Oh I Do Love To be Beside the Seaside!
I will be on holiday when you read this, which made me think of how the early 19th century saw the first flourishing of the English love of the seaside holiday.
Everyone in this little sketch seems sensibly dressed for their walk in the sea air, but the fashion prints themselves show great interest in the most up to date outfit and, fashion being what it is, some of these are extreme to put it mildly.
Who, setting out to scramble over rocks with a telescope, dresses like this lady in an 1809 print for La Belle Assemblee? (Left) I can't help wondering if she had spotted the gentlemen's bathing beach!
On the right is a rather more practical outfit from Ackermann's Repository in the 1820s - but there is still the telescope and the rather guilty look!
The gentlemen, of course, made no bones about viewing the ladies bathing and telescopes were deployed all along the front in Brighton. I don't think it can have been a very titillating sight if this print of a Yorkshire seaside scene is anything to go by. The unfortunate bather looks perished with cold and the bathing machines are very utilitarian.
If you are taking a seaside holiday this year I hope the sun shines for you!