For today’s Wednesday Whimsy I went to my stash of Victorian trade cards and decided to present a theme of Ladies Reading. Most are reading books but a few, like this charming medieval damsel, are apparently reading letters. I love her hair, seems to be in the most elaborate braid.
Found this quote from Francis Bacon:
“Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.”
And I think the picture is a good illustration for the quote
She was advertising some kind of meat extract…..
Now the recumbent young lady below was apparently reading and then began having “Maidens Dream of a New Home”, as the card says, which was apparently going to have to feature a new sewing machine! Here’s a quote for her:
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
I love the ones of people reading together, like these two elaborately dressed young ladies, who were advertising shoes (although the shoes are all but invisible in the picture).
And my next art card embodies this Jane Austen quote, I think, and reminds me so much of her novels. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
And this last one is just fun – she’s obviously reading a scary book alone at night. I like to imagine she’s reading Frankenstein perhaps, or Dracule, or maybe even The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. This card was advertising “a trusty family tonic” and advises on the reverse side that young ladies should forego reading ghost stories at bedtime. I guess if they ignored the advice, then the trusty tonic was ready to banish the nightmares!