“Courage mattered. Loyalty mattered. Honor mattered. Personal Pride mattered. Soldiers, and their culture, defined these as masculine values. The Gilded Age substituted gain for cause and friends for comrades.” Richard White
Charles Francis Adams, despite being considered an authority on the management of railroads couldn’t keep the Union Pacific stable as its president. One of the reasons, according to Richard White in Railroaded, was the boys–the young men too young to have fought in the war seemed “weak, unruly, willful and hard to control.” On July…
The American Venus
Imagine walking around New York City seeing your image everywhere–your sublime nudity associated with goddesses and every noble cause. You’re discovered by a photographer and soon every artist wants you, every filmmaker clamors for your presence on their movie set. Imagine you’re sixteen. Then imagine you’re looking out the window of an insane asylum on…
“The men looked like the thieves and the women looked like the whores that many of them were.” Sidney George Fisher, visitor to a Saratoga Hotel 1867
Oh, those polite and pure Victorians . . . not so fast. Check out the archeological finds exposing the daily life of a 19th century Boston prostitute and one way in which gentleman found the best whores is New York (at the newsstand). Did they like them smart or sporty? For further study: City of…
Money and Sex–Always Trouble for the Englewood Boys
I love finding just what you want in old magazines (Frank Leslie’s) and the stocks for gold mines advertised in Arizona will land a few of my main characters into big trouble–as usual.
Is Alimony Fair? Anti-Silver Cartoon
“FREE SILVER IN CHICAGO. Divorcee–Allow me to thank you, judge, for this decree, but I notice you allow me only $10 a week alimony. That will purchase only as much as $5 would on the old basis and I’m afraid I can hardly meet my expenses. Judge–I’m very sorry, madam, but as your late husband’s…
Modernism At Work With A Touch Of Romance
Yesterday I mentioned how modernism is informing my novel writing which made me think of another writer’s excellent blog set up as a fictional journal of a great character named Wall Grimm. As a warning I will say that the blog is R-rated for mature content (sometimes as I read it I’m thinking –Wall, too…
Okay, I’ll admit it, after only a few days of post Valentine’s Day optimism, I need to remind myself that all of that uninhibited flirtation and carousing during the Civil War did come at a cost. I was as shocked as my character Katherine when her brother confessed that during the war he’d contracted gonorrhea…
Would you trust this man with your little secret?
Found this ad in the Army Navy Journal published just after the end of the Civil War. What were you soldiers getting up to? I wonder….bad boys.