Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Universal Advertising Sheet, Part 2

Back by popular demand! Let’s have another look at the advertisements posted in editions of La Belle Assemblée from April  and July 1813—two hundred and six years ago.

This one was interesting:

A Lady
Who has been accustomed to the Private Tuition of young Ladies, wishes for a situation as GOVERNESS in a family of consequence. She is competent to teach the French and English languages Grammatically, Geography, Writing, and Arithmetic; also to superintend the practice of young Pupils in the absence of the Master. Should any genteel family who are going to the East Indies want an Instructress for their children, the advertiser would be ready to treat with them on liberal terms. The most respectable references will be given.—Letters, post-paid, and addressed to M. B. and left at the General Post-office, will be attended to immediately.

N.B. The advertiser would have no objection to engage herself as companion to any Lady, who would render such a situation comfortable.

Oh, I do love the advertisements like these! Jane Eyre immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? What I find interesting about this one is that M.B. seems quite willing to travel all the way to India—she was certainly no shrinking violet! I wonder if she found employment with a family who were indeed going there...and did she perhaps meet a handsome, up-and-coming East India officer there?  The plot bunnies are a-hopping...

On a related note...from the July advertisement supplement:


MRS. SASS, honoured by the most decided preference, acquaints the Nobility and Gentry, that she continues to provide Families with GOVERNESSES, Ladies who keep SCHOOLS, with Partners, Teachers, Apprentices, and Half Boarders. Ladies who wish to be accommodated, by setting their names down in MRS. SASS’S Book, will meet with due attention; Governesses and Teachers, French and English, may hear of Situations, by application at No. 120, High Holborn. Letters (post paid) will be attended to immediately.

Maybe our M.B. above should have paid a call on Mrs. Sass and her book. And by the way, here is another respectable profession for a woman—employment agent!

What’s even more interesting is another ad placed in the same issue:

TO THE LADIES. HENRY SASS, corner of King’s-street, Holborn, begs leave to acquaint his Friends and the Ladies in general that he has a large assortment of DRAWINGS, consisting of Figures, &c., on SILK, for Lambs’ Wool Embroidery, ready for sale; also Hearth Rugs, Turkish Cushions, Urn Stands, Table Matts, with Patterns set, and every material for the different Works. Pieces ready worked, and Paintings, on the most reasonable terms, for ready money.—Ladies taught all the different works.

A young Lady wanted as an Apprentice.

***Drawing taught in all its different branches.—Also Painting on China, Glass, and Velvet, in a superior style.—Schools attended.

Ooh, lots to unpack here. First, I assume Henry Sass and Mrs. Sass are related—married? In laws? Second...why hasn’t Henry asked Mrs. Sass to find him a young Lady Apprentice? And third...here is the Regency London equivalent of A.C. Moore—a craft shop! The painting on velvet caught my eye—would they maybe have pictures of Prinny or Lord Byron painted on velvet, instead of Elvis? ;) Lastly, Henry evidently was willing to teach at  schools; a useful service for smaller schools who could not afford a full time art master, or did not want to have one living on the premises along with a bunch of impressionable girls.

What struck you about this week’s ads?


QNPoohBear said...

You found some great ones! First, I think M.B. is hiding something or desperate to get away. Why go all the way to India and be desperate enough to say "I'm willing to go as a companion too!"? That strikes me as odd. There is a story there waiting to be told. Perhaps she's looking for a husband and desperate for someone to pay her passage to India? Also, when I saw Sass, I wondered if it was a false name and that could account for Henry Sass?

Marissa Doyle said...

I actually know people with the surname 'Sass', so I don't know...