Some of the naughty bits

Billiebook
Hello campers! *G*

So says Billy, reading for sun and fun reading. 🙂

Well, it is summer. And the living is easy? Not for those with kids out of school, but never mind, I’m here to entertain you with the naughty bits.

(How is your summer going? Doing anything interesting?)

Npcover200w
A book came into my hands called Napoleon’s Privates: 2500 Years of History Unzipped. It’s by Tony Perrottet. I assume we’re supposed to sound that last T, but it’s not clear. The book’s website is here.

Anyway, it’s a zippy read, not to say racy, and has some details that I didn’t know. Why does that surprise me? Somehow, when researching romance, we stumble over the naughty bits a lot.

Not literally, she says, thinking of Napoleon’s particularly private bit, which was apparently cut off during his autopsy and could be, well, anywhere.

Even the introduction intrigued when talking about the things stored in the Secret Cabinets of great libraries and museums. The thing most people weren’t supposed to see. It mentions erotic devices found in medieval abbeys. I don’t know of any. Tell me more! (Anyone here know?) Also "wicked relics from Georgian S&M clubs."

I’m sure there were lots, but he could have been more specific. Were there some peculiar (I use the word with care) to that period? Enquiring writers of Georgian romance need to know!Pensnow

Mind you, I haven’t finished the book yet. It’s been a busy time around here what with moving, settling, taking a trip to the Okanagan to speak to school students, who were wonderful. The picture is, believe it or not, of snow we encountered en route to Penticton, in July. It was hot in Vancouver and hot in Penticton. It hit 38 C the day we left. But in the mountain pass it was Christmas. There wasn’t a safe place to stop, so I had to try to catch it through the windows. Trust me, the evergreens were prettily dusted white.

I’m also and trying to get to the Tswnal
end of the first draft of The Secret Wedding before RWA in San Francisco, (cover on the left, but not out till next April.) and the other RWA in Melbourne, Australia. Not to mention Ottawa in late September. So I’ve only been dipping into Napoleon’s Privates.

 

Er…. I didn’t quite mean that!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve already found things I didn’t know. Castrati, apparently, only had a vasectomy. Done well before puberty this stopped development entirely. Done a bit too late it resulted in a man with all the equipment working, but no sperm. No wonder they were so very, very popular with the ladies!

And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly "interesting" situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!

But as commentators of the time pointed out, most men would have some difficulty in that situation. But not your average romance hero, no way.

With popular history I always take the information with caution, but what I’ve read sounds okay to me. Anyone spot a problem? With that proviso I heartily recommend this book for a fast, easy style and some fascinating tidbits of information.Mount

Jo. signing off with a bit of BC scenery. 🙂

95 thoughts on “Some of the naughty bits”

  1. “And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly “interesting” situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!”
    The custom of having important political marriages consummated in front of official witnesses rarely makes it into romance novels either 🙂

    Reply
  2. “And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly “interesting” situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!”
    The custom of having important political marriages consummated in front of official witnesses rarely makes it into romance novels either 🙂

    Reply
  3. “And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly “interesting” situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!”
    The custom of having important political marriages consummated in front of official witnesses rarely makes it into romance novels either 🙂

    Reply
  4. “And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly “interesting” situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!”
    The custom of having important political marriages consummated in front of official witnesses rarely makes it into romance novels either 🙂

    Reply
  5. “And though I knew about the impotence trials in France in the 16th and 17th centuries (they’d be a real hit on Court TV, wouldn’t they?) I didn’t know there was an appeal system, where the couple had to try to have sex, closely observed by a variety of witnesses. As most of the people bringing these cases in the first place were high born wives trying to get out of a marriage, this must have been a particularly “interesting” situation to end up in. Talk about conflict!”
    The custom of having important political marriages consummated in front of official witnesses rarely makes it into romance novels either 🙂

    Reply
  6. +IHS+
    Jo, is that Marie Antoinette on the cover of “Napoleon’s Privates”? If so, may I enquire what the book has to say about her? =)
    Also, will you be ‘blogging about your talk with the students? =D

    Reply
  7. +IHS+
    Jo, is that Marie Antoinette on the cover of “Napoleon’s Privates”? If so, may I enquire what the book has to say about her? =)
    Also, will you be ‘blogging about your talk with the students? =D

    Reply
  8. +IHS+
    Jo, is that Marie Antoinette on the cover of “Napoleon’s Privates”? If so, may I enquire what the book has to say about her? =)
    Also, will you be ‘blogging about your talk with the students? =D

    Reply
  9. +IHS+
    Jo, is that Marie Antoinette on the cover of “Napoleon’s Privates”? If so, may I enquire what the book has to say about her? =)
    Also, will you be ‘blogging about your talk with the students? =D

    Reply
  10. +IHS+
    Jo, is that Marie Antoinette on the cover of “Napoleon’s Privates”? If so, may I enquire what the book has to say about her? =)
    Also, will you be ‘blogging about your talk with the students? =D

    Reply
  11. I’m still hung up on the idea of a vasectomy stopping development if done early enough. I can’t understand this….basically because I thought that it was the removal of the testes (and the source of testosterone) that stopped the castrati from developing normally. I don’t see how stopping sperm from reaching the end of the tube will change the body’s development.
    So then I start thinking about spays and neuters in animals, and when they are done at varying ages. It certainly will change the body’s appearance. However, I can’t help much when it comes to vasectomies in animals, since they really only do that on cattle, and rarely. In dogs neutered at a more advanced age, they too will happily mount and tie with bitches (female dogs – not nasty women)
    I guess I’m stuck in the “hmm, I don’t think I agree with that one” when it comes to that little tidbit.

    Reply
  12. I’m still hung up on the idea of a vasectomy stopping development if done early enough. I can’t understand this….basically because I thought that it was the removal of the testes (and the source of testosterone) that stopped the castrati from developing normally. I don’t see how stopping sperm from reaching the end of the tube will change the body’s development.
    So then I start thinking about spays and neuters in animals, and when they are done at varying ages. It certainly will change the body’s appearance. However, I can’t help much when it comes to vasectomies in animals, since they really only do that on cattle, and rarely. In dogs neutered at a more advanced age, they too will happily mount and tie with bitches (female dogs – not nasty women)
    I guess I’m stuck in the “hmm, I don’t think I agree with that one” when it comes to that little tidbit.

    Reply
  13. I’m still hung up on the idea of a vasectomy stopping development if done early enough. I can’t understand this….basically because I thought that it was the removal of the testes (and the source of testosterone) that stopped the castrati from developing normally. I don’t see how stopping sperm from reaching the end of the tube will change the body’s development.
    So then I start thinking about spays and neuters in animals, and when they are done at varying ages. It certainly will change the body’s appearance. However, I can’t help much when it comes to vasectomies in animals, since they really only do that on cattle, and rarely. In dogs neutered at a more advanced age, they too will happily mount and tie with bitches (female dogs – not nasty women)
    I guess I’m stuck in the “hmm, I don’t think I agree with that one” when it comes to that little tidbit.

