Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Universal Advertising Sheet, Part 3

Let’s see what interesting shreds of personal and social history we can read about, courtesy this week of the Monthly Compendium of Literary, Fashionable, and Domestic Advertisements from the March 1, 1807 edition of La Belle Assemblée...

First, another Jane Eyre moment:

The attention of Parents and Guardians is requested. A Lady is desirous of taking ONLY TWO young ladies, from three to eight years of age, to instruct with every comfort and advantage of paternal Education; she does not propose giving any Holidays –Letters (post paid) addressed to A. Z. Post Office, Laytonstone, Essex, will be duly answered.

Well. I said this sounded like a Jane Eyre moment...but from whose point of view? No holidays? That seems a tad harsh for students of pre-school and elementary age, I think; A.Z. was quite the taskmistress.

These advertising supplements are full of ads for hair products (in this issue, there’s one for Russia Oil, for the growth of hair...but here’s one for a stylist, which I found interesting. Cropped hair was still quite fashionable, and would be yet for another few years:

Ladies’ Head Dress Maker and Hair Cutter, No. 6, Tavistock-street, Covent-garden,
has the honour to acquaint the Nobility and Gentry, that he has completed an assortment of elegant Head-Dresses; that need only to be seen to be approved of.
The Royal Crop is a specimen of superior elegance.
Ladies that honour him with their commands, will please to say, if for young, middle aged, or elderly Ladies. The price from two to five Guineas.
Gentlemen’s Crops made to a perfection in fitness very rarely to be met with, at two Guineas and a half.
The Nobility and Gentry’s hair cut with every attention to style and the improvement of their hair.
Ladies and Gentlemen will please to give their servants very particular directions to his house, as Vickery’s name is placed very conspicuously at shops in the neighborhood, with which he has no connection.
Vickery’s establishment, formerly of Bond-street, Bishopsgate-street, and Cheapside, (but now of Tavistock-street only) upwards of thirty years standing.

I suppose that if one was using too much Russia Oil, Mr. Vickery’s services would be frequently required... ;)

Now, this one is the most interesting of the issue:

The delicate and restrained condition which custom imposes on females, subjects them to great dis-advantages, —Mrs. Morris offers to remove them. Ladies or Gentlemen who have formed predilections may be assisted in obtaining the objects of their affection; and those who are unengaged may be immediately introduced to suitable persons; but she cannot assist applicants in any marriage if their characters are not irreproachable, and their fortunes considerable and independent. She will not admit any others.
Apply or address (post paid) at the Bow-window, next door to Margaret Chapel, Margaret-street, Cavendish-square. Ladies who require it, may be waited upon at their own houses.

Oh, my writer’s mind is teeming! Was Mrs. Morris a marriage broker? Did she have the Regency equivalent of an overstuffed Rolodex because she was perhaps a lady of once-high social status now fallen on hard times? Was she in the business of match-making for noveaux riches cits looking to marry into a higher social class?  What do you think?

No comments: