Monday, April 28, 2014

Images of London in 1890

I enjoyed creating my post about 1889 so much that I had to do one for 1890. I could turn 1890 into two posts because there are more great images from London that year than I can fit into this post. The selection I've chosen create a sense of place, and help me imagine everyday life in the city.

I found it interesting that most of the street photos capture more men than women, with the exception of the railway station and the butcher's shop. Other photos of women on the streets that I found seemed deliberate, like they were trying to capture those ladies in an image.

It was more challenging for women to be out and about town, without hurrying to and from their destinations. Women would sometimes pee themselves on the train because the geography of urban London didn't allow them any place to use the bathroom. Basically, women would take the train into the city to go shopping for the day, then do the pee-pee dance all the way home. Department stores were trying to address this issue, so maybe that's where most of the women are hiding.

Fleet Street, London 1890
Fleet Street. By James Valentine c.1890
For more pictures of Fleet Street click here.
Victoria Street, London, c.1890
Boundary Street 1890
Gracechurch Street, London, c.1890
High Holborn, London, c.1890
This is one of the areas people suspected that Lady Meux worked
as a prostitute before marrying and becoming so influential.
Oxford Street, London, in 1890
Oxford Street, London, c.1890
De Hailes' Locksmith & Ironmongery in Key Close, Whitechapel, 1890.
Museum of London. Regent Street, c.1890
Farringdon Street by Charles Wilson, c.1890

1890-ish. Looking toward the Bank of England. (ty @p1966k)
Wych St, c.1890.
Oooh... Electric light...
How the artists at Punch saw London in 1890.
Bishopsgate Street, London, c.1890.
Broad Street Railway Station, London, c.1890
The Angel Inn, High Street Roehampton London Pictured circa 1890
Heal's delivery depot in central London.

London Screever on the Thames 1890
Salvation Army women's night refuge: c.1890
London Family (1890)
Apparently, plaid was in that year.
1890 engraving
Requesting a dance, 1890
Dancing was a good way for men to meet eligible women.
London & North Western Railway engineers and navvies at Stockport,
after having widened the Edgeley Viaduct around 1890.
Not sure what this guy is doing, but he is in London in 1890.
Makes me think of the baker on Sesame Street in the 80s with some
very high number of banana cream pies, and THAT never ended well!
Scene outside a London Pub, 1890.
Maids at work in a large kitchen, circa 1890.
Textile printing at Merton Abbey, London in 1890.
Shops in London 1890
Looks like the butcher was having a sale.
The Great Mastodon in the South-East Gallery of
the Natural History Museum,
South Kensington, London, 1890
Electric light at the British Museum, London, 1890. 
Want more? Look at images of London in 18891891189218931894, and 1895.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Images of London in 1889

In compiling this little collection of pictures taken in London in 1889, I was reminded that in any given place at any given time so much is happening. In 1889, London's streets were crowded with striking workers and pooped on by passing elephants, as the circus came to town. I read about couples, who visited London that year on their honeymoon, and others, who could barely afford to eat. In spite of a lack of opportunity, some women were graduating from university with honours, while others toiled away in factories, buried deep within the East End. Certainly made for some interesting images.

London Dock Strike 1889
London Dock Strike (1 September 1889)
1889 Night Mail Euston Railway Station London 
Bird`s-eye View of London, 1888 from: Illustrated London News 1889, volume II, p 496/97.

1889 London Theatre 
1889 Parnell Commission
(Oscar Wilde's brother covered this story for
the Daily Telegraph)
1889 Shah Royal Family State Concert Royal Albert Hall London Spectators
The Symth Family (London 1889)
Street view 1889
(I love the omnibus)
Honours for Ladies at the University of London
(1 June 1889)
Frances Evelyn ('Daisy') Greville (née Maynard)
Countess of Warwick
circa 1889
Giant from the Barnum and Bailey Circus (1889)
Circus performers (London 1889)
Want more? Look at images of London in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1895.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Willie Wilde’s Failure as a Husband

Oscar Wilde (2nd from left) & Willie Wilde (sitting on right).
Oscar Wilde's one-time sister-in-law once declared to her then-husband Willie Wilde that she had married the wrong brother. Such bitter irony because Oscar was already married, and we all know how that turned out. Then I found this wonderfully gossipy 1893 article that outlines what made Willie even worse as a husband!
The Morning Call, 8 June 1893, 10.
Mrs. Leslie in the Divorce Court
The Great Matrimonial Comedy About to Close - Willie Wilde’s Failure as a Husband

Many people out here who had the opportunities a year and a half ago to please themselves by meeting Mrs. Frank Leslie and the brother of Oscar Wilde will gossip with considerable relish about the dissolution of the matrimonial alliance between them.