    Reply
  14. I’m still hung up on the idea of a vasectomy stopping development if done early enough. I can’t understand this….basically because I thought that it was the removal of the testes (and the source of testosterone) that stopped the castrati from developing normally. I don’t see how stopping sperm from reaching the end of the tube will change the body’s development.
    So then I start thinking about spays and neuters in animals, and when they are done at varying ages. It certainly will change the body’s appearance. However, I can’t help much when it comes to vasectomies in animals, since they really only do that on cattle, and rarely. In dogs neutered at a more advanced age, they too will happily mount and tie with bitches (female dogs – not nasty women)
    I guess I’m stuck in the “hmm, I don’t think I agree with that one” when it comes to that little tidbit.

    Reply
  15. I’m still hung up on the idea of a vasectomy stopping development if done early enough. I can’t understand this….basically because I thought that it was the removal of the testes (and the source of testosterone) that stopped the castrati from developing normally. I don’t see how stopping sperm from reaching the end of the tube will change the body’s development.
    So then I start thinking about spays and neuters in animals, and when they are done at varying ages. It certainly will change the body’s appearance. However, I can’t help much when it comes to vasectomies in animals, since they really only do that on cattle, and rarely. In dogs neutered at a more advanced age, they too will happily mount and tie with bitches (female dogs – not nasty women)
    I guess I’m stuck in the “hmm, I don’t think I agree with that one” when it comes to that little tidbit.

    Reply
  16. I traveled the Coquihalla in early March. No snow at all, except one big bank of it that loomed up all of a sudden. So strange… Is that Mt. Baker in the picture? Sigh. I’m getting all homesick here.
    As for the book, it sounds vastly entertaining. Are you giving any workshops in SF, Jo?

    Reply
  17. I traveled the Coquihalla in early March. No snow at all, except one big bank of it that loomed up all of a sudden. So strange… Is that Mt. Baker in the picture? Sigh. I’m getting all homesick here.
    As for the book, it sounds vastly entertaining. Are you giving any workshops in SF, Jo?

    Reply
  18. I traveled the Coquihalla in early March. No snow at all, except one big bank of it that loomed up all of a sudden. So strange… Is that Mt. Baker in the picture? Sigh. I’m getting all homesick here.
    As for the book, it sounds vastly entertaining. Are you giving any workshops in SF, Jo?

    Reply
  19. I traveled the Coquihalla in early March. No snow at all, except one big bank of it that loomed up all of a sudden. So strange… Is that Mt. Baker in the picture? Sigh. I’m getting all homesick here.
    As for the book, it sounds vastly entertaining. Are you giving any workshops in SF, Jo?

    Reply
  20. I traveled the Coquihalla in early March. No snow at all, except one big bank of it that loomed up all of a sudden. So strange… Is that Mt. Baker in the picture? Sigh. I’m getting all homesick here.
    As for the book, it sounds vastly entertaining. Are you giving any workshops in SF, Jo?

