Tuesday, January 19, 2010

La Belle Assemblée for the thinking woman

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Loretta reports:

La Belle Assemblée wasn’t simply a fashion magazine.  Like its fashion magazine counterparts today, it included celebrity gossip, advice, and book and theater reviews.  Not quite like today’s magazines, it provided lists of marriages, births, and deaths (of those who Mattered, that is).  It also offered its lady readers news from the world of intellectual endeavor.

from the January 1830 issue:
Literary and Scientific Intelligence.

Under the sanction of the Admiralty, Sir Gilbert Blane has founded a prize medal, to be given annually for the best journal kept by a surgeon of the navy.

It is said that Moore is to receive 6,000l. for the Life of Lord Byron, the printing of the second volume of which is now rapidly advanced.

The remains of Canova (self-portrait below right) have been somewhat remarkably distributed : his body rests in the church which the artist built at his own expense at Possagno, his birth-place ; his heart is to be placed under a cenotaph in the church of Dei Frati, at Venice ; and the Academy of Fine Arts, at Venice, have obtained possession of his right hand.

Dr. Sloane, of Cork, has invented a lamp upon an entirely new principle for the consumption of tallow, or any refuse fat. This lamp, suited for all purposes, may be manufactured for the low price of two shillings, or rendered an elegant appendage to the drawing-room. It is portable as a chamber candlestick ; may be trimmed by a child ; and gives a pure light, varying in intensity at pleasure, from the dim flame of the rush-light to the broad glare of the finest gas.

A new steam fire-engine has been invented at Liverpool. On an alarm being given, it will be drawn forth by horses ; and, on a light being first applied to the fuel, which will be always ready in the engine, the wheels as they revolve along will work the bellows and get up the steam, probably before it reaches the place of fire, where it will perform as much work, in forcing water, as could be performed by about 250 men.


News From the Holmestead said...

Whoa! Usually, I'm a lurker, but I just had to comment on the picture of Canova: spitting image of Paul Bettany as ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin in the movie Master and Commander!

Mme.Tresbeau said...

Fascinating! Are these magazines available anywhere on line now?

LorettaChase said...

I was a little punchy last night after completing a copy edit, and forgot to put in the link to Google Books. I've edited the post so the link appears twice, but here it is:

Mme, some of it won't be to modern tastes, esp the style of the prose, but there's a great deal of fascinating information, and I do think these magazines offer splendid insights into the times.

And Sherrie, yes, the portrait is quite striking.

nightsmusic said...

Wish we still got magazines like this, chatty things that skipped from item to item instead of the rags or single focus magazines we have now.

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