London review of books dating ads dating and marriage customs in finland

19-Nov-2016 11:02

And again: Let's put our dentures in the same glass.

Earnestness and sincerity have infected bookworms on the prowl for passion. Have they become as bland as the typical American personal ad? As always, we've removed contact info to protect privacy.

These early postings were a product of their time and place; a point when marriage was more about the responsible than the erotic.

Thus, many early ads emphasized social and economic pragmatism over the possibility of romantic love.

“Any young Gentlewoman,” it read, “that is minded to dispose of herself in Marriage to a well-accomplished young Widower, and has five or six hundred pounds to secure to him by Deed of Gift, she may repair to the Sign of the Glass-Lanthorn in Steeple-Square, to find all the encouragement she can reasonably desire.” It was written by a 16-year-old Benjamin Franklin, who helped usher in a long line of people who turned to the classified section to inspire art and entertainment, from Heinrich von Kleist to Nathanael West.

With their abbreviated dialect - WLTM, GSOH, SWF - and cliched appeals, personal ads these days can appear anything but personal. It's always fun scanning through lonely hearts sections in newspapers and magazines.

And for most of its history, people taking out personal ads did so in a climate that easily found something desperate, dangerous, or doomed about