    Reply
  21. Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood. A lot of romance novels, including my medievals, have the disrobing before witnesses to prove no obvious blemish. I’ve never come across an example of a blemish found, however, so I confess I’m not sure what it would be. They certainly wouldn’t all be perfect specimens. Something inheritable and undesirable?
    Cristina, it does talk about champagne glasses being based on Marie Antoinette’s breasts but discounts that. She was ample and apparently there are some specially designed milk bowls made from wax casts of her breasts.
    However, I’d never realized the wide champagne glasses were breast related, but it makes sense, because they’re an oddity.
    However, there’s also a short section about the way pornography was used to destroy the reputation of Marie Antoinette, both before and after the revolution. I’ve read about that elsewhere. There was an annual underground publication describing with illustrations, her having sex with most of the French court, then at her trial she was accused of corrupting her young son.
    Piper, if you or anyone else knows more about the effects of vasectomy on pre-pubescent males, let us know.
    As for the road, no, we were on the road that goes through Hope and Princeton. Yes, I think that’s Baker floating in the sky. We had two orcas playing off the side of the ferry but I couldn’t catch a decent photo of them.
    In SF, I’m moderating/speaking at a panel for librarians on the Wednesday, but nothing else. I come up with a talk based on what new idea is buzzing in my head, and none was at the time I had to be specific, so I’m taking a year off.
    In case anyone here doesn’t know, at the end of the month, Romance Writers of America will have its annual conference in San Francisco. It includes an enormous book sale/signing event with all proceeds going to literacy. Everyone’s welcome!
    Go here for more details.
    http://www.rwanational.org/cs/literacy_autographing
    Wenches Pat, Mary Jo and I will be there.
    I opened the book at random to hit a page about the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Of course there is no definitive evidence for this, and in fact the idea didn’t firm up until Christianity began to equate sexual pleasure with spiritual blight.
    He has an amusing riff on medieval efforts to try to make sense of how God got His semen into her, and how the baby got out while leaving her still technically a virgin.
    If all you lurkers are good and make lots of enlightening comments, I’ll post another random piece later.
    Life’s short: have fun today.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  22. Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood. A lot of romance novels, including my medievals, have the disrobing before witnesses to prove no obvious blemish. I’ve never come across an example of a blemish found, however, so I confess I’m not sure what it would be. They certainly wouldn’t all be perfect specimens. Something inheritable and undesirable?
    Cristina, it does talk about champagne glasses being based on Marie Antoinette’s breasts but discounts that. She was ample and apparently there are some specially designed milk bowls made from wax casts of her breasts.
    However, I’d never realized the wide champagne glasses were breast related, but it makes sense, because they’re an oddity.
    However, there’s also a short section about the way pornography was used to destroy the reputation of Marie Antoinette, both before and after the revolution. I’ve read about that elsewhere. There was an annual underground publication describing with illustrations, her having sex with most of the French court, then at her trial she was accused of corrupting her young son.
    Piper, if you or anyone else knows more about the effects of vasectomy on pre-pubescent males, let us know.
    As for the road, no, we were on the road that goes through Hope and Princeton. Yes, I think that’s Baker floating in the sky. We had two orcas playing off the side of the ferry but I couldn’t catch a decent photo of them.
    In SF, I’m moderating/speaking at a panel for librarians on the Wednesday, but nothing else. I come up with a talk based on what new idea is buzzing in my head, and none was at the time I had to be specific, so I’m taking a year off.
    In case anyone here doesn’t know, at the end of the month, Romance Writers of America will have its annual conference in San Francisco. It includes an enormous book sale/signing event with all proceeds going to literacy. Everyone’s welcome!
    Go here for more details.
    http://www.rwanational.org/cs/literacy_autographing
    Wenches Pat, Mary Jo and I will be there.
    I opened the book at random to hit a page about the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Of course there is no definitive evidence for this, and in fact the idea didn’t firm up until Christianity began to equate sexual pleasure with spiritual blight.
    He has an amusing riff on medieval efforts to try to make sense of how God got His semen into her, and how the baby got out while leaving her still technically a virgin.
    If all you lurkers are good and make lots of enlightening comments, I’ll post another random piece later.
    Life’s short: have fun today.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  23. Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood. A lot of romance novels, including my medievals, have the disrobing before witnesses to prove no obvious blemish. I’ve never come across an example of a blemish found, however, so I confess I’m not sure what it would be. They certainly wouldn’t all be perfect specimens. Something inheritable and undesirable?
    Cristina, it does talk about champagne glasses being based on Marie Antoinette’s breasts but discounts that. She was ample and apparently there are some specially designed milk bowls made from wax casts of her breasts.
    However, I’d never realized the wide champagne glasses were breast related, but it makes sense, because they’re an oddity.
    However, there’s also a short section about the way pornography was used to destroy the reputation of Marie Antoinette, both before and after the revolution. I’ve read about that elsewhere. There was an annual underground publication describing with illustrations, her having sex with most of the French court, then at her trial she was accused of corrupting her young son.
    Piper, if you or anyone else knows more about the effects of vasectomy on pre-pubescent males, let us know.
    As for the road, no, we were on the road that goes through Hope and Princeton. Yes, I think that’s Baker floating in the sky. We had two orcas playing off the side of the ferry but I couldn’t catch a decent photo of them.
    In SF, I’m moderating/speaking at a panel for librarians on the Wednesday, but nothing else. I come up with a talk based on what new idea is buzzing in my head, and none was at the time I had to be specific, so I’m taking a year off.
    In case anyone here doesn’t know, at the end of the month, Romance Writers of America will have its annual conference in San Francisco. It includes an enormous book sale/signing event with all proceeds going to literacy. Everyone’s welcome!
    Go here for more details.
    http://www.rwanational.org/cs/literacy_autographing
    Wenches Pat, Mary Jo and I will be there.
    I opened the book at random to hit a page about the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Of course there is no definitive evidence for this, and in fact the idea didn’t firm up until Christianity began to equate sexual pleasure with spiritual blight.
    He has an amusing riff on medieval efforts to try to make sense of how God got His semen into her, and how the baby got out while leaving her still technically a virgin.
    If all you lurkers are good and make lots of enlightening comments, I’ll post another random piece later.
    Life’s short: have fun today.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  24. Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood. A lot of romance novels, including my medievals, have the disrobing before witnesses to prove no obvious blemish. I’ve never come across an example of a blemish found, however, so I confess I’m not sure what it would be. They certainly wouldn’t all be perfect specimens. Something inheritable and undesirable?
    Cristina, it does talk about champagne glasses being based on Marie Antoinette’s breasts but discounts that. She was ample and apparently there are some specially designed milk bowls made from wax casts of her breasts.
    However, I’d never realized the wide champagne glasses were breast related, but it makes sense, because they’re an oddity.
    However, there’s also a short section about the way pornography was used to destroy the reputation of Marie Antoinette, both before and after the revolution. I’ve read about that elsewhere. There was an annual underground publication describing with illustrations, her having sex with most of the French court, then at her trial she was accused of corrupting her young son.
    Piper, if you or anyone else knows more about the effects of vasectomy on pre-pubescent males, let us know.
    As for the road, no, we were on the road that goes through Hope and Princeton. Yes, I think that’s Baker floating in the sky. We had two orcas playing off the side of the ferry but I couldn’t catch a decent photo of them.
    In SF, I’m moderating/speaking at a panel for librarians on the Wednesday, but nothing else. I come up with a talk based on what new idea is buzzing in my head, and none was at the time I had to be specific, so I’m taking a year off.
    In case anyone here doesn’t know, at the end of the month, Romance Writers of America will have its annual conference in San Francisco. It includes an enormous book sale/signing event with all proceeds going to literacy. Everyone’s welcome!
    Go here for more details.
    http://www.rwanational.org/cs/literacy_autographing
    Wenches Pat, Mary Jo and I will be there.
    I opened the book at random to hit a page about the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Of course there is no definitive evidence for this, and in fact the idea didn’t firm up until Christianity began to equate sexual pleasure with spiritual blight.
    He has an amusing riff on medieval efforts to try to make sense of how God got His semen into her, and how the baby got out while leaving her still technically a virgin.
    If all you lurkers are good and make lots of enlightening comments, I’ll post another random piece later.
    Life’s short: have fun today.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  25. Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood. A lot of romance novels, including my medievals, have the disrobing before witnesses to prove no obvious blemish. I’ve never come across an example of a blemish found, however, so I confess I’m not sure what it would be. They certainly wouldn’t all be perfect specimens. Something inheritable and undesirable?
    Cristina, it does talk about champagne glasses being based on Marie Antoinette’s breasts but discounts that. She was ample and apparently there are some specially designed milk bowls made from wax casts of her breasts.
    However, I’d never realized the wide champagne glasses were breast related, but it makes sense, because they’re an oddity.
    However, there’s also a short section about the way pornography was used to destroy the reputation of Marie Antoinette, both before and after the revolution. I’ve read about that elsewhere. There was an annual underground publication describing with illustrations, her having sex with most of the French court, then at her trial she was accused of corrupting her young son.
    Piper, if you or anyone else knows more about the effects of vasectomy on pre-pubescent males, let us know.
    As for the road, no, we were on the road that goes through Hope and Princeton. Yes, I think that’s Baker floating in the sky. We had two orcas playing off the side of the ferry but I couldn’t catch a decent photo of them.
    In SF, I’m moderating/speaking at a panel for librarians on the Wednesday, but nothing else. I come up with a talk based on what new idea is buzzing in my head, and none was at the time I had to be specific, so I’m taking a year off.
    In case anyone here doesn’t know, at the end of the month, Romance Writers of America will have its annual conference in San Francisco. It includes an enormous book sale/signing event with all proceeds going to literacy. Everyone’s welcome!
    Go here for more details.
    http://www.rwanational.org/cs/literacy_autographing
    Wenches Pat, Mary Jo and I will be there.
    I opened the book at random to hit a page about the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Of course there is no definitive evidence for this, and in fact the idea didn’t firm up until Christianity began to equate sexual pleasure with spiritual blight.
    He has an amusing riff on medieval efforts to try to make sense of how God got His semen into her, and how the baby got out while leaving her still technically a virgin.
    If all you lurkers are good and make lots of enlightening comments, I’ll post another random piece later.
    Life’s short: have fun today.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  26. Well, I looked “castrati” up on the internet, and here’s what I found…
    “during puberty a boy’s vocal chords enlarge enormously, caused by an increased production of anderogen hormones. Castration prevented the necessary flow of hormones and arrested growth. Afterwards the castrato would have the high voice of a boy soprano, but the lung power of a full-grown man.
    Castration was performed by cutting the blood supply to the testicles, or by amputating them altogether. The candidate (or shall we say victim?) was placed in a warm bath to soften the testes and the operation was performed after the patient was rendered unconscious. After recovery, the boy would begin an intensive study of music and singing that could sometimes last ten years or more.
    Although castration did little to damage a castrato’s intellect, it did pose serious health and emotional problems. Most castrati suffered from the effects of developmental hypogonadism, including infantile penis and an underdeveloped prostate. They also had more developed subcutaneous fat than the normal male, fat deposits localized on the hips, buttocks and breast areas, fatty deposits on the eyelids, and skin that sometimes appeared wrinkled or swollen. The arms and legs of many castrati were unusually long as compared to the torso (the long bones never stopped growing), which made them look distorted. ”
    Now if you need to know more about castration methods (at least in cattle) I can give you some different methods used.

