Category Archives: Humour

Danger! Lady on Board!

Snippets 158. In John Bull and His Island (1883), Frenchman Max O’Rell describes the experience of travelling in England at the time.  He is largely complimentary about the railway system, commenting on the lack of bureaucracy in comparison with France, … Continue reading

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Stuck in Customs (in 1854)

Snippets 157. When the American Rev. George Foxcroft Haskins visited Italy in 1854, as part of his tour of Europe, he was in reality visiting a collection of independent states. This was just a few years before the reunification of Italy … Continue reading

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The idea of “home”

Snippets 153.  Over the last three years that Windows into History has been going, I have occasionally championed a particular favourite author of mine from the late 19th Century: Max O’Rell (1847-1903).  He was a humourous French travel writer, whose … Continue reading

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Bald head? Use some beef.

Snippets 149.  In 1903 a book of useful household advice was published in Australia, How to Make and Save Money.  Some of the advice might not have stood the test of time, so it is probably best to read the … Continue reading

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Soup, soup and soup please.

Snippets 147.  On October 22nd 1881 the first ever issue of Tit-Bits was published, with a simple aim of extracting all the best quotes from other newspapers, magazines and books.  It was successful enough to run for over a hundred … Continue reading

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Drunken Actors

Snippets 145.  In almost every generation there has been an actor who is known for turning up drunk to work.  They often became famous for it, and all the more popular.  In Thomas Munden’s biography of his father, well-known actor … Continue reading

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The Struggling Actor

Snippets 144.  Joseph Shepherd Munden was a well-known actor during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, known principally for his comedy performances.  His son Thomas wrote his very entertaining biography, Memoirs of Joseph Shepherd Munden.  The following anecdotes concern … Continue reading

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