Smock Races!

Kingsfavorite
By Susan Scott

As Wench Pat noted in her blog last week, most writers write a good many words that don’t make the final cut, and are edited/deleted/discarded along the way.  For those of us who are History Nerds (you know who you are!) as well as writers, the e-trashcan is also filled with lots of historical facts and scraps that we come across during research that just can’t be squeezed comfortably into a plot or foisted onto our hapless characters.  While sometimes these research-leftovers only need a bit of time to percolate in the imagination before they become usable, others will always be fascinating but hopeless curiosities, and no more.

And as an example, I offer smock races.

A fixture of country fairs and holidays in the 17th-early 19th century throughout Great Britain, smock races turn up again and again in bawdy ballads and prints of the time, and I have to admit a certain weird fascination for them.  The idea was simple enough: sturdy country lasses competed in a footrace along a set course, the prize being a smock of fine linen.  Just as athletic men were wrestling, boxing, and shooting in organized contests to display their physical prowess, healthy young women could do the same in the smock race.  Competition was limited to the young and unwed, and often restricted to virgins as well, though the connection between being fleet of foot and pure of body eludes me.

Smockshift_jpg
Smocks, or shifts, were the basic all-purpose undergarment of the time for women of every class, worn beneath stays and gowns for day and often also to bed at night. (Left, a modern woman wearing a replica 18th c. smock.)  The smocks offered as prizes were usually of high quality Holland linen, and trimmed with lace or ribbons.  Some mentioned in advertisments for the races were valued as high as fifteen shillings, making them desirable indeed to young women who worked hard for their livings.  The prize smock was often displayed hanging from a nearby flag-pole or tree-branch, to be admired as an incentive, as well as to inspire all kinds of titillating, bawdy jests, because, of course, underwear humor never goes out of style.  (I see Paris, I see France….)

From all reports, the competition was fierce, attracting large crowds to cheer along the race-course.  There don’t seem to have been any real rules or restrictions, and the barefoot women freely tripped and elbowed their rivals, knocking one another down into the dust.  The more out-of-control the race, the more the audiences roared their approval, and the more celebrated the eventual victor became, waving her prize over her head as she was carried about on the shoulders of young men.  Local gentry came to watch as well, sitting on their horses or in carriages, and they were not above taking part in the heavy wagering that usually accompanied the races.  In other words, epic combat at its best. (The engraving, right, An Holland Smock to run for, by any Woman born in this County: the best Woman in three Heats by John Collet includes a sailor in the tree peeping at the prize-smock, plus lots of jolly drunken behavior by all parties as the young women sprint by — except for the one tripped by a dog.)

Irish poet and cleric James Ward (1691-1736) described The Smock Race at Finglas, a village nearSmock1001
Dublin, in 1718.  To start, the “arbiter” announced the prizes:

‘Ye virgins that intend to try the race,
The swiftest wins a smock enriched with lace:
A Cabrick kerchief shall the next adorn,
And Kidden Gloves shall by the third be worn.’
This said, he high in the air displayed each prize:
All viewing the waving smock with longing eyes.

Clearly Ward likes the girls, and spends line after line describing their charms, including “Fair Oonah, pride of the neighboring mill” whose “rosy cheeks with modest blushes glow/At once her innocence and beauty show.”

And, like every supposedly impartial sports commentator, Ward has his favorite, too:

Tall as a pine, majestic Nora stood,
Her youthful veins were swelled with sprightly blood,
Inured to toils, in wholesome gardens bred,
Exact in every limb and formed for speed.

Rowlandsomsmockrace
But oh, what cruel fate attacks poor Nora!  Though she’s far ahead in the race, suddenly the tie holding her skirt around her waist breaks  (and remember that this is an era without drawers, as is evident in Thomas Rowlandson drawing of a smock race, left)

Quick stopped the maid, nor would, to win the race,
Expose her hidden Charms to vulgar gaze;
But while to tie the treacherous knot she stayed,
Her glad rivals pass the weeping maid.

So thanks to a “wardrobe malfunction”, Oonah snags the winner’s smock.  She also wins the hottest guy in the village, too, the “loveliest swain” who is so taken with Oonah’s victory that later than night they, ahem, celebrate together:

No jarring Settlement their bliss annoys,
No liscence needed to defer their joys,
Oonah e’er morn the sweets of wedlock tried,
The smock she won a virgin, wore a bride
.

How can a mere gold medal compete with that?

There are two ways to view at smock races, especially looking backward from our supposedly-more-enlightened time.  They could be a rare early example of a Title IX-worthy event forSmock2002
women, with athleticism admired and rewarded.  That the women were also young and attractive, their hair flying out behind them as they ran and their skirts flying up over their bare legs, was not their fault, much like the bikini-clad competitors in beach volleyball today.

Or smock races could be seen as one prolonged snarky joke, a chance for men to ogle pretty girls in an activity that wasn’t at all lady-like.  Here were girls with their stays loosely laced and their sleeves pushed up and their legs and feet bare, all flushed and sweaty and breathing hard from . . . exertion as they competed with one another for fancy lingerie, like the ultimate Victoria’s Secret fantasy, or at least the running life-guards that introduced Baywatch.  In addition was the fervent, thrilling hope among the male audience that one (or more!) of the competitors would fall down and inadvertently reveal those “hidden Charms.” (Certainly that’s the case in the engraving above, A Smock Race at Tottenham Court Fair by J. Pitts, where the largely male crowd seems to be behaving about as badly as they can, including, in the background, tossing one poor woman up into the air.)

All of which probably explains why there aren’t any smock races in historical romances, at least not that I’ve come across. But what do you think?  Do smock races sound like empowering sports for women, or one more excuse for Thomas Rowlandson to draw buxom wenches with self-destructing clothes?  Can you imagine a well-bred heroine jumping into the working-class fray, or a hero admiring her all the more for doing so?  Or perhaps a noble hero falling into first-sight-love when the lowly miller’s daughter races by like Diana herself?

190 thoughts on “Smock Races!”

  1. Well, the fleet of foot pure of body connection makes sense to me….
    I think I’d kind of like a smock race – I’m kind of tired of horses being the only game in town (with some exceptions – any author that includes lawn games like cricket wins my heart) But I think it would either be envy she can’t run or private girl’s school entertainment – I’m not sure I could stop thinking of Paris Hilton as a Roller Derby star if it was Heroine Tested and Ton Approved.

    Reply
  2. Well, the fleet of foot pure of body connection makes sense to me….
    I think I’d kind of like a smock race – I’m kind of tired of horses being the only game in town (with some exceptions – any author that includes lawn games like cricket wins my heart) But I think it would either be envy she can’t run or private girl’s school entertainment – I’m not sure I could stop thinking of Paris Hilton as a Roller Derby star if it was Heroine Tested and Ton Approved.

    Reply
  3. Well, the fleet of foot pure of body connection makes sense to me….
    I think I’d kind of like a smock race – I’m kind of tired of horses being the only game in town (with some exceptions – any author that includes lawn games like cricket wins my heart) But I think it would either be envy she can’t run or private girl’s school entertainment – I’m not sure I could stop thinking of Paris Hilton as a Roller Derby star if it was Heroine Tested and Ton Approved.