    Reply
  27. Well, I looked “castrati” up on the internet, and here’s what I found…
    “during puberty a boy’s vocal chords enlarge enormously, caused by an increased production of anderogen hormones. Castration prevented the necessary flow of hormones and arrested growth. Afterwards the castrato would have the high voice of a boy soprano, but the lung power of a full-grown man.
    Castration was performed by cutting the blood supply to the testicles, or by amputating them altogether. The candidate (or shall we say victim?) was placed in a warm bath to soften the testes and the operation was performed after the patient was rendered unconscious. After recovery, the boy would begin an intensive study of music and singing that could sometimes last ten years or more.
    Although castration did little to damage a castrato’s intellect, it did pose serious health and emotional problems. Most castrati suffered from the effects of developmental hypogonadism, including infantile penis and an underdeveloped prostate. They also had more developed subcutaneous fat than the normal male, fat deposits localized on the hips, buttocks and breast areas, fatty deposits on the eyelids, and skin that sometimes appeared wrinkled or swollen. The arms and legs of many castrati were unusually long as compared to the torso (the long bones never stopped growing), which made them look distorted. ”
    Now if you need to know more about castration methods (at least in cattle) I can give you some different methods used.

    Reply
  28. Well, I looked “castrati” up on the internet, and here’s what I found…
    “during puberty a boy’s vocal chords enlarge enormously, caused by an increased production of anderogen hormones. Castration prevented the necessary flow of hormones and arrested growth. Afterwards the castrato would have the high voice of a boy soprano, but the lung power of a full-grown man.
    Castration was performed by cutting the blood supply to the testicles, or by amputating them altogether. The candidate (or shall we say victim?) was placed in a warm bath to soften the testes and the operation was performed after the patient was rendered unconscious. After recovery, the boy would begin an intensive study of music and singing that could sometimes last ten years or more.
    Although castration did little to damage a castrato’s intellect, it did pose serious health and emotional problems. Most castrati suffered from the effects of developmental hypogonadism, including infantile penis and an underdeveloped prostate. They also had more developed subcutaneous fat than the normal male, fat deposits localized on the hips, buttocks and breast areas, fatty deposits on the eyelids, and skin that sometimes appeared wrinkled or swollen. The arms and legs of many castrati were unusually long as compared to the torso (the long bones never stopped growing), which made them look distorted. ”
    Now if you need to know more about castration methods (at least in cattle) I can give you some different methods used.

    Reply
  29. Well, I looked “castrati” up on the internet, and here’s what I found…
    “during puberty a boy’s vocal chords enlarge enormously, caused by an increased production of anderogen hormones. Castration prevented the necessary flow of hormones and arrested growth. Afterwards the castrato would have the high voice of a boy soprano, but the lung power of a full-grown man.
    Castration was performed by cutting the blood supply to the testicles, or by amputating them altogether. The candidate (or shall we say victim?) was placed in a warm bath to soften the testes and the operation was performed after the patient was rendered unconscious. After recovery, the boy would begin an intensive study of music and singing that could sometimes last ten years or more.
    Although castration did little to damage a castrato’s intellect, it did pose serious health and emotional problems. Most castrati suffered from the effects of developmental hypogonadism, including infantile penis and an underdeveloped prostate. They also had more developed subcutaneous fat than the normal male, fat deposits localized on the hips, buttocks and breast areas, fatty deposits on the eyelids, and skin that sometimes appeared wrinkled or swollen. The arms and legs of many castrati were unusually long as compared to the torso (the long bones never stopped growing), which made them look distorted. ”
    Now if you need to know more about castration methods (at least in cattle) I can give you some different methods used.

    Reply
  30. Well, I looked “castrati” up on the internet, and here’s what I found…
    “during puberty a boy’s vocal chords enlarge enormously, caused by an increased production of anderogen hormones. Castration prevented the necessary flow of hormones and arrested growth. Afterwards the castrato would have the high voice of a boy soprano, but the lung power of a full-grown man.
    Castration was performed by cutting the blood supply to the testicles, or by amputating them altogether. The candidate (or shall we say victim?) was placed in a warm bath to soften the testes and the operation was performed after the patient was rendered unconscious. After recovery, the boy would begin an intensive study of music and singing that could sometimes last ten years or more.
    Although castration did little to damage a castrato’s intellect, it did pose serious health and emotional problems. Most castrati suffered from the effects of developmental hypogonadism, including infantile penis and an underdeveloped prostate. They also had more developed subcutaneous fat than the normal male, fat deposits localized on the hips, buttocks and breast areas, fatty deposits on the eyelids, and skin that sometimes appeared wrinkled or swollen. The arms and legs of many castrati were unusually long as compared to the torso (the long bones never stopped growing), which made them look distorted. ”
    Now if you need to know more about castration methods (at least in cattle) I can give you some different methods used.

    Reply
  31. Doesn’t the whole idea of castrating some poor kid sound horrific? I can’t imagine being a parent, and saying “yes, let’s do it”

    Reply
  32. Doesn’t the whole idea of castrating some poor kid sound horrific? I can’t imagine being a parent, and saying “yes, let’s do it”

    Reply
  33. Doesn’t the whole idea of castrating some poor kid sound horrific? I can’t imagine being a parent, and saying “yes, let’s do it”

    Reply
  34. Doesn’t the whole idea of castrating some poor kid sound horrific? I can’t imagine being a parent, and saying “yes, let’s do it”

    Reply
  35. Doesn’t the whole idea of castrating some poor kid sound horrific? I can’t imagine being a parent, and saying “yes, let’s do it”

    Reply
  36. But look at all the other stuff people have done (and still do) to their children with the idea that what they are doing will somehow benefit the child: footbinding, making them cross-eyed, elongating their necks, covering them with scars, genital circumcision (on both male and female infants and children).
    It seems likely to me that you might have been easily convinced that castration was the right thing to do during the period when these singers were basically considered something between men and angels. The child would always have a place. Always be fed. Always be clothed. It was a guarantee of prosperity that might otherwise be impossible to provide.

    Reply
  37. But look at all the other stuff people have done (and still do) to their children with the idea that what they are doing will somehow benefit the child: footbinding, making them cross-eyed, elongating their necks, covering them with scars, genital circumcision (on both male and female infants and children).
    It seems likely to me that you might have been easily convinced that castration was the right thing to do during the period when these singers were basically considered something between men and angels. The child would always have a place. Always be fed. Always be clothed. It was a guarantee of prosperity that might otherwise be impossible to provide.

    Reply
  38. But look at all the other stuff people have done (and still do) to their children with the idea that what they are doing will somehow benefit the child: footbinding, making them cross-eyed, elongating their necks, covering them with scars, genital circumcision (on both male and female infants and children).
    It seems likely to me that you might have been easily convinced that castration was the right thing to do during the period when these singers were basically considered something between men and angels. The child would always have a place. Always be fed. Always be clothed. It was a guarantee of prosperity that might otherwise be impossible to provide.

