Nerdy History people can learn a lot from the advertisements in early 19th century women's magazines. Unfortunately, while the magazines are easy enough to find online, only a few contain the advertising pages.
Was this expensive? For some, prohibitively so. To give an idea of the subscription costs:
First, a little background.
£1 = 20 shillings
1 guinea = 21 shillings
Using one system of valuation, £1 comes to about £70 in today's money (or about $110).
Looking at value in terms of wages: The highest paid servant in a household, according to The Complete Servant, was "A French Man-Cook." For this position, the authors recommend a salary of 80 guineas (£84) a year. At the other end of the scale, one of the lowest paid in the household, a nursery maid, got 7 guineas/year. And this was in 1825, when wages had risen quite a bit.
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.