    Reply
  4. Well, the fleet of foot pure of body connection makes sense to me….
    I think I’d kind of like a smock race – I’m kind of tired of horses being the only game in town (with some exceptions – any author that includes lawn games like cricket wins my heart) But I think it would either be envy she can’t run or private girl’s school entertainment – I’m not sure I could stop thinking of Paris Hilton as a Roller Derby star if it was Heroine Tested and Ton Approved.

    Reply
  5. Well, the fleet of foot pure of body connection makes sense to me….
    I think I’d kind of like a smock race – I’m kind of tired of horses being the only game in town (with some exceptions – any author that includes lawn games like cricket wins my heart) But I think it would either be envy she can’t run or private girl’s school entertainment – I’m not sure I could stop thinking of Paris Hilton as a Roller Derby star if it was Heroine Tested and Ton Approved.

    Reply
  6. Smock races…a sport ahead of its time *snort* Bad enough they encouraged the women to wardrobe malfunctions but then, for the young men to carry the winner around on their shoulders? Um…what do you think they were doing there since the girls were au naturel beneath their skirts? 😯
    You know, I honestly never heard of smock races until your post, Susan, and I’m wondering if that’s why we don’t read about them. They seem an obscure part of history though from the sounds of it, it was quite popular at the time. Could be a fun story though! One young woman travels from town to town to build her smock wardrobe? hehe
    Oh! And I am totally convinced that the women wear those skimpy bikinis when playing beach volleyball because hardly anyone watched it and by their state of ‘undress’, at least it gathers the male contingent. (My apologies to those here who might enjoy it, but really…might as well just go original Greek!)
    *angelic smile*

    Reply
  7. Smock races…a sport ahead of its time *snort* Bad enough they encouraged the women to wardrobe malfunctions but then, for the young men to carry the winner around on their shoulders? Um…what do you think they were doing there since the girls were au naturel beneath their skirts? 😯
    You know, I honestly never heard of smock races until your post, Susan, and I’m wondering if that’s why we don’t read about them. They seem an obscure part of history though from the sounds of it, it was quite popular at the time. Could be a fun story though! One young woman travels from town to town to build her smock wardrobe? hehe
    Oh! And I am totally convinced that the women wear those skimpy bikinis when playing beach volleyball because hardly anyone watched it and by their state of ‘undress’, at least it gathers the male contingent. (My apologies to those here who might enjoy it, but really…might as well just go original Greek!)
    *angelic smile*

    Reply
  8. Smock races…a sport ahead of its time *snort* Bad enough they encouraged the women to wardrobe malfunctions but then, for the young men to carry the winner around on their shoulders? Um…what do you think they were doing there since the girls were au naturel beneath their skirts? 😯
    You know, I honestly never heard of smock races until your post, Susan, and I’m wondering if that’s why we don’t read about them. They seem an obscure part of history though from the sounds of it, it was quite popular at the time. Could be a fun story though! One young woman travels from town to town to build her smock wardrobe? hehe
    Oh! And I am totally convinced that the women wear those skimpy bikinis when playing beach volleyball because hardly anyone watched it and by their state of ‘undress’, at least it gathers the male contingent. (My apologies to those here who might enjoy it, but really…might as well just go original Greek!)
    *angelic smile*

    Reply
  9. Smock races…a sport ahead of its time *snort* Bad enough they encouraged the women to wardrobe malfunctions but then, for the young men to carry the winner around on their shoulders? Um…what do you think they were doing there since the girls were au naturel beneath their skirts? 😯
    You know, I honestly never heard of smock races until your post, Susan, and I’m wondering if that’s why we don’t read about them. They seem an obscure part of history though from the sounds of it, it was quite popular at the time. Could be a fun story though! One young woman travels from town to town to build her smock wardrobe? hehe
    Oh! And I am totally convinced that the women wear those skimpy bikinis when playing beach volleyball because hardly anyone watched it and by their state of ‘undress’, at least it gathers the male contingent. (My apologies to those here who might enjoy it, but really…might as well just go original Greek!)
    *angelic smile*

    Reply
  10. Smock races…a sport ahead of its time *snort* Bad enough they encouraged the women to wardrobe malfunctions but then, for the young men to carry the winner around on their shoulders? Um…what do you think they were doing there since the girls were au naturel beneath their skirts? 😯
    You know, I honestly never heard of smock races until your post, Susan, and I’m wondering if that’s why we don’t read about them. They seem an obscure part of history though from the sounds of it, it was quite popular at the time. Could be a fun story though! One young woman travels from town to town to build her smock wardrobe? hehe
    Oh! And I am totally convinced that the women wear those skimpy bikinis when playing beach volleyball because hardly anyone watched it and by their state of ‘undress’, at least it gathers the male contingent. (My apologies to those here who might enjoy it, but really…might as well just go original Greek!)
    *angelic smile*

    Reply
  11. Not so bad as bearbaiting or cockfighting, but smock races do sound like they would be a hard sell in a modern novel. Fascinating post, and might I ask where you found the pictures?

    Reply
  12. Not so bad as bearbaiting or cockfighting, but smock races do sound like they would be a hard sell in a modern novel. Fascinating post, and might I ask where you found the pictures?

    Reply
  13. Not so bad as bearbaiting or cockfighting, but smock races do sound like they would be a hard sell in a modern novel. Fascinating post, and might I ask where you found the pictures?

    Reply
  14. Not so bad as bearbaiting or cockfighting, but smock races do sound like they would be a hard sell in a modern novel. Fascinating post, and might I ask where you found the pictures?

    Reply
  15. Not so bad as bearbaiting or cockfighting, but smock races do sound like they would be a hard sell in a modern novel. Fascinating post, and might I ask where you found the pictures?

    Reply
  16. Sounds like the 18th century precursor to the beauty pageant. And just another case of men (I’m sure men organized these things) wanting to see partially naked women and rationalizing it with PR–“We’re giving a poor girl a chance to win something she could never afford herself!” Yeah, sure.

    Reply
  17. Sounds like the 18th century precursor to the beauty pageant. And just another case of men (I’m sure men organized these things) wanting to see partially naked women and rationalizing it with PR–“We’re giving a poor girl a chance to win something she could never afford herself!” Yeah, sure.

    Reply
  18. Sounds like the 18th century precursor to the beauty pageant. And just another case of men (I’m sure men organized these things) wanting to see partially naked women and rationalizing it with PR–“We’re giving a poor girl a chance to win something she could never afford herself!” Yeah, sure.

    Reply
  19. Sounds like the 18th century precursor to the beauty pageant. And just another case of men (I’m sure men organized these things) wanting to see partially naked women and rationalizing it with PR–“We’re giving a poor girl a chance to win something she could never afford herself!” Yeah, sure.

    Reply
  20. Sounds like the 18th century precursor to the beauty pageant. And just another case of men (I’m sure men organized these things) wanting to see partially naked women and rationalizing it with PR–“We’re giving a poor girl a chance to win something she could never afford herself!” Yeah, sure.

