Tag Archives: 18th Century

1792: The Chevalier d’Éon

Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont—known more simply as the Chevalier d’Éon—was a French soldier, diplomat, and spy who settled in London, living from 1762-1777 as a man and from 1786-1810 as a woman. Born to a poor noble family in Burgundy … Continue reading

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1793: Cards for Equality

      Following the French Revolution and its toppling of the French monarchy, Urbain Jaume and Jean-Démosthène Dugourc conceived the idea of a new deck of playing cards that, like the revolutionaries, would toss out its “aristocracy” of Aces, Kings, … Continue reading

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1661: Elizabeth Russell

[———–] Russell, always known under the guise or habit of a woman, and answered to the name of Elizabeth, as registered in Streatham parish, Nov. 21, 1661, but at death proved to be a man. He was buried April 14th, … Continue reading

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1780: The Dark Day

The 19th of May, 1780, was distinguished by the phenomenon of a remarkable darkness over all the northern States, and is still called the Dark day. The darkness commenced between the hours of 10 and 11 A. M., and continued … Continue reading

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1939: The History of Spitting

The pioneering sociologist Norbert Elias published The Civilizing Process in 1939 with the aim of tracing how Europeans came to imagine what it meant to be “civilized.” In the book, he argues that increasing interdependence in society—in which difference social … Continue reading

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1371: The Strangest Duel

The strangest duel I ever met with, was one fought Between a dog and a man in the year 1371, in the presence of King Charles V of France… A Gentleman of the Court was supposed to have murdered another, … Continue reading

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1797: Reading a Book

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson: Benoît Agnès Trioson Reading a Book (1797) Born Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy in 1767, Girodet suffered the death of his father in 1784 and his mother in 1787. A close friend of his parents, Dr. Benoît-François … Continue reading

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