    Reply
  39. But look at all the other stuff people have done (and still do) to their children with the idea that what they are doing will somehow benefit the child: footbinding, making them cross-eyed, elongating their necks, covering them with scars, genital circumcision (on both male and female infants and children).
    It seems likely to me that you might have been easily convinced that castration was the right thing to do during the period when these singers were basically considered something between men and angels. The child would always have a place. Always be fed. Always be clothed. It was a guarantee of prosperity that might otherwise be impossible to provide.

    Reply
  40. But look at all the other stuff people have done (and still do) to their children with the idea that what they are doing will somehow benefit the child: footbinding, making them cross-eyed, elongating their necks, covering them with scars, genital circumcision (on both male and female infants and children).
    It seems likely to me that you might have been easily convinced that castration was the right thing to do during the period when these singers were basically considered something between men and angels. The child would always have a place. Always be fed. Always be clothed. It was a guarantee of prosperity that might otherwise be impossible to provide.

    Reply
  41. Well, darn! I want to know about the Georgian S&M stuff, having written a book or two that touched on later versions of the subject. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Perottet is an interesting writer. I referenced his book on ancient tourism in a blog on how long tourism has been with us. I like a man with an antic mind. 🙂
    Mary Jo, enjoying the snow pics on a a way-too-hot day in Maryland

    Reply
  42. Well, darn! I want to know about the Georgian S&M stuff, having written a book or two that touched on later versions of the subject. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Perottet is an interesting writer. I referenced his book on ancient tourism in a blog on how long tourism has been with us. I like a man with an antic mind. 🙂
    Mary Jo, enjoying the snow pics on a a way-too-hot day in Maryland

    Reply
  43. Well, darn! I want to know about the Georgian S&M stuff, having written a book or two that touched on later versions of the subject. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Perottet is an interesting writer. I referenced his book on ancient tourism in a blog on how long tourism has been with us. I like a man with an antic mind. 🙂
    Mary Jo, enjoying the snow pics on a a way-too-hot day in Maryland

    Reply
  44. Well, darn! I want to know about the Georgian S&M stuff, having written a book or two that touched on later versions of the subject. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Perottet is an interesting writer. I referenced his book on ancient tourism in a blog on how long tourism has been with us. I like a man with an antic mind. 🙂
    Mary Jo, enjoying the snow pics on a a way-too-hot day in Maryland

    Reply
  45. Well, darn! I want to know about the Georgian S&M stuff, having written a book or two that touched on later versions of the subject. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Perottet is an interesting writer. I referenced his book on ancient tourism in a blog on how long tourism has been with us. I like a man with an antic mind. 🙂
    Mary Jo, enjoying the snow pics on a a way-too-hot day in Maryland

    Reply
  46. What a great post, Jo. Brings a thought to mind. I grew up believing and still move among those that do believe the “world” is growing more amoral due to the negative influence of Movies, TV, pornography and “bad” music. I see their point considering the rise in violence, rapes, pedophilia and other like crimes which suggest we are becoming sensitized. But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.
    Nina

    Reply
  47. What a great post, Jo. Brings a thought to mind. I grew up believing and still move among those that do believe the “world” is growing more amoral due to the negative influence of Movies, TV, pornography and “bad” music. I see their point considering the rise in violence, rapes, pedophilia and other like crimes which suggest we are becoming sensitized. But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.
    Nina

    Reply
  48. What a great post, Jo. Brings a thought to mind. I grew up believing and still move among those that do believe the “world” is growing more amoral due to the negative influence of Movies, TV, pornography and “bad” music. I see their point considering the rise in violence, rapes, pedophilia and other like crimes which suggest we are becoming sensitized. But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.
    Nina

    Reply
  49. What a great post, Jo. Brings a thought to mind. I grew up believing and still move among those that do believe the “world” is growing more amoral due to the negative influence of Movies, TV, pornography and “bad” music. I see their point considering the rise in violence, rapes, pedophilia and other like crimes which suggest we are becoming sensitized. But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.
    Nina

    Reply
  50. What a great post, Jo. Brings a thought to mind. I grew up believing and still move among those that do believe the “world” is growing more amoral due to the negative influence of Movies, TV, pornography and “bad” music. I see their point considering the rise in violence, rapes, pedophilia and other like crimes which suggest we are becoming sensitized. But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.
    Nina

    Reply
  51. Great post for a hot day in July, Jo. 🙂
    For a fascinating discussion of how historical figures have been slandered and occasionally destroyed by pornography, see “The Invention of Pornography” by Lynn Hunt.
    Poor Marie Antoinette wasn’t the only one; seems that from the Renaissance onward (and the popularization of the printing processes needed to make pornography more accessible), almost any Euorpean woman in power whether as royalty herself, or from sleeping with royalty, was a target for this kind of attack. Nor were powerful men immune, either. If the best way to destroy a woman was by depicting her as promiscuous, then men were shown as being homosexual, esp. in a homosexual relationship with a priest or two.
    Considering some of the obscene “humorous cartoons” that were being circulated via the internet about Hilary Clinton, things don’t seem to have changed much at all…

    Reply
  52. Great post for a hot day in July, Jo. 🙂
    For a fascinating discussion of how historical figures have been slandered and occasionally destroyed by pornography, see “The Invention of Pornography” by Lynn Hunt.
    Poor Marie Antoinette wasn’t the only one; seems that from the Renaissance onward (and the popularization of the printing processes needed to make pornography more accessible), almost any Euorpean woman in power whether as royalty herself, or from sleeping with royalty, was a target for this kind of attack. Nor were powerful men immune, either. If the best way to destroy a woman was by depicting her as promiscuous, then men were shown as being homosexual, esp. in a homosexual relationship with a priest or two.
    Considering some of the obscene “humorous cartoons” that were being circulated via the internet about Hilary Clinton, things don’t seem to have changed much at all…

    Reply
  53. Great post for a hot day in July, Jo. 🙂
    For a fascinating discussion of how historical figures have been slandered and occasionally destroyed by pornography, see “The Invention of Pornography” by Lynn Hunt.
    Poor Marie Antoinette wasn’t the only one; seems that from the Renaissance onward (and the popularization of the printing processes needed to make pornography more accessible), almost any Euorpean woman in power whether as royalty herself, or from sleeping with royalty, was a target for this kind of attack. Nor were powerful men immune, either. If the best way to destroy a woman was by depicting her as promiscuous, then men were shown as being homosexual, esp. in a homosexual relationship with a priest or two.
    Considering some of the obscene “humorous cartoons” that were being circulated via the internet about Hilary Clinton, things don’t seem to have changed much at all…

    Reply
  54. Great post for a hot day in July, Jo. 🙂
    For a fascinating discussion of how historical figures have been slandered and occasionally destroyed by pornography, see “The Invention of Pornography” by Lynn Hunt.
    Poor Marie Antoinette wasn’t the only one; seems that from the Renaissance onward (and the popularization of the printing processes needed to make pornography more accessible), almost any Euorpean woman in power whether as royalty herself, or from sleeping with royalty, was a target for this kind of attack. Nor were powerful men immune, either. If the best way to destroy a woman was by depicting her as promiscuous, then men were shown as being homosexual, esp. in a homosexual relationship with a priest or two.
    Considering some of the obscene “humorous cartoons” that were being circulated via the internet about Hilary Clinton, things don’t seem to have changed much at all…