    Reply
  21. ROFL! This is terrific, and entirely new to me. This isn’t a precursor to the beauty pageant, but to the mud wrestling competition. 🙂
    I’m a failure as history nerd since I was unfamiliar with smock races, but I think I could fit one into my next book, with your permission. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  22. ROFL! This is terrific, and entirely new to me. This isn’t a precursor to the beauty pageant, but to the mud wrestling competition. 🙂
    I’m a failure as history nerd since I was unfamiliar with smock races, but I think I could fit one into my next book, with your permission. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  23. ROFL! This is terrific, and entirely new to me. This isn’t a precursor to the beauty pageant, but to the mud wrestling competition. 🙂
    I’m a failure as history nerd since I was unfamiliar with smock races, but I think I could fit one into my next book, with your permission. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  24. ROFL! This is terrific, and entirely new to me. This isn’t a precursor to the beauty pageant, but to the mud wrestling competition. 🙂
    I’m a failure as history nerd since I was unfamiliar with smock races, but I think I could fit one into my next book, with your permission. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  25. ROFL! This is terrific, and entirely new to me. This isn’t a precursor to the beauty pageant, but to the mud wrestling competition. 🙂
    I’m a failure as history nerd since I was unfamiliar with smock races, but I think I could fit one into my next book, with your permission. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  26. Susan here again:
    Well, the smock races do make an alternative to all those genteel archery contests! Yes, they likely would have been organized by men — because back then, men organized everything — but I have to say the women in the engraving all seem pretty determined to win.
    May, the two lower engravings with all the detail came from my current new favorite research book: “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” by John Sykes
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223307109&sr=1-1
    No wafting muslin gowns in this book. As the subtitle says, this what average people wore, a neglected group in most fashion histories. Lots of pictures, detailed text, and photographs of actual fabric swatches, too. If you want to dress your servants, shopkeepers, and tenant farmers properly, this is one to add to the wish-list.
    And, of course, to lean more about the smocks won in smock races!

    Reply
  27. Susan here again:
    Well, the smock races do make an alternative to all those genteel archery contests! Yes, they likely would have been organized by men — because back then, men organized everything — but I have to say the women in the engraving all seem pretty determined to win.
    May, the two lower engravings with all the detail came from my current new favorite research book: “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” by John Sykes
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223307109&sr=1-1
    No wafting muslin gowns in this book. As the subtitle says, this what average people wore, a neglected group in most fashion histories. Lots of pictures, detailed text, and photographs of actual fabric swatches, too. If you want to dress your servants, shopkeepers, and tenant farmers properly, this is one to add to the wish-list.
    And, of course, to lean more about the smocks won in smock races!

    Reply
  28. Susan here again:
    Well, the smock races do make an alternative to all those genteel archery contests! Yes, they likely would have been organized by men — because back then, men organized everything — but I have to say the women in the engraving all seem pretty determined to win.
    May, the two lower engravings with all the detail came from my current new favorite research book: “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” by John Sykes
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223307109&sr=1-1
    No wafting muslin gowns in this book. As the subtitle says, this what average people wore, a neglected group in most fashion histories. Lots of pictures, detailed text, and photographs of actual fabric swatches, too. If you want to dress your servants, shopkeepers, and tenant farmers properly, this is one to add to the wish-list.
    And, of course, to lean more about the smocks won in smock races!

    Reply
  29. Susan here again:
    Well, the smock races do make an alternative to all those genteel archery contests! Yes, they likely would have been organized by men — because back then, men organized everything — but I have to say the women in the engraving all seem pretty determined to win.
    May, the two lower engravings with all the detail came from my current new favorite research book: “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” by John Sykes
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223307109&sr=1-1
    No wafting muslin gowns in this book. As the subtitle says, this what average people wore, a neglected group in most fashion histories. Lots of pictures, detailed text, and photographs of actual fabric swatches, too. If you want to dress your servants, shopkeepers, and tenant farmers properly, this is one to add to the wish-list.
    And, of course, to lean more about the smocks won in smock races!

    Reply
  30. Susan here again:
    Well, the smock races do make an alternative to all those genteel archery contests! Yes, they likely would have been organized by men — because back then, men organized everything — but I have to say the women in the engraving all seem pretty determined to win.
    May, the two lower engravings with all the detail came from my current new favorite research book: “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England” by John Sykes
    http://www.amazon.com/Dress-People-Everyday-Fashion-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0300121199/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223307109&sr=1-1
    No wafting muslin gowns in this book. As the subtitle says, this what average people wore, a neglected group in most fashion histories. Lots of pictures, detailed text, and photographs of actual fabric swatches, too. If you want to dress your servants, shopkeepers, and tenant farmers properly, this is one to add to the wish-list.
    And, of course, to lean more about the smocks won in smock races!

    Reply
  31. Mary Jo, it’s all yours!
    I agree, it seems more like roller-derby than beauty pageant, but then I’m a strong believer in women being every bit as fiercely competitive as men — if not more so. Throw that elbow!
    I hope you do put a smock race in a book. You’d do it justice. 🙂

    Reply
  32. Mary Jo, it’s all yours!
    I agree, it seems more like roller-derby than beauty pageant, but then I’m a strong believer in women being every bit as fiercely competitive as men — if not more so. Throw that elbow!
    I hope you do put a smock race in a book. You’d do it justice. 🙂

    Reply
  33. Mary Jo, it’s all yours!
    I agree, it seems more like roller-derby than beauty pageant, but then I’m a strong believer in women being every bit as fiercely competitive as men — if not more so. Throw that elbow!
    I hope you do put a smock race in a book. You’d do it justice. 🙂

    Reply
  34. Mary Jo, it’s all yours!
    I agree, it seems more like roller-derby than beauty pageant, but then I’m a strong believer in women being every bit as fiercely competitive as men — if not more so. Throw that elbow!
    I hope you do put a smock race in a book. You’d do it justice. 🙂

    Reply
  35. Mary Jo, it’s all yours!
    I agree, it seems more like roller-derby than beauty pageant, but then I’m a strong believer in women being every bit as fiercely competitive as men — if not more so. Throw that elbow!
    I hope you do put a smock race in a book. You’d do it justice. 🙂

    Reply
  36. Fascinating historical tidbits belong in romance novels! I say, “Go for it.” I’d love to read about a smock race. I enjoyed learning about them today. Seems to me there’s all kinds of ways to weave something like this into a romance.
    Jane

    Reply
  37. Fascinating historical tidbits belong in romance novels! I say, “Go for it.” I’d love to read about a smock race. I enjoyed learning about them today. Seems to me there’s all kinds of ways to weave something like this into a romance.
    Jane

    Reply
  38. Fascinating historical tidbits belong in romance novels! I say, “Go for it.” I’d love to read about a smock race. I enjoyed learning about them today. Seems to me there’s all kinds of ways to weave something like this into a romance.
    Jane

    Reply
  39. Fascinating historical tidbits belong in romance novels! I say, “Go for it.” I’d love to read about a smock race. I enjoyed learning about them today. Seems to me there’s all kinds of ways to weave something like this into a romance.
    Jane

