Today we complete our detailed look at an example of an 18th century Ladies Pocketbook, which we began in our last post.
What might potentially be the most interesting part of the pocketbook, – Fifty-two double Pages rules for Memorandums etc, in effect, the diary entries- is sadly missing in this example. (FX: Grinding teeth)
But what remains have is interesting, throwing a light on the frivolities and practicalities of life from a middling sort lady in the late 18th century.
First, Hints to Unmarried Ladies (Do remember you can enlarge all the photographs in this post in order to see the detail of the individual pages)
This is a conduct book warning regarding proprietary in the midst of all this practicality. This little essay is particularly florid in tone:
What is so analogous to the dangers of walking through burning plough-shares, in the fiery ordeal predicted by our ancestors, as the strong temptations the ladies are exposed to from the warm addresses of the gentlemen ….
Next, continuing the conduct book theme, An Essay on Modesty…
How many have been undone because they have not had impudence enough to deny the request of a profest friend?
Followed by An Ode to Health
A little warning about losing one’s bloom, something that Anne Elliot could write a heartfelt essay upon….Then, just in case one wanted to do something to rekindle one’s bloom, a very helpful Account of the Mineral Waters in England and Wales and the Amusements at the Watering Places
Next, Favourite New Songs Sung at Vauxhall Ranelagh and the other pubik places in 1777
The first The Nod, Wink and Smile sung by Mr Vernon at Vauxhall.
This section is a sort of Top Ten hits of the day. I find them fascinating, and I was very glad to be able to send copies of these to David Coke to add to his collection of songs sung at Vauxhall Gardens. More on his Vauxhall Exhibit at the Foundling Hospital Museum soon. Then, in keeping with the pleasure themes we have instructions for the New Country Dances for the year 1778
And finally…back to earth with A New Marketing Table
and A Table of Expences
and finally in this section, A Table of Interest, to help you with your calculations:
And just in case you are worried about social niceties, the Table of Precedency among Ladies
Sadly, the Chairmen and Watermen’s rates are missing from my little pocket-book, but that would have been essential information when visiting London, if you didn’t want to be taken advantage of by either promoters of both types of transport. And that ends this look at what was thought to be useful information for a woman of the late 18th century. I do hope you have found it interesting.