Mrs. Leslie expects that the bonds will be put assunder by Judge Brown of Newburg, N.Y., in a very few days, and the very minute she finds herself a free woman again she will sail to Europe.

That was a funny sort of match from the start, and the breaking of it now only makes people smile. The characteristic passages in the married life of Mr. and Mrs. William Wilde would make a more delightful society comedy than the stage ever presented if properly selected and strung together.
Mrs. Frank Leslie

People out here who met them when they visited California with the League of Press Clubs were not impressed by the idea that it was one of those tender love affairs. They had been married about four months then, so that the trip came pretty near being a honeymoon tour. Everybody who had ever seen Mrs. Leslie thought they knew what she looked like, for next to President Harrison her picture had been published as often as anybody else’s in America, displaying the bright, handsome face and the trim and stylishly dressed form of a striking and fascinating young woman.

But oh, what a difference time had wrought since the negatives from which all of Mrs. Leslie’s pictures have been made were new! She came as bright, independent, positive and hustling as she ever was, but there were furrows where the bloom had once rested and nature had acquired that careless way of letting lines of grace sag into less pleasing outlines. No good picture of Mrs. Leslie has ever been labeled “From a recent photograph.” But everybody was curious and ambitious to meet the famous woman who had taken a great publishing business where her husband had left it at his death - deeply involved in debt - and by her own shrewdness made an independent fortune out of it.
Oscar & Willie by Unseam

And Willie Wilde - William C. Kingbusy Wilde - was regarded with little less curiosity. He was a great tall, bewhiskered, large-eyed Englishman in rather ill-fitting clothes, with a stoop about his shoulders, a slowness in his talk and movements and a very unaggressive manner.

He was a man who had distinguished himself - by becoming brother of a poet and by marrying Mrs. Frank Leslie. He was the husband of Mrs. Frank Leslie and was always identified that way. That suited the bride to a T - in fact, she insisted on it herself. She never proposed her identity be swallowed up in a mere husband and she never betrayed a disposition to do any great amount of cleaving to him. She was always “Mrs. Frank Leslie,” though at times she would let “Wilde” be tacked on with a hyphen, and she always went right a head having her own way with as little regard for her hubby’s wishes as though he were her coachman. In fact, the ruthless way in which she would “sit down” on him in the presence of strangers was often quite distressing. It was even more distressing to be compelled to witness the apologetic “Will you allow me, madame?” way that William C.K. Wilde had in her presence.

And when Mrs. Leslie and Willie Wilde returned to New York to take up the routine of life they did it in very different ways, and as time went on no affinity was developed. She got out of bed betimes and attended to her business. while he, ready to receive the good sent by the gods, took up the “dolce far niente” style of languid existence, the hustling wife trying in vain to just “sha-ake” him into doing something in the way of “getting there.”

Then there was Willie’s careless way of leaving his teeth lying around her boudoir and little things like that to gradually increase a desire on her part to lose him. So it was no wonder that Willie finally went back to London where she met him and whence he came nerved up to a grim resolve not to weary in persuading, which resolve enabled him to make the one brilliant stroke in his life.

Mrs. Frank Leslie is a brilliant success as a publisher, but like a few other women she was not so smart about getting married. Now people will wonder if she will not go back to Europe to again set the gossips to talking and perhaps see if she can’t do better next time.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dracula After Stoker

Something about finding Dracula serialized in the Washington Times five years after Bram Stoker died struck me. In 1917, it still looks very Victorian and domestic with the images around it.

Although Dracula wasn't as successful and Stoker would have liked, during his life, Florence Stoker (born: Florence Anne Lemon Balcombe - I love the name "Lemon") protected its copyright viciously and benefited from a good income, long after her husband's death. Indeed, she is best remembered for suppressing Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's film Nosferatu (1922), which was based on her husband's novel.

Screenwriter, Henrik Galeen changed the main character's names and some certain key points, but the resemblance to Stoker's novel was still undeniable. As Stoker's literary executor, Florence never gave permission for the adaptation, or received payment for it. She was furious and demanded the financial reparation that was due to the estate. She also wanted all of the negatives and prints of the film  destroyed.

Despite her success in court, Nosferatu survived and slowly began to resurface in the late 1920s, with the first American screenings taking place in New York City and Detroit in 1929.

Surely she got payment for the novel's serialization in the Washington Times.

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