    Reply
  40. Fascinating historical tidbits belong in romance novels! I say, “Go for it.” I’d love to read about a smock race. I enjoyed learning about them today. Seems to me there’s all kinds of ways to weave something like this into a romance.
    Jane

    Reply
  41. This was a remarkable blog. I’ve never heard of smock races, but I am sure that in the right author’s hands, they would make a wonderful, unusual scene. Too many books are so full of the same old, same old, aren’t they? I came to this blog because of the Sherry Thomas interview last week, and I’m going to bookmark it now for the future. Much interesting history here, thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  42. This was a remarkable blog. I’ve never heard of smock races, but I am sure that in the right author’s hands, they would make a wonderful, unusual scene. Too many books are so full of the same old, same old, aren’t they? I came to this blog because of the Sherry Thomas interview last week, and I’m going to bookmark it now for the future. Much interesting history here, thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  43. This was a remarkable blog. I’ve never heard of smock races, but I am sure that in the right author’s hands, they would make a wonderful, unusual scene. Too many books are so full of the same old, same old, aren’t they? I came to this blog because of the Sherry Thomas interview last week, and I’m going to bookmark it now for the future. Much interesting history here, thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  44. This was a remarkable blog. I’ve never heard of smock races, but I am sure that in the right author’s hands, they would make a wonderful, unusual scene. Too many books are so full of the same old, same old, aren’t they? I came to this blog because of the Sherry Thomas interview last week, and I’m going to bookmark it now for the future. Much interesting history here, thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  45. This was a remarkable blog. I’ve never heard of smock races, but I am sure that in the right author’s hands, they would make a wonderful, unusual scene. Too many books are so full of the same old, same old, aren’t they? I came to this blog because of the Sherry Thomas interview last week, and I’m going to bookmark it now for the future. Much interesting history here, thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Reply
  46. Connie, I’m glad you enjoyed today’s blog as well as Mary Jo’s interview with Sherry Thomas last week. Many thanks for the complements, and I hope you (and anyone else lurking out there who’s a newcomer) will stop by often!

    Reply
  47. Connie, I’m glad you enjoyed today’s blog as well as Mary Jo’s interview with Sherry Thomas last week. Many thanks for the complements, and I hope you (and anyone else lurking out there who’s a newcomer) will stop by often!

    Reply
  48. Connie, I’m glad you enjoyed today’s blog as well as Mary Jo’s interview with Sherry Thomas last week. Many thanks for the complements, and I hope you (and anyone else lurking out there who’s a newcomer) will stop by often!

    Reply
  49. Connie, I’m glad you enjoyed today’s blog as well as Mary Jo’s interview with Sherry Thomas last week. Many thanks for the complements, and I hope you (and anyone else lurking out there who’s a newcomer) will stop by often!

    Reply
  50. Connie, I’m glad you enjoyed today’s blog as well as Mary Jo’s interview with Sherry Thomas last week. Many thanks for the complements, and I hope you (and anyone else lurking out there who’s a newcomer) will stop by often!

    Reply
  51. In the 18th century and early 19th century there were quite a few races featuring women wearing men’s drawers (topless!) or men’s drawers and vests. These races usually occurred as part of the festivities surrounding a mill (boxing match) or a game of cricket. The prize was usually a few bits of clothing (frequently a smock!) or a small cash purse.
    There are also numerous reports of naked footraces (men running in the altogether). And these races took place in very public places like Green Park or down Piccadilly!
    City of Sin (aka Sin City) by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes has wonderful accounts of these races (and lots of other forms of entertainment).

    Reply
  52. In the 18th century and early 19th century there were quite a few races featuring women wearing men’s drawers (topless!) or men’s drawers and vests. These races usually occurred as part of the festivities surrounding a mill (boxing match) or a game of cricket. The prize was usually a few bits of clothing (frequently a smock!) or a small cash purse.
    There are also numerous reports of naked footraces (men running in the altogether). And these races took place in very public places like Green Park or down Piccadilly!
    City of Sin (aka Sin City) by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes has wonderful accounts of these races (and lots of other forms of entertainment).

    Reply
  53. In the 18th century and early 19th century there were quite a few races featuring women wearing men’s drawers (topless!) or men’s drawers and vests. These races usually occurred as part of the festivities surrounding a mill (boxing match) or a game of cricket. The prize was usually a few bits of clothing (frequently a smock!) or a small cash purse.
    There are also numerous reports of naked footraces (men running in the altogether). And these races took place in very public places like Green Park or down Piccadilly!
    City of Sin (aka Sin City) by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes has wonderful accounts of these races (and lots of other forms of entertainment).

    Reply
  54. In the 18th century and early 19th century there were quite a few races featuring women wearing men’s drawers (topless!) or men’s drawers and vests. These races usually occurred as part of the festivities surrounding a mill (boxing match) or a game of cricket. The prize was usually a few bits of clothing (frequently a smock!) or a small cash purse.
    There are also numerous reports of naked footraces (men running in the altogether). And these races took place in very public places like Green Park or down Piccadilly!
    City of Sin (aka Sin City) by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes has wonderful accounts of these races (and lots of other forms of entertainment).

    Reply
  55. In the 18th century and early 19th century there were quite a few races featuring women wearing men’s drawers (topless!) or men’s drawers and vests. These races usually occurred as part of the festivities surrounding a mill (boxing match) or a game of cricket. The prize was usually a few bits of clothing (frequently a smock!) or a small cash purse.
    There are also numerous reports of naked footraces (men running in the altogether). And these races took place in very public places like Green Park or down Piccadilly!
    City of Sin (aka Sin City) by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes has wonderful accounts of these races (and lots of other forms of entertainment).

    Reply
  56. Susan here again:
    Kalen, I knew about the men racing in the altogether (there are jokes about 19th century women as spectators “appraising” the various men in “City of Laughter”, another of my fav books) but I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that? Somewhere there’s bound to be illustrations by Rowlandson, too. Inquiring minds want to know!
    Clearly there’s a whole (low) level of entertainment that’s been underused in fiction… *g*

    Reply
  57. Susan here again:
    Kalen, I knew about the men racing in the altogether (there are jokes about 19th century women as spectators “appraising” the various men in “City of Laughter”, another of my fav books) but I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that? Somewhere there’s bound to be illustrations by Rowlandson, too. Inquiring minds want to know!
    Clearly there’s a whole (low) level of entertainment that’s been underused in fiction… *g*

    Reply
  58. Susan here again:
    Kalen, I knew about the men racing in the altogether (there are jokes about 19th century women as spectators “appraising” the various men in “City of Laughter”, another of my fav books) but I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that? Somewhere there’s bound to be illustrations by Rowlandson, too. Inquiring minds want to know!
    Clearly there’s a whole (low) level of entertainment that’s been underused in fiction… *g*

    Reply
  59. Susan here again:
    Kalen, I knew about the men racing in the altogether (there are jokes about 19th century women as spectators “appraising” the various men in “City of Laughter”, another of my fav books) but I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that? Somewhere there’s bound to be illustrations by Rowlandson, too. Inquiring minds want to know!
    Clearly there’s a whole (low) level of entertainment that’s been underused in fiction… *g*

    Reply
  60. Susan here again:
    Kalen, I knew about the men racing in the altogether (there are jokes about 19th century women as spectators “appraising” the various men in “City of Laughter”, another of my fav books) but I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that? Somewhere there’s bound to be illustrations by Rowlandson, too. Inquiring minds want to know!
    Clearly there’s a whole (low) level of entertainment that’s been underused in fiction… *g*

    Reply
  61. Oh! I read a wife sale novel once – I think it was Avon?
    This made me think of the futures and someone using whatever medium exists to wonder if this thing called a gay pride parade in key west would work for their story of peril between an Iraqi vet, the wall street trader he loves, and the terrorist cabal after her. Then I thought I’ve probably already read the book and just forgotten.
    I LOVE smock races now.