    Reply
  55. Great post for a hot day in July, Jo. 🙂
    For a fascinating discussion of how historical figures have been slandered and occasionally destroyed by pornography, see “The Invention of Pornography” by Lynn Hunt.
    Poor Marie Antoinette wasn’t the only one; seems that from the Renaissance onward (and the popularization of the printing processes needed to make pornography more accessible), almost any Euorpean woman in power whether as royalty herself, or from sleeping with royalty, was a target for this kind of attack. Nor were powerful men immune, either. If the best way to destroy a woman was by depicting her as promiscuous, then men were shown as being homosexual, esp. in a homosexual relationship with a priest or two.
    Considering some of the obscene “humorous cartoons” that were being circulated via the internet about Hilary Clinton, things don’t seem to have changed much at all…

    Reply
  56. Speaking of owning bits of people, perhaps you remember “the Resurectionists,” Burke and Hare, whose exploits gave rise to the Scottish version of “Lizzie Borden took an axe”:
    Up the close and doon the stair,
    But an’ ben wi’ Burke and Hare;
    Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
    Knox* the boy who buys the beef.
    *Dr. Robert Knox, who bought the corpses to dissect for his anatomy lectures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare
    Eventually they were caught. Hare turned King’s Evidence and got off. After being hanged, Burke was handed over to the anatomists himself. His skin was tanned and sold off in bits as souvenirs. The famous Scottish crime writer William Roughead owned a bit of it.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Skin from Burke’s body was used to make the leather binding of a small book. This book can now be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His skeleton hangs in the anatomy library of Edinburgh University’s Medical School.

    Reply
  57. Speaking of owning bits of people, perhaps you remember “the Resurectionists,” Burke and Hare, whose exploits gave rise to the Scottish version of “Lizzie Borden took an axe”:
    Up the close and doon the stair,
    But an’ ben wi’ Burke and Hare;
    Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
    Knox* the boy who buys the beef.
    *Dr. Robert Knox, who bought the corpses to dissect for his anatomy lectures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare
    Eventually they were caught. Hare turned King’s Evidence and got off. After being hanged, Burke was handed over to the anatomists himself. His skin was tanned and sold off in bits as souvenirs. The famous Scottish crime writer William Roughead owned a bit of it.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Skin from Burke’s body was used to make the leather binding of a small book. This book can now be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His skeleton hangs in the anatomy library of Edinburgh University’s Medical School.

    Reply
  58. Speaking of owning bits of people, perhaps you remember “the Resurectionists,” Burke and Hare, whose exploits gave rise to the Scottish version of “Lizzie Borden took an axe”:
    Up the close and doon the stair,
    But an’ ben wi’ Burke and Hare;
    Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
    Knox* the boy who buys the beef.
    *Dr. Robert Knox, who bought the corpses to dissect for his anatomy lectures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare
    Eventually they were caught. Hare turned King’s Evidence and got off. After being hanged, Burke was handed over to the anatomists himself. His skin was tanned and sold off in bits as souvenirs. The famous Scottish crime writer William Roughead owned a bit of it.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Skin from Burke’s body was used to make the leather binding of a small book. This book can now be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His skeleton hangs in the anatomy library of Edinburgh University’s Medical School.

    Reply
  59. Speaking of owning bits of people, perhaps you remember “the Resurectionists,” Burke and Hare, whose exploits gave rise to the Scottish version of “Lizzie Borden took an axe”:
    Up the close and doon the stair,
    But an’ ben wi’ Burke and Hare;
    Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
    Knox* the boy who buys the beef.
    *Dr. Robert Knox, who bought the corpses to dissect for his anatomy lectures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare
    Eventually they were caught. Hare turned King’s Evidence and got off. After being hanged, Burke was handed over to the anatomists himself. His skin was tanned and sold off in bits as souvenirs. The famous Scottish crime writer William Roughead owned a bit of it.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Skin from Burke’s body was used to make the leather binding of a small book. This book can now be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His skeleton hangs in the anatomy library of Edinburgh University’s Medical School.

    Reply
  60. Speaking of owning bits of people, perhaps you remember “the Resurectionists,” Burke and Hare, whose exploits gave rise to the Scottish version of “Lizzie Borden took an axe”:
    Up the close and doon the stair,
    But an’ ben wi’ Burke and Hare;
    Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
    Knox* the boy who buys the beef.
    *Dr. Robert Knox, who bought the corpses to dissect for his anatomy lectures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare
    Eventually they were caught. Hare turned King’s Evidence and got off. After being hanged, Burke was handed over to the anatomists himself. His skin was tanned and sold off in bits as souvenirs. The famous Scottish crime writer William Roughead owned a bit of it.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Skin from Burke’s body was used to make the leather binding of a small book. This book can now be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His skeleton hangs in the anatomy library of Edinburgh University’s Medical School.

