1900 england

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Letting Down Your Hair in A Room With a View

This is the story of a romance between two people from Edwardian England who meet in Italy where anything appears to be possible. It was originally a novel by E. M. Forster, and then was made into a film in 1985 by Merchant-Ivory.

When it come to fashion, you get a lot of the buttoned-up looks with assorted trims which prevailed in very early 20th Century. That was the formal wear of public life, as it was for most of the past century. Precisely because you didn’t let your hair down everywhere and with everyone, when you did, it was a very big deal. Only the chosen few had the privilege of sharing those privileges moments. Helena Bonham Carter is the young woman who plays impetuous music on the piano, but will she break free of other conventions, and admit that she loves Julian Sands? And will Maggie Smith ever stop being so dutifully annoying? Watch and find out.

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These rows of “coffins”, known colloquially at the time as fourpenny coffins, were the men’s sleeping quarters in London’s Burne Street hostel and many other homeless shelters like it. It beat the penny sit up, where you were given a meal and possibly some clothing, as well as a place to stay inside for the night, but were not allowed to fall asleep. At two pence, you might be able to use a twopenny lean over, where, in addition to the meal and the possible clothing, the proprietor would allow you to fall asleep, hanging over a rope, either placed in front of your chair or, where space was more limited, in front of you while you stood, to prevent you from falling on your face. In the morning, the proprietor or one of his employees would unhook the rope to wake the sleeping. Photos circa 1900.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, June 14, 1901

But of all the garbled language
And the terms employed by these
Addle-pated folk in London
There are two that take the cheese.
Here they are, O gentle reader:
“Undies” - ha! - and “Cossies” - ho!
(Blow me, but I hate to write it, it embarrasses me so!)