    Reply
  62. Oh! I read a wife sale novel once – I think it was Avon?
    This made me think of the futures and someone using whatever medium exists to wonder if this thing called a gay pride parade in key west would work for their story of peril between an Iraqi vet, the wall street trader he loves, and the terrorist cabal after her. Then I thought I’ve probably already read the book and just forgotten.
    I LOVE smock races now.

    Reply
  63. Oh! I read a wife sale novel once – I think it was Avon?
    This made me think of the futures and someone using whatever medium exists to wonder if this thing called a gay pride parade in key west would work for their story of peril between an Iraqi vet, the wall street trader he loves, and the terrorist cabal after her. Then I thought I’ve probably already read the book and just forgotten.
    I LOVE smock races now.

    Reply
  64. Oh! I read a wife sale novel once – I think it was Avon?
    This made me think of the futures and someone using whatever medium exists to wonder if this thing called a gay pride parade in key west would work for their story of peril between an Iraqi vet, the wall street trader he loves, and the terrorist cabal after her. Then I thought I’ve probably already read the book and just forgotten.
    I LOVE smock races now.

    Reply
  65. Oh! I read a wife sale novel once – I think it was Avon?
    This made me think of the futures and someone using whatever medium exists to wonder if this thing called a gay pride parade in key west would work for their story of peril between an Iraqi vet, the wall street trader he loves, and the terrorist cabal after her. Then I thought I’ve probably already read the book and just forgotten.
    I LOVE smock races now.

    Reply
  66. From Susan:
    Tal, I’m afraid I’m Not Worthy to write even a faux-scholarly piece linking smock races to roller derbies.
    As for the wife-sales, Hardy probably has that cornered. I’m glad he didn’t do the smock races, though. Can you imagine how grim he’d make it? The women would have to run beneath a darkling sky, they’d fall exhausted in the mud, they’d cry out for mercy in an indeciperable (to modern readers) dialect….no, thank you. I think I’ll just stick to those entertainingly busy engravings. *g*

    Reply
  67. From Susan:
    Tal, I’m afraid I’m Not Worthy to write even a faux-scholarly piece linking smock races to roller derbies.
    As for the wife-sales, Hardy probably has that cornered. I’m glad he didn’t do the smock races, though. Can you imagine how grim he’d make it? The women would have to run beneath a darkling sky, they’d fall exhausted in the mud, they’d cry out for mercy in an indeciperable (to modern readers) dialect….no, thank you. I think I’ll just stick to those entertainingly busy engravings. *g*

    Reply
  68. From Susan:
    Tal, I’m afraid I’m Not Worthy to write even a faux-scholarly piece linking smock races to roller derbies.
    As for the wife-sales, Hardy probably has that cornered. I’m glad he didn’t do the smock races, though. Can you imagine how grim he’d make it? The women would have to run beneath a darkling sky, they’d fall exhausted in the mud, they’d cry out for mercy in an indeciperable (to modern readers) dialect….no, thank you. I think I’ll just stick to those entertainingly busy engravings. *g*

    Reply
  69. From Susan:
    Tal, I’m afraid I’m Not Worthy to write even a faux-scholarly piece linking smock races to roller derbies.
    As for the wife-sales, Hardy probably has that cornered. I’m glad he didn’t do the smock races, though. Can you imagine how grim he’d make it? The women would have to run beneath a darkling sky, they’d fall exhausted in the mud, they’d cry out for mercy in an indeciperable (to modern readers) dialect….no, thank you. I think I’ll just stick to those entertainingly busy engravings. *g*

    Reply
  70. From Susan:
    Tal, I’m afraid I’m Not Worthy to write even a faux-scholarly piece linking smock races to roller derbies.
    As for the wife-sales, Hardy probably has that cornered. I’m glad he didn’t do the smock races, though. Can you imagine how grim he’d make it? The women would have to run beneath a darkling sky, they’d fall exhausted in the mud, they’d cry out for mercy in an indeciperable (to modern readers) dialect….no, thank you. I think I’ll just stick to those entertainingly busy engravings. *g*

    Reply
  71. Liz M, I’m not sure about the gay pride parade and Wall Street, but after reading Kalen’s comments about the naked-guy-races, I remembered something from recent times, if not the future.
    Anyone else remember streaking in the early 1970s? At my school, it was mostly boys who did this, and mostly boys who’d found courage and bravado by way of a six-pack or two. But I do remember a pair of daring girls who went streaking through the main quadrangle one night, wearing only sneakers. There was no element of surprise; everyone seemed to know the exact time they were running.
    And the roaring faces of the boys who’d gathered to gawk was almost exactly the same as the men in those 18th century engravings….
    Not that I’m planning to put streakers into one of my books any time soon, but what happens today (or in 1973) does become the history of tomorrow.

    Reply
  72. Liz M, I’m not sure about the gay pride parade and Wall Street, but after reading Kalen’s comments about the naked-guy-races, I remembered something from recent times, if not the future.
    Anyone else remember streaking in the early 1970s? At my school, it was mostly boys who did this, and mostly boys who’d found courage and bravado by way of a six-pack or two. But I do remember a pair of daring girls who went streaking through the main quadrangle one night, wearing only sneakers. There was no element of surprise; everyone seemed to know the exact time they were running.
    And the roaring faces of the boys who’d gathered to gawk was almost exactly the same as the men in those 18th century engravings….
    Not that I’m planning to put streakers into one of my books any time soon, but what happens today (or in 1973) does become the history of tomorrow.

    Reply
  73. Liz M, I’m not sure about the gay pride parade and Wall Street, but after reading Kalen’s comments about the naked-guy-races, I remembered something from recent times, if not the future.
    Anyone else remember streaking in the early 1970s? At my school, it was mostly boys who did this, and mostly boys who’d found courage and bravado by way of a six-pack or two. But I do remember a pair of daring girls who went streaking through the main quadrangle one night, wearing only sneakers. There was no element of surprise; everyone seemed to know the exact time they were running.
    And the roaring faces of the boys who’d gathered to gawk was almost exactly the same as the men in those 18th century engravings….
    Not that I’m planning to put streakers into one of my books any time soon, but what happens today (or in 1973) does become the history of tomorrow.