    Reply
  61. Nina wrote:”But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.”
    “moral” is a tricky word, but I’d say probably not. OTOH, eras can have different values in the sense of a general way of thinking.
    18th century England had less sensitivity to the treatment of people than we have today, and especially the treatment of children and animals.
    When things are acceptable, more people will do them. They may even be applauded for them. But are they less moral? They aren’t being immoral, or seen as immoral, in their own time.
    Quite likely an 18th century person thrown through time to today would point at something and say, “But that’s appalling. That’s wrong.” And we’d be surprised. Perhaps we wouldn’t think it GOOD, but it’d be under “that’s life,” just as working horses to death and chimney boys were to them.
    Can anyone think of clear examples?
    AGTigress, who often posts here has a fascinating clarification of pornography and erotica up on Teach Me Tonight. It seems relevant to this topic.
    http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-post-classifying-works-containing.html
    I remember the Lady Chatterley’s Lover furore. Even after it was cleared for sale it was still banned in our school, so when someone sneaked in a copy there was hell to pay.
    I also remember that in 1965 I went to a university preparation course at Nottingham University that included Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. I had the devil of a job getting a copy from my local library. IIRC, I had to go to the nearby bigger town of Lancaster with a parent and we both had to sign some document.
    Strange to look back on now, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  62. Nina wrote:”But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.”
    “moral” is a tricky word, but I’d say probably not. OTOH, eras can have different values in the sense of a general way of thinking.
    18th century England had less sensitivity to the treatment of people than we have today, and especially the treatment of children and animals.
    When things are acceptable, more people will do them. They may even be applauded for them. But are they less moral? They aren’t being immoral, or seen as immoral, in their own time.
    Quite likely an 18th century person thrown through time to today would point at something and say, “But that’s appalling. That’s wrong.” And we’d be surprised. Perhaps we wouldn’t think it GOOD, but it’d be under “that’s life,” just as working horses to death and chimney boys were to them.
    Can anyone think of clear examples?
    AGTigress, who often posts here has a fascinating clarification of pornography and erotica up on Teach Me Tonight. It seems relevant to this topic.
    http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-post-classifying-works-containing.html
    I remember the Lady Chatterley’s Lover furore. Even after it was cleared for sale it was still banned in our school, so when someone sneaked in a copy there was hell to pay.
    I also remember that in 1965 I went to a university preparation course at Nottingham University that included Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. I had the devil of a job getting a copy from my local library. IIRC, I had to go to the nearby bigger town of Lancaster with a parent and we both had to sign some document.
    Strange to look back on now, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  63. Nina wrote:”But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.”
    “moral” is a tricky word, but I’d say probably not. OTOH, eras can have different values in the sense of a general way of thinking.
    18th century England had less sensitivity to the treatment of people than we have today, and especially the treatment of children and animals.
    When things are acceptable, more people will do them. They may even be applauded for them. But are they less moral? They aren’t being immoral, or seen as immoral, in their own time.
    Quite likely an 18th century person thrown through time to today would point at something and say, “But that’s appalling. That’s wrong.” And we’d be surprised. Perhaps we wouldn’t think it GOOD, but it’d be under “that’s life,” just as working horses to death and chimney boys were to them.
    Can anyone think of clear examples?
    AGTigress, who often posts here has a fascinating clarification of pornography and erotica up on Teach Me Tonight. It seems relevant to this topic.
    http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-post-classifying-works-containing.html
    I remember the Lady Chatterley’s Lover furore. Even after it was cleared for sale it was still banned in our school, so when someone sneaked in a copy there was hell to pay.
    I also remember that in 1965 I went to a university preparation course at Nottingham University that included Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. I had the devil of a job getting a copy from my local library. IIRC, I had to go to the nearby bigger town of Lancaster with a parent and we both had to sign some document.
    Strange to look back on now, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  64. Nina wrote:”But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.”
    “moral” is a tricky word, but I’d say probably not. OTOH, eras can have different values in the sense of a general way of thinking.
    18th century England had less sensitivity to the treatment of people than we have today, and especially the treatment of children and animals.
    When things are acceptable, more people will do them. They may even be applauded for them. But are they less moral? They aren’t being immoral, or seen as immoral, in their own time.
    Quite likely an 18th century person thrown through time to today would point at something and say, “But that’s appalling. That’s wrong.” And we’d be surprised. Perhaps we wouldn’t think it GOOD, but it’d be under “that’s life,” just as working horses to death and chimney boys were to them.
    Can anyone think of clear examples?
    AGTigress, who often posts here has a fascinating clarification of pornography and erotica up on Teach Me Tonight. It seems relevant to this topic.
    http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-post-classifying-works-containing.html
    I remember the Lady Chatterley’s Lover furore. Even after it was cleared for sale it was still banned in our school, so when someone sneaked in a copy there was hell to pay.
    I also remember that in 1965 I went to a university preparation course at Nottingham University that included Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. I had the devil of a job getting a copy from my local library. IIRC, I had to go to the nearby bigger town of Lancaster with a parent and we both had to sign some document.
    Strange to look back on now, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  65. Nina wrote:”But is the 21st century really less moral than say the Medieval or Georgian era? Your thoughts, please.”
    “moral” is a tricky word, but I’d say probably not. OTOH, eras can have different values in the sense of a general way of thinking.
    18th century England had less sensitivity to the treatment of people than we have today, and especially the treatment of children and animals.
    When things are acceptable, more people will do them. They may even be applauded for them. But are they less moral? They aren’t being immoral, or seen as immoral, in their own time.
    Quite likely an 18th century person thrown through time to today would point at something and say, “But that’s appalling. That’s wrong.” And we’d be surprised. Perhaps we wouldn’t think it GOOD, but it’d be under “that’s life,” just as working horses to death and chimney boys were to them.
    Can anyone think of clear examples?
    AGTigress, who often posts here has a fascinating clarification of pornography and erotica up on Teach Me Tonight. It seems relevant to this topic.
    http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-post-classifying-works-containing.html
    I remember the Lady Chatterley’s Lover furore. Even after it was cleared for sale it was still banned in our school, so when someone sneaked in a copy there was hell to pay.
    I also remember that in 1965 I went to a university preparation course at Nottingham University that included Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. I had the devil of a job getting a copy from my local library. IIRC, I had to go to the nearby bigger town of Lancaster with a parent and we both had to sign some document.
    Strange to look back on now, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  66. Actually, isn’t the champagne glass based on the breast of Napolean’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte? I saw a gold cup made from a mold of her breast at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston last year when they had the ‘Art of Napolean’ display up – and it looked about the shape & size of the typical champagne glass.

    Reply
  67. Actually, isn’t the champagne glass based on the breast of Napolean’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte? I saw a gold cup made from a mold of her breast at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston last year when they had the ‘Art of Napolean’ display up – and it looked about the shape & size of the typical champagne glass.

    Reply
  68. Actually, isn’t the champagne glass based on the breast of Napolean’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte? I saw a gold cup made from a mold of her breast at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston last year when they had the ‘Art of Napolean’ display up – and it looked about the shape & size of the typical champagne glass.

    Reply
  69. Actually, isn’t the champagne glass based on the breast of Napolean’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte? I saw a gold cup made from a mold of her breast at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston last year when they had the ‘Art of Napolean’ display up – and it looked about the shape & size of the typical champagne glass.

    Reply
  70. Actually, isn’t the champagne glass based on the breast of Napolean’s sister, Pauline Buonaparte? I saw a gold cup made from a mold of her breast at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston last year when they had the ‘Art of Napolean’ display up – and it looked about the shape & size of the typical champagne glass.

    Reply
  71. Jo wrote: “Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood.”
    I hesitate to differ with you on this, and it’s possible that customs may have differed in various parts of Europe.
    However, there are certain points to be considered. One is that consummation was necessary for a canonically valid marriage even when the bride was a widow and there would be no “evidences of blood.”
    The second is that by the early modern era, especially in the Germanies, Austria, and northern Italy, with which I’m most familiar, the important families had learned from the fate of Catherine of Aragon (did they or didn’t they in the matter of her first marriage to
    Arthur — the form of witness, whatever it may have been, was clearly insufficient) that for the protection of their daughters, they had better have fairly irrefutable evidence on file as to whether or not the marriage had really been consummated.
    Naturally, this did lead to embarrassing episodes, such as the first attempt of Louis XIII of France to consummate his marriage to Anne of Austria (see the Relazioni of the Venetian ambassadors; there are also references in the Medici archives as sent by the ambassadors of the Grand Duke of Tuscany).
    After all, these women grew up expecting to deliver their children with fifty or sixty international witnesses in the room. They expected someone to keep a record of every time their husbands visited their bedchambers for the purpose of intercourse, with a countdown back to one of the episodes if a pregnancy resulted.
    Privacy is a very modern concept.
    It really was very like breeding for pure lineages in horse racing, which is, I believe, one of the reason that the “brood mare” comparison came to be used for the role of a queen (or archduchess, etc.) consort.

