Romance writers are often accused of allowing their heroines to behave in ways "real" women of the time wouldn't have done. The female disguised as a male is one example. Yet we know it happened. Women didn't always get away with it—but they did believe they could. The duel described below speaks, I think, for itself—and don't we all want to know what they were fighting about. The illustrations are not of the time. Alas, I couldn't find any. If you can, please give us a link.
PROVINCIALS—REMARKABLE OCCURRENCES, &c. &c. HAMPSHIRE. SINGULAR CIRCUMSTANCE.—A singular circumstance occurred on board the ship Regalia, in the harbour of Portsmouth, a short time since.— The Captain (Palmer) had two apprentices sent him from London, by the owners, both of whom were regularly bound, and had been on board some time. One of them fell overboard in the harbour, and was with much difficulty got on board the ship; when the supposed lad proved to be a young girl about sixteen years of age! She said she had procured a living near London, by working in the fields; but disliking the employment, and without a character to recommend her to any housekeeper's employment, she was induced to pass herself off as a young lad, wishing to go to sea, when she was regularly bound to serve as an apprentice to the owners of the Regalia. The crew handsomely subscribed to rig her out with female clothing, and she is for the present under the notice of the Hon. Mrs. Grey.
INCIDENTS OCCURRING IN AND NEAR LONDON, INTERESTING MARRIAGES, &c.
FEMALE DUELLING.—The famous duel between two French ladies, occasioned by mutual jealousy of each other, is no longer without a parallel. We must, however, enter our protest against the practice ; for should it become general, the hearts of the rougher sex may be exposed, first to a fatal glance from n love-sick fair, and ultimately to a fatal bullet from an angry one. The following is the story as given in the Newspapers:—"A curious report is in circulation in the fashionable world. Two ladies in high life having had a dispute at the Prince's fete, a challenge actually ensued, and the parties proceeded to Kensington Gardens, with their female seconds, who took with them a brace of pistols each, in their ridicules. The seconds having charged, by mistake put in the balls first. The Amazons afterwards took their ground, but missed fire, when their difference was adjusted by the interference of their mutual friends."
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.