Friday, January 22, 2010

Inspired by the Small Ads

Some years ago I came across a wonderful collection of advertisements in ‘The Times’ from the 1870s. It’s been a source of inspiration ever since.

Stuck for plot? How about:
C.C.C.C. Do not despair, my Marguerite. Only have patience. I hope we shall meet on the 3rd at P. Be cautious and attend to all the advice I gave you. Do write to the London address if you possibly can, and tell me what has happened that prevents your writing. If I wrote in l.j. it would betray us. Thine for ever, B.B.B.B.

Want an unusual setting for hero and heroine to meet? Try:
CAPTAIN CHIOSSO’S LONDON GYMNASIUM and FENCING SCHOOL, 123, Oxford Street, Regent-circus. Open from 9 am to 10 pm. Single lessons and classes every hour of the day. Ladies’ classes for drilling and deportment at 12, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, superintended by Mme Chiosso. (Hero, flushed from fencing, bumps into heroine with a pile of books on her head?)

Heroine desperate for a (dodgy) job? What about:
CLAIRVOYANCE, Somnambule, Extralucide, - Mme Fontenelle, 41 Baker Street. Séances tous les jours de 2h. à 4h. Prix, une guinée; luncheon and evening parties, 20 guineas. (I love the sudden switch from elegant French to prosaic English.)

There’s also a section on books – with reviews:
DEBENHAM’S VOW. By AMELIA B. EDWARDS, 3 volumes at all libraries. ‘A clever book. The story is fresh and interesting, and most of the characters are natural, while some of them are charming.’ – Saturday Review. Hurst and Blackett, publishers. (Talk about damning with faint praise!)

However, some of the book titles are terrific. For example: ‘False Hearts and True’ by Mrs Alex Ander Fraser, author of ‘A Fatal Passion’. But if I wanted to pinch a title, it would have to be ‘Vixen’, by Mrs Braddon. I can see the cover now!

Elizabeth Hawksley

2 Comments:

Blogger kate tremayne said...

I loved these. Thank you for sharing them Elizabeth. I agree with you that they are inspiring.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Jan Jones said...

Oh! I want to go to Captain Chiosso's!

10:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home




Follow us on Twitter @http://twitter.com/HRomanceUK




Readers outside the UK might like to know about

The Book Depository

which offers free delivery worldwide


Our books are also available from all Amazons

- see links to our websites

and our UK and US Amazon pages below -

as well as most book shops

depending on country

LOUISE ALLEN'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JO BEVERLEY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


LYNNE CONNOLLY / LYNNE MARTIN WEBSITE

UK       US


NICOLA CORNICK'S WEBSITE

UK       US


CHRISTINA COURTENAY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


AMANDA GRANGE'S WEBSITE

UK       US


ELIZABETH HAWKSLEY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


ANNE HERRIES'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JANE JACKSON'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JAN JONES'S WEBSITE

UK


MELINDA HAMMOND / SARAH MALLORY WEBSITE

UK       US


JOANNA MAITLAND'S WEBSITE

UK       US


FENELLA JANE MILLER'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JANE ODIWE'S WEBSITE

UK      US



Cover art copyright the publishers