    Reply
  72. Jo wrote: “Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood.”
    I hesitate to differ with you on this, and it’s possible that customs may have differed in various parts of Europe.
    However, there are certain points to be considered. One is that consummation was necessary for a canonically valid marriage even when the bride was a widow and there would be no “evidences of blood.”
    The second is that by the early modern era, especially in the Germanies, Austria, and northern Italy, with which I’m most familiar, the important families had learned from the fate of Catherine of Aragon (did they or didn’t they in the matter of her first marriage to
    Arthur — the form of witness, whatever it may have been, was clearly insufficient) that for the protection of their daughters, they had better have fairly irrefutable evidence on file as to whether or not the marriage had really been consummated.
    Naturally, this did lead to embarrassing episodes, such as the first attempt of Louis XIII of France to consummate his marriage to Anne of Austria (see the Relazioni of the Venetian ambassadors; there are also references in the Medici archives as sent by the ambassadors of the Grand Duke of Tuscany).
    After all, these women grew up expecting to deliver their children with fifty or sixty international witnesses in the room. They expected someone to keep a record of every time their husbands visited their bedchambers for the purpose of intercourse, with a countdown back to one of the episodes if a pregnancy resulted.
    Privacy is a very modern concept.
    It really was very like breeding for pure lineages in horse racing, which is, I believe, one of the reason that the “brood mare” comparison came to be used for the role of a queen (or archduchess, etc.) consort.

    Reply
  73. Jo wrote: “Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood.”
    I hesitate to differ with you on this, and it’s possible that customs may have differed in various parts of Europe.
    However, there are certain points to be considered. One is that consummation was necessary for a canonically valid marriage even when the bride was a widow and there would be no “evidences of blood.”
    The second is that by the early modern era, especially in the Germanies, Austria, and northern Italy, with which I’m most familiar, the important families had learned from the fate of Catherine of Aragon (did they or didn’t they in the matter of her first marriage to
    Arthur — the form of witness, whatever it may have been, was clearly insufficient) that for the protection of their daughters, they had better have fairly irrefutable evidence on file as to whether or not the marriage had really been consummated.
    Naturally, this did lead to embarrassing episodes, such as the first attempt of Louis XIII of France to consummate his marriage to Anne of Austria (see the Relazioni of the Venetian ambassadors; there are also references in the Medici archives as sent by the ambassadors of the Grand Duke of Tuscany).
    After all, these women grew up expecting to deliver their children with fifty or sixty international witnesses in the room. They expected someone to keep a record of every time their husbands visited their bedchambers for the purpose of intercourse, with a countdown back to one of the episodes if a pregnancy resulted.
    Privacy is a very modern concept.
    It really was very like breeding for pure lineages in horse racing, which is, I believe, one of the reason that the “brood mare” comparison came to be used for the role of a queen (or archduchess, etc.) consort.

    Reply
  74. Jo wrote: “Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood.”
    I hesitate to differ with you on this, and it’s possible that customs may have differed in various parts of Europe.
    However, there are certain points to be considered. One is that consummation was necessary for a canonically valid marriage even when the bride was a widow and there would be no “evidences of blood.”
    The second is that by the early modern era, especially in the Germanies, Austria, and northern Italy, with which I’m most familiar, the important families had learned from the fate of Catherine of Aragon (did they or didn’t they in the matter of her first marriage to
    Arthur — the form of witness, whatever it may have been, was clearly insufficient) that for the protection of their daughters, they had better have fairly irrefutable evidence on file as to whether or not the marriage had really been consummated.
    Naturally, this did lead to embarrassing episodes, such as the first attempt of Louis XIII of France to consummate his marriage to Anne of Austria (see the Relazioni of the Venetian ambassadors; there are also references in the Medici archives as sent by the ambassadors of the Grand Duke of Tuscany).
    After all, these women grew up expecting to deliver their children with fifty or sixty international witnesses in the room. They expected someone to keep a record of every time their husbands visited their bedchambers for the purpose of intercourse, with a countdown back to one of the episodes if a pregnancy resulted.
    Privacy is a very modern concept.
    It really was very like breeding for pure lineages in horse racing, which is, I believe, one of the reason that the “brood mare” comparison came to be used for the role of a queen (or archduchess, etc.) consort.

    Reply
  75. Jo wrote: “Virginia, yes about those important marriages, though I believe they had the curtains drawn for the act and then the inspection of the sheet for signs of blood.”
    I hesitate to differ with you on this, and it’s possible that customs may have differed in various parts of Europe.
    However, there are certain points to be considered. One is that consummation was necessary for a canonically valid marriage even when the bride was a widow and there would be no “evidences of blood.”
    The second is that by the early modern era, especially in the Germanies, Austria, and northern Italy, with which I’m most familiar, the important families had learned from the fate of Catherine of Aragon (did they or didn’t they in the matter of her first marriage to
    Arthur — the form of witness, whatever it may have been, was clearly insufficient) that for the protection of their daughters, they had better have fairly irrefutable evidence on file as to whether or not the marriage had really been consummated.
    Naturally, this did lead to embarrassing episodes, such as the first attempt of Louis XIII of France to consummate his marriage to Anne of Austria (see the Relazioni of the Venetian ambassadors; there are also references in the Medici archives as sent by the ambassadors of the Grand Duke of Tuscany).
    After all, these women grew up expecting to deliver their children with fifty or sixty international witnesses in the room. They expected someone to keep a record of every time their husbands visited their bedchambers for the purpose of intercourse, with a countdown back to one of the episodes if a pregnancy resulted.
    Privacy is a very modern concept.
    It really was very like breeding for pure lineages in horse racing, which is, I believe, one of the reason that the “brood mare” comparison came to be used for the role of a queen (or archduchess, etc.) consort.

    Reply
  76. Well, my library has ordered “Napoleon’s Privates”, and already there are five requests for it. At least five people aren’t afraid to go to the circulation desk and have the librarian give them a funny look. 🙂
    Jo, I like the cover of “The Secret Wedding”, although I wonder why they don’t show us the models’ faces anymore.

    Reply
  77. Well, my library has ordered “Napoleon’s Privates”, and already there are five requests for it. At least five people aren’t afraid to go to the circulation desk and have the librarian give them a funny look. 🙂
    Jo, I like the cover of “The Secret Wedding”, although I wonder why they don’t show us the models’ faces anymore.

    Reply
  78. Well, my library has ordered “Napoleon’s Privates”, and already there are five requests for it. At least five people aren’t afraid to go to the circulation desk and have the librarian give them a funny look. 🙂
    Jo, I like the cover of “The Secret Wedding”, although I wonder why they don’t show us the models’ faces anymore.

    Reply
  79. Well, my library has ordered “Napoleon’s Privates”, and already there are five requests for it. At least five people aren’t afraid to go to the circulation desk and have the librarian give them a funny look. 🙂
    Jo, I like the cover of “The Secret Wedding”, although I wonder why they don’t show us the models’ faces anymore.

    Reply
  80. Well, my library has ordered “Napoleon’s Privates”, and already there are five requests for it. At least five people aren’t afraid to go to the circulation desk and have the librarian give them a funny look. 🙂
    Jo, I like the cover of “The Secret Wedding”, although I wonder why they don’t show us the models’ faces anymore.

    Reply

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