Born in 1788 in Chatham, Kent, William Cuffay was the son of an English woman, Juliana Fox, and a formerly enslaved father of African descent, Chatham Cuffay. William was a traveling tailor of a short height. He stood at 4 feet 11 inches. However, in that small body was a powerful activist.
Arabella Hunt (1662-1705) was celebrated for her beauty and her musical talents during her lifetime. Her contemporaries remarked that her soprano voice had the “reed of a bullfinch” and inspired various composers, including Henry Purcell and Dr John Blow.
Jane Austen left more than six novels. She left two unfinished works, juvenilia, and letters to family and friends. It’s from these sources that we get little Austenian nuggets of wisdom, wit, romance, and hope for future generations. Here’s a few for your reading pleasure.
The Ladies of Llangollen, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, were two women that scandalized English society with their unconventional living arrangements. However, they made a number of friends and entertained several interesting guests, including Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Anna Seward, Sir Walter Scott, and even the Duke of Wellington.
While Craigievar Castle is reputed to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, this haunted pinkish monstrosity is the furthest thing from fairy tales. Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, this castle hosts some interesting ghosts, particularly a fiddler and a naked man.
Anne Lister was an English landowner and prolific diarist. Her diaries led to revelations that dubbed her the "first modern lesbian." She led numerous romantic relationships with women and married Ann Walker in what is regarded as Britain's first known lesbian wedding.
Frances Maria Kelly (1790-1882) was a celebrated actress who founded England's first recorded drama school with her own savings. She never married, and she paved her own way in a world where women were expected to raise a family and manage a household.
In July 1806, when Humphrey Hogarth was accused of cheating Henry Barry, the 8th Earl of Barrymore, at cards, he accepted the earl's challenge at a duel to defend his honor. When he showed up, cocked and loaded, he gave the gathering crowd quite an eyeful. Read on for more!
Coined by Richard Lassels (1603-1668), a Catholic priest and travel writer, the term “Grand Tour” was applied to sons from wealthy English families that embarked on travels abroad to Europe. The height of the Grand Tour’s popularity was in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Beau Brummell was the leading fashion icon of his day. So much so, his influence on men’s fashion has trickled down into the modern day suit and tie. Despite being at the forefront of English dandies, Brummell also possessed a witty mind. Ranging from witticisms, advice, and biting sarcasm, for your reading pleasure, here are 9 quotes from Beau Brummell.