As Nerdy History persons who've looked into the 18th century can attest, the recent Silly Historical Video Susan posted was all too horribly true. The only adornment that took us by surprise was the carrots. I'm still trying to figure out where the Horrible Histories people got that one.
"When your eyebrows are straw-colored, cut them now and again, so that they darken in growing back. You run no risk because the absence of this nearly white hair will not be remarked.
"When your eyebrows go only half-way over the eye-socket, rub them with soap moistened with brandy to make the hair grow. If they are too thin, the same practice is necessary..."
A few pages further on we read: "To blacken the Eyelashes and Eyebrows. Rub them often with elder-berries. For the same purpose, some make use of burnt cork, or clove burned at the candle. Others employ black frankincense, resin, and mastic: this black, it is said, will not come off with persperation.
"Wash for blackening the Eyebrows. First wash with a decoction of galls. Then rub them with a brush dipped in a solution of green vitriol, and let them dry.
"Black for the eyebrows. Take an ounce of pitch, a like quantity of resin and frankincense, and half an ounce of mastic. Throw them upon live charcoal, over which lay a plate to receive the smoke. A black soot will adhere to the plate; with this soot rub the eyelashes and eyebrows very delicately. This operation, if now and then repeated, will keep them perfectly black."
I've cited The Lady's Stratagemin an earlier blog. It's chock full of fascinating Nerdy History information.
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.