    Reply
  74. Liz M, I’m not sure about the gay pride parade and Wall Street, but after reading Kalen’s comments about the naked-guy-races, I remembered something from recent times, if not the future.
    Anyone else remember streaking in the early 1970s? At my school, it was mostly boys who did this, and mostly boys who’d found courage and bravado by way of a six-pack or two. But I do remember a pair of daring girls who went streaking through the main quadrangle one night, wearing only sneakers. There was no element of surprise; everyone seemed to know the exact time they were running.
    And the roaring faces of the boys who’d gathered to gawk was almost exactly the same as the men in those 18th century engravings….
    Not that I’m planning to put streakers into one of my books any time soon, but what happens today (or in 1973) does become the history of tomorrow.

    Reply
  75. Liz M, I’m not sure about the gay pride parade and Wall Street, but after reading Kalen’s comments about the naked-guy-races, I remembered something from recent times, if not the future.
    Anyone else remember streaking in the early 1970s? At my school, it was mostly boys who did this, and mostly boys who’d found courage and bravado by way of a six-pack or two. But I do remember a pair of daring girls who went streaking through the main quadrangle one night, wearing only sneakers. There was no element of surprise; everyone seemed to know the exact time they were running.
    And the roaring faces of the boys who’d gathered to gawk was almost exactly the same as the men in those 18th century engravings….
    Not that I’m planning to put streakers into one of my books any time soon, but what happens today (or in 1973) does become the history of tomorrow.

    Reply
  76. Interesting, Tal, in the engraving you posted that the bulls horns look surprisingly like Devil’s horns on the head of the ‘husband’…
    And thanks to you all, I’ve ordered one book and added another to my wish list.
    And my DH thought I was really odd when the Howdunit Book of Poisons came.

    Reply
  77. Interesting, Tal, in the engraving you posted that the bulls horns look surprisingly like Devil’s horns on the head of the ‘husband’…
    And thanks to you all, I’ve ordered one book and added another to my wish list.
    And my DH thought I was really odd when the Howdunit Book of Poisons came.

    Reply
  78. Interesting, Tal, in the engraving you posted that the bulls horns look surprisingly like Devil’s horns on the head of the ‘husband’…
    And thanks to you all, I’ve ordered one book and added another to my wish list.
    And my DH thought I was really odd when the Howdunit Book of Poisons came.

    Reply
  79. Interesting, Tal, in the engraving you posted that the bulls horns look surprisingly like Devil’s horns on the head of the ‘husband’…
    And thanks to you all, I’ve ordered one book and added another to my wish list.
    And my DH thought I was really odd when the Howdunit Book of Poisons came.

    Reply
  80. Interesting, Tal, in the engraving you posted that the bulls horns look surprisingly like Devil’s horns on the head of the ‘husband’…
    And thanks to you all, I’ve ordered one book and added another to my wish list.
    And my DH thought I was really odd when the Howdunit Book of Poisons came.

    Reply
  81. Susan – streaking continues. Not just Naked Guy at UC Berkeley (there was a famous one, but there have been others) but also in organized (and unorganized) events at colleges across America. It’s also seen at various rock festivals.
    Where there is youth, there is nudity.
    http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/varsity_streaking
    One place in the 80’s had a winter event, I always thought that was a bit of an IQ test.

    Reply
  82. Susan – streaking continues. Not just Naked Guy at UC Berkeley (there was a famous one, but there have been others) but also in organized (and unorganized) events at colleges across America. It’s also seen at various rock festivals.
    Where there is youth, there is nudity.
    http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/varsity_streaking
    One place in the 80’s had a winter event, I always thought that was a bit of an IQ test.

    Reply
  83. Susan – streaking continues. Not just Naked Guy at UC Berkeley (there was a famous one, but there have been others) but also in organized (and unorganized) events at colleges across America. It’s also seen at various rock festivals.
    Where there is youth, there is nudity.
    http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/varsity_streaking
    One place in the 80’s had a winter event, I always thought that was a bit of an IQ test.

    Reply
  84. Susan – streaking continues. Not just Naked Guy at UC Berkeley (there was a famous one, but there have been others) but also in organized (and unorganized) events at colleges across America. It’s also seen at various rock festivals.
    Where there is youth, there is nudity.
    http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/varsity_streaking
    One place in the 80’s had a winter event, I always thought that was a bit of an IQ test.

    Reply
  85. Susan – streaking continues. Not just Naked Guy at UC Berkeley (there was a famous one, but there have been others) but also in organized (and unorganized) events at colleges across America. It’s also seen at various rock festivals.
    Where there is youth, there is nudity.
    http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/varsity_streaking
    One place in the 80’s had a winter event, I always thought that was a bit of an IQ test.

    Reply
  86. liz m, I think the “bride sale” Avon novel you’re thinking of was The Bride Sale by Candice Hern (2002). I know I’ve read a couple of others as well, and I’m sure they’ll come to me around 3 am or so 🙁

    Reply
  87. liz m, I think the “bride sale” Avon novel you’re thinking of was The Bride Sale by Candice Hern (2002). I know I’ve read a couple of others as well, and I’m sure they’ll come to me around 3 am or so 🙁

    Reply
  88. liz m, I think the “bride sale” Avon novel you’re thinking of was The Bride Sale by Candice Hern (2002). I know I’ve read a couple of others as well, and I’m sure they’ll come to me around 3 am or so 🙁

    Reply
  89. liz m, I think the “bride sale” Avon novel you’re thinking of was The Bride Sale by Candice Hern (2002). I know I’ve read a couple of others as well, and I’m sure they’ll come to me around 3 am or so 🙁

    Reply
  90. liz m, I think the “bride sale” Avon novel you’re thinking of was The Bride Sale by Candice Hern (2002). I know I’ve read a couple of others as well, and I’m sure they’ll come to me around 3 am or so 🙁

    Reply
  91. People do so still streak. Last year at my high school’s homecoming two boys ran across the football field in the middle of the game. All they had on were cleats & Homer Simpson masks. Too funny!

    Reply
  92. People do so still streak. Last year at my high school’s homecoming two boys ran across the football field in the middle of the game. All they had on were cleats & Homer Simpson masks. Too funny!

    Reply
  93. People do so still streak. Last year at my high school’s homecoming two boys ran across the football field in the middle of the game. All they had on were cleats & Homer Simpson masks. Too funny!

    Reply
  94. People do so still streak. Last year at my high school’s homecoming two boys ran across the football field in the middle of the game. All they had on were cleats & Homer Simpson masks. Too funny!

    Reply
  95. People do so still streak. Last year at my high school’s homecoming two boys ran across the football field in the middle of the game. All they had on were cleats & Homer Simpson masks. Too funny!

    Reply
  96. ***I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that?***
    The attire of the runners is listed on the bills of advertisement for the events (sort of like LIVE NUDE GIRLS on a billboard). Several of these are shown (or quoted) in CITY OF SIN by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes. I think I’ve seen them in a few other sports related books as well . . .
    My favorite report about naked running is from “The Sporting Magazine” (1792): “two waiters from the Cannon Coffee House raced stark naked to the amusement of a great number of spectators.” This event took place at 7AM in St. James’s Park!

