Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Victorians Lose Their Luggage

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Frith, The Railway Station 1866

Loretta reports:

Last time, I talked about penmanship. Today, I offer a look at letter-writing, another lost art. I was, as any nerdy history person would imagine, thrilled to find the Correct Guide to Letter Writing (4th ed, 1889), which covers letters for virtually all occasions, including a marriage proposal From a Widower with grown-up Daughters to a Young Lady (and acceptance and rejection letters for same);  a letter From a Young Man to his  Guardian, asking for an increased Allowance; one from From a Butler to his Master, giving Notice; and one From a Lady, promising to sing at an Afternoon Tea.
Lost Luggage Letters

The two letters displayed here, complaining about lost luggage, show that this phenomenon didn't begin with airline luggage.  I’ll bet anything there are Egyptian hieroglyphs and Roman tablets complaining about lost luggage. Some of those pictures carved on cave walls probably express some Neolithic ancient ancestor’s dismay about his misplaced mastodon skin.
Llangollen Station
Llangollen station on the w:Llangollen Railway, a heritage line in north Wales. Photographed from the town bridge over the River Dee (Afon Ddyfrdwy), by Chris Mckenna, 2005, courtesy Wikipedia.

William Powell Frith, The Railway Station. Engraving by Francis Holl (after Frith) 1866, courtesy Wikipedia.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Hels said...

The Correct Guide to Letter Writing really does cover letters for all important occasions, thank you. Marriage proposals; acceptance letters for same; letters from a young man to his dad; staff letters to employers etc etc really were and are critical.

But lost luggage? I was going to Malta one year and my luggage ended up in Manchester! Nothing helped!!

Marti said...

I just flew from L.A. to Vermont and my suitcase arrived with a very expensive TSA lock missing. I don't think the case was opened but some agent now has a very nice lock,

Unknown said...

It appears by that time the whole "I am honored to be your most obedient servant" thing had fallen out of favor.

Annette Naish said...

I would not bet on anyone being compensated for the lost or damaged luggage. But, maybe train people are kinder than airplane people. And I am honored to be your most obedient reader.

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