Today TheHusband, my MIL, ThePug, and myself spent majority of our time in the main living room doing various and sundry tasks. I curled up in a chair with a constant cup of tea near me with ThePug conjoined to my hip as I researched on Cabinet Particulier and juxtaposed the research with recreational reading. TheHusband worked with my MIL on her oral history — she literally is one of the most interesting women in the world. In between bits of cookies, tea, and reading, I gave archivist advice on documenting, curating, and archiving her stories. She, along with my FIL, are published poets and writers and there are plans of TheHusband and I becoming the family historians in the next few years to start documenting their papers and stories to save for future generations.
I have been toying with the idea of my heroine as supplementing her income as an actress by becoming an Edwardian postcard model, which was something many of the actresses of the era did, something I had come across from my initial research a few years ago. As I started falling down that particular research hole this afternoon, I came across this great paper The Edwardian postcard: a revolutionary moment in rapid multimodal communications which discusses a current project at Lancaster University co-directed by the authors. The paper goes into great detail about literacy and accessibility of writing postcards, which lead into it becoming a social phenomenon during the beginning of the 20th century.
Mail delivery happened in major cities up to 10 times a day, so responses were often “instant”
The average number of postcards written during this period, per person, is 200
UK Postmaster General reported to have delivered 6 BILLION postcards during the Edwardian era
Postcards were significantly cheaper to send than regular letters (Half penny per postcard as opposed to a full penny for a letter)
Postcards could be, and were, written in a very informal style which gave writers more freedom of expression
[Postcards] are utterly destructive of style, and give absolutely no play to the emotions. George Sims circa 1902
I found the above quote amusing since near identical verbiage has been given about Twitter.
The paper and the project were the source of why numerous articles in 2009 popped up about Edwardian postcards and referring to the postcards as the grandfather of social networking.
For those like me who are interested in more history on postcards, and their rise in Edwardian era, below are good points to start out:
During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Based on the stories by P.G. Wodehouse, a frothy watch that is coming back for a second season in 2014.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sleepy Hollow
I watched the first few episodes of both and let the rest pile up on the DVR. I found, as time went on, I had no fucks for either show. I was bored, found Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. neither clever or intriguing and Sleepy Hollow was just plain boring.
Another show, like Homeland, that I stopped watching at some point in mid-season only to have TheHusband keep me up to date on the goings on. Now that one of my favorite characters is dead, the plot is overly messy, another character has been tossed to the side, I am glad this is now over. If this gets picked up for another season, we’ll more than likely not watch this hot mess.
Downton Abbey Christmas Special
This was, it has to be, a parody of the entire show. Two major events were pushed easily to the side and summarily forgotten, no real movement in the plot, and speculation about some of the characters was heightened all dressed under snark about the English upper classes by the characters playing the upper classes. Just meh.
Death Comes to Pemberley Based on the novel by P.D. James, this three part series is currently being shown in the UK. I have yet to read the book, but, the series is interesting. It has loads of good actors, Matthew Rhys, Matthew Goode, Anna Maxwell Martin, and others. But the movement is slow, the dialogue is a bit thin, and frankly, I am not caring enough about the characters but I will continue.
Raised by Wolves
Written by Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline, it is an emphasis of their ramshackle homeschooled life from the ’80s, except placed in the current climes. I have a love/hate relationship with Caitlin, and the first episode got a slow start, but I found myself warming up to the show pretty quick.