    Reply
  97. ***I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that?***
    The attire of the runners is listed on the bills of advertisement for the events (sort of like LIVE NUDE GIRLS on a billboard). Several of these are shown (or quoted) in CITY OF SIN by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes. I think I’ve seen them in a few other sports related books as well . . .
    My favorite report about naked running is from “The Sporting Magazine” (1792): “two waiters from the Cannon Coffee House raced stark naked to the amusement of a great number of spectators.” This event took place at 7AM in St. James’s Park!

    Reply
  98. ***I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that?***
    The attire of the runners is listed on the bills of advertisement for the events (sort of like LIVE NUDE GIRLS on a billboard). Several of these are shown (or quoted) in CITY OF SIN by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes. I think I’ve seen them in a few other sports related books as well . . .
    My favorite report about naked running is from “The Sporting Magazine” (1792): “two waiters from the Cannon Coffee House raced stark naked to the amusement of a great number of spectators.” This event took place at 7AM in St. James’s Park!

    Reply
  99. ***I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that?***
    The attire of the runners is listed on the bills of advertisement for the events (sort of like LIVE NUDE GIRLS on a billboard). Several of these are shown (or quoted) in CITY OF SIN by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes. I think I’ve seen them in a few other sports related books as well . . .
    My favorite report about naked running is from “The Sporting Magazine” (1792): “two waiters from the Cannon Coffee House raced stark naked to the amusement of a great number of spectators.” This event took place at 7AM in St. James’s Park!

    Reply
  100. ***I hadn’t come across the topless women in breeches! Where did you find that?***
    The attire of the runners is listed on the bills of advertisement for the events (sort of like LIVE NUDE GIRLS on a billboard). Several of these are shown (or quoted) in CITY OF SIN by Giles Emerson and Bettany Hughes. I think I’ve seen them in a few other sports related books as well . . .
    My favorite report about naked running is from “The Sporting Magazine” (1792): “two waiters from the Cannon Coffee House raced stark naked to the amusement of a great number of spectators.” This event took place at 7AM in St. James’s Park!

    Reply
  101. Susan here again:
    Liz M. wrote: “Where there is youth, there is nudity.”
    Yep, always has been, probably always will. And best left to Youth, too (esp. in a Simpsons mask — must have made for some kind of homecoming celebration, Kat!)
    Virginia, I think that panty raids were another in a long (ig)noble tradition that includes the smock races — that lure of underwear-as-prize, made all the more enticing because it’s seldom seen. How many books have young men treasuring the ribbon-garter of their beloved, only because it was once tied around her leg? You know, you’d probably have to include all the underpants tossed at various rock stars, too….

    Reply
  102. Susan here again:
    Liz M. wrote: “Where there is youth, there is nudity.”
    Yep, always has been, probably always will. And best left to Youth, too (esp. in a Simpsons mask — must have made for some kind of homecoming celebration, Kat!)
    Virginia, I think that panty raids were another in a long (ig)noble tradition that includes the smock races — that lure of underwear-as-prize, made all the more enticing because it’s seldom seen. How many books have young men treasuring the ribbon-garter of their beloved, only because it was once tied around her leg? You know, you’d probably have to include all the underpants tossed at various rock stars, too….

    Reply
  103. Susan here again:
    Liz M. wrote: “Where there is youth, there is nudity.”
    Yep, always has been, probably always will. And best left to Youth, too (esp. in a Simpsons mask — must have made for some kind of homecoming celebration, Kat!)
    Virginia, I think that panty raids were another in a long (ig)noble tradition that includes the smock races — that lure of underwear-as-prize, made all the more enticing because it’s seldom seen. How many books have young men treasuring the ribbon-garter of their beloved, only because it was once tied around her leg? You know, you’d probably have to include all the underpants tossed at various rock stars, too….

    Reply
  104. Susan here again:
    Liz M. wrote: “Where there is youth, there is nudity.”
    Yep, always has been, probably always will. And best left to Youth, too (esp. in a Simpsons mask — must have made for some kind of homecoming celebration, Kat!)
    Virginia, I think that panty raids were another in a long (ig)noble tradition that includes the smock races — that lure of underwear-as-prize, made all the more enticing because it’s seldom seen. How many books have young men treasuring the ribbon-garter of their beloved, only because it was once tied around her leg? You know, you’d probably have to include all the underpants tossed at various rock stars, too….

    Reply
  105. Susan here again:
    Liz M. wrote: “Where there is youth, there is nudity.”
    Yep, always has been, probably always will. And best left to Youth, too (esp. in a Simpsons mask — must have made for some kind of homecoming celebration, Kat!)
    Virginia, I think that panty raids were another in a long (ig)noble tradition that includes the smock races — that lure of underwear-as-prize, made all the more enticing because it’s seldom seen. How many books have young men treasuring the ribbon-garter of their beloved, only because it was once tied around her leg? You know, you’d probably have to include all the underpants tossed at various rock stars, too….

    Reply
  106. Susan again:
    Kalen, thanks for the info — esp. the notion of naked running waiters! I’d have to think that a wager or two was involved.
    Thanks, too, for the recommendation of “City of Sin” I dutifully went off to hunt it down in the used-book sites, and find that the same author also has a book called “Sin City: London in Pursuit of Pleasure.” Different Isbns, if similar titles. Wonder if it’s two different books, or simply a reissue, or the English vs. the American edition? Hmmm… this is how I end up with multiple copies of the same book (and yet don’t realize it until years afterward, LOL!)

    Reply
  107. Susan again:
    Kalen, thanks for the info — esp. the notion of naked running waiters! I’d have to think that a wager or two was involved.
    Thanks, too, for the recommendation of “City of Sin” I dutifully went off to hunt it down in the used-book sites, and find that the same author also has a book called “Sin City: London in Pursuit of Pleasure.” Different Isbns, if similar titles. Wonder if it’s two different books, or simply a reissue, or the English vs. the American edition? Hmmm… this is how I end up with multiple copies of the same book (and yet don’t realize it until years afterward, LOL!)

    Reply
  108. Susan again:
    Kalen, thanks for the info — esp. the notion of naked running waiters! I’d have to think that a wager or two was involved.
    Thanks, too, for the recommendation of “City of Sin” I dutifully went off to hunt it down in the used-book sites, and find that the same author also has a book called “Sin City: London in Pursuit of Pleasure.” Different Isbns, if similar titles. Wonder if it’s two different books, or simply a reissue, or the English vs. the American edition? Hmmm… this is how I end up with multiple copies of the same book (and yet don’t realize it until years afterward, LOL!)

    Reply
  109. Susan again:
    Kalen, thanks for the info — esp. the notion of naked running waiters! I’d have to think that a wager or two was involved.
    Thanks, too, for the recommendation of “City of Sin” I dutifully went off to hunt it down in the used-book sites, and find that the same author also has a book called “Sin City: London in Pursuit of Pleasure.” Different Isbns, if similar titles. Wonder if it’s two different books, or simply a reissue, or the English vs. the American edition? Hmmm… this is how I end up with multiple copies of the same book (and yet don’t realize it until years afterward, LOL!)

