ‘mad as an adder’!


The link with Carroll and séances:


Quote:
Another increasingly fashionable social practice at the time Carroll was writing was the séance. Spiritualism had travelled across the Atlantic in 1852 from the northern United States, sparking a huge interest in the paranormal. Such phenomena as table-turning, levitation and communicating with the dead – who were thought to have passed over into the spirit world – also fascinated some scientists.

Perhaps surprisingly for an Anglican deacon, Carroll was a founder member of the Society for Psychical Research and firmly believed that the time was coming when extra-sensory perception, and telekinesis (the power to move objects by thought alone) would be accepted by the scientific community.

In both books, Alice is transported into another world – firstly by falling down a rabbit-hole, and then by stepping through a mirror. The other-worldly quality of the places she visits is a powerful element in the books’ appeal. Interest in hypnotic states, out-of-body experiences and, with the work of Sigmund Freud, the interpretation of dreams, all gathered pace in the Victorian era.

 
MatC
163555.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:00 am Reply with quote

I think they’re wrong to call that surprising; the spiritualist movement at the time was full of clergymen - and, indeed, prominent scientists. Come to think of it, I don’t suppose there has ever been a nutty cause in history which hasn’t had those two categories over-represented in its ranks.

 
MatC
163822.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:22 am Reply with quote

Did the stuff about tartans ever make it into a script? If not, Victorian inventions of “ancient” traditions might be worth another look.

 
eggshaped
164705.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:06 am Reply with quote

Question: What happened to Queen Victoria’s underwear after she died?

Answer: it was divvied up between her courtiers and sold on as collectables.

At Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, her huge wardrobe - including her underwear, were distributed to members of the Royal Household. The Queen’s personal garment became quite collectible. These personal garments are now dispersed in both private and public collections. If you want to know whether undergarments are truly royal, they are easily identified by her royal cypher, which was always worked on each piece. Apparently towards the end of her life Queen Vic had a 46 inch waist.

By the end of the 19th century, many physicians thought that womens skeletons and respiratory systems were naturally different from men’s due to about 75 years of corseting. It took many more years to reveal that women never had needed special support, and that much of their supposed weakness was a self-fulfilling prophecy created by corsets.

Some accounts claim that 19th-century corsets rearranged internal organs in ways that could cause illness and even death, and McTeer sees some basis for this. From personal try-on experience, she says even a good-sized 1880s corset inflicts pain on lower ribs. “The stomach and intestines sink, the bottom ribs compress, you can’t work your diaphragm, so you breathe from the top half of the lungs.” When women corseted as a norm, “their lung capacity was probably never what it should have been.”

s: Victoriana Magazine: back-issues here

 
MatC
166848.  Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:55 am Reply with quote

In the 1890s, the Victorians started doing something extraordinary with tomatoes - easting them raw.

An article in Carters’ Practical Gardener for 1890 reports on the recent explosion of tomato-growing in Britain. The writer noted that the plants had been grown in “most gardens of importance for some time,” but were not yet popular in ordinary kitchen gardens. They were of ten grown as ornamentals, but when they were eaten it was mostly as tomato sauce. Now, however, they were being prepared for the table “in a whole state,” and even, daringly, uncooked. Fashion-conscious gardeners needed advice on how to grow these exotic items.

S: Grow Your Own magazine, May 2007.

 
Flash
167063.  Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:31 pm Reply with quote

My grandfather dismissed the idea that tobacco might cause cancer by saying "Pshaw!" (literally) "In my day they used to say it was caused by raw tomatoes".

 
MatC
167163.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:40 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
saying "Pshaw!" (literally)


How did he pronounce that?

That links up with egg's stuff about things which give you cancer/cure cancer (since toms are now one of the main cancer preventatives), and with Flash's stuff about things being good for you or bad for you.

 

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