    Reply
  110. Susan again:
    Kalen, thanks for the info — esp. the notion of naked running waiters! I’d have to think that a wager or two was involved.
    Thanks, too, for the recommendation of “City of Sin” I dutifully went off to hunt it down in the used-book sites, and find that the same author also has a book called “Sin City: London in Pursuit of Pleasure.” Different Isbns, if similar titles. Wonder if it’s two different books, or simply a reissue, or the English vs. the American edition? Hmmm… this is how I end up with multiple copies of the same book (and yet don’t realize it until years afterward, LOL!)

    Reply
  111. Janice – No, I don’t read Hern, so it must be one of the ones you can’t remember until 3 am, just like me. Sadly (Happily?) I was asleep at 3, so if it came to me I forgot it again.

    Reply
  112. Janice – No, I don’t read Hern, so it must be one of the ones you can’t remember until 3 am, just like me. Sadly (Happily?) I was asleep at 3, so if it came to me I forgot it again.

    Reply
  113. Janice – No, I don’t read Hern, so it must be one of the ones you can’t remember until 3 am, just like me. Sadly (Happily?) I was asleep at 3, so if it came to me I forgot it again.

    Reply
  114. Janice – No, I don’t read Hern, so it must be one of the ones you can’t remember until 3 am, just like me. Sadly (Happily?) I was asleep at 3, so if it came to me I forgot it again.

    Reply
  115. Janice – No, I don’t read Hern, so it must be one of the ones you can’t remember until 3 am, just like me. Sadly (Happily?) I was asleep at 3, so if it came to me I forgot it again.

    Reply
  116. Wait, I’m a liar. I just checked her web page out and I realize that although I haven’t read her last three, I have read many of her others so it probably was The Bride Sale.
    I wonder why I stopped reading her? i’ve got the new anthology so I’ll check it out and catch up on the backlist if I just got her confused with another author. Sometimes if I really dislike an author I’ll end up not buying other authors on my personal mid-list out of name confusion.

    Reply
  117. Wait, I’m a liar. I just checked her web page out and I realize that although I haven’t read her last three, I have read many of her others so it probably was The Bride Sale.
    I wonder why I stopped reading her? i’ve got the new anthology so I’ll check it out and catch up on the backlist if I just got her confused with another author. Sometimes if I really dislike an author I’ll end up not buying other authors on my personal mid-list out of name confusion.

    Reply
  118. Wait, I’m a liar. I just checked her web page out and I realize that although I haven’t read her last three, I have read many of her others so it probably was The Bride Sale.
    I wonder why I stopped reading her? i’ve got the new anthology so I’ll check it out and catch up on the backlist if I just got her confused with another author. Sometimes if I really dislike an author I’ll end up not buying other authors on my personal mid-list out of name confusion.

    Reply
  119. Wait, I’m a liar. I just checked her web page out and I realize that although I haven’t read her last three, I have read many of her others so it probably was The Bride Sale.
    I wonder why I stopped reading her? i’ve got the new anthology so I’ll check it out and catch up on the backlist if I just got her confused with another author. Sometimes if I really dislike an author I’ll end up not buying other authors on my personal mid-list out of name confusion.

    Reply
  120. Wait, I’m a liar. I just checked her web page out and I realize that although I haven’t read her last three, I have read many of her others so it probably was The Bride Sale.
    I wonder why I stopped reading her? i’ve got the new anthology so I’ll check it out and catch up on the backlist if I just got her confused with another author. Sometimes if I really dislike an author I’ll end up not buying other authors on my personal mid-list out of name confusion.

    Reply
  121. Susan, it’s the same book. They’ve just done that horrible trickaroo with the Brit vs. American editions (as you suspected). I always try and go for the British edition when I can (hello, I ordered all my Harry Potter books from England, LOL!).

    Reply
  122. Susan, it’s the same book. They’ve just done that horrible trickaroo with the Brit vs. American editions (as you suspected). I always try and go for the British edition when I can (hello, I ordered all my Harry Potter books from England, LOL!).

    Reply
  123. Susan, it’s the same book. They’ve just done that horrible trickaroo with the Brit vs. American editions (as you suspected). I always try and go for the British edition when I can (hello, I ordered all my Harry Potter books from England, LOL!).

    Reply
  124. Susan, it’s the same book. They’ve just done that horrible trickaroo with the Brit vs. American editions (as you suspected). I always try and go for the British edition when I can (hello, I ordered all my Harry Potter books from England, LOL!).

    Reply
  125. Susan, it’s the same book. They’ve just done that horrible trickaroo with the Brit vs. American editions (as you suspected). I always try and go for the British edition when I can (hello, I ordered all my Harry Potter books from England, LOL!).

    Reply
  126. Okay, so I have a really dumb question then. I was so intrigued by this that I ordered City of Sin through a used bookseller. How do I know which is the Brit version and which is the American, since if it was originally a British book, I’d much rather have the original, not the Americanized version.

    Reply
  127. Okay, so I have a really dumb question then. I was so intrigued by this that I ordered City of Sin through a used bookseller. How do I know which is the Brit version and which is the American, since if it was originally a British book, I’d much rather have the original, not the Americanized version.

    Reply
  128. Okay, so I have a really dumb question then. I was so intrigued by this that I ordered City of Sin through a used bookseller. How do I know which is the Brit version and which is the American, since if it was originally a British book, I’d much rather have the original, not the Americanized version.

    Reply
  129. Okay, so I have a really dumb question then. I was so intrigued by this that I ordered City of Sin through a used bookseller. How do I know which is the Brit version and which is the American, since if it was originally a British book, I’d much rather have the original, not the Americanized version.

    Reply
  130. Okay, so I have a really dumb question then. I was so intrigued by this that I ordered City of Sin through a used bookseller. How do I know which is the Brit version and which is the American, since if it was originally a British book, I’d much rather have the original, not the Americanized version.

    Reply
  131. Thanks, Kalen. Now I’ll echo Theo: which edition is the English one, and the one we should all be hunting for?
    You realize you’ve probably single-handedly caused a run on this book in second-hand circles…

    Reply
  132. Thanks, Kalen. Now I’ll echo Theo: which edition is the English one, and the one we should all be hunting for?
    You realize you’ve probably single-handedly caused a run on this book in second-hand circles…

    Reply
  133. Thanks, Kalen. Now I’ll echo Theo: which edition is the English one, and the one we should all be hunting for?
    You realize you’ve probably single-handedly caused a run on this book in second-hand circles…

    Reply
  134. Thanks, Kalen. Now I’ll echo Theo: which edition is the English one, and the one we should all be hunting for?
    You realize you’ve probably single-handedly caused a run on this book in second-hand circles…

    Reply
  135. Thanks, Kalen. Now I’ll echo Theo: which edition is the English one, and the one we should all be hunting for?
    You realize you’ve probably single-handedly caused a run on this book in second-hand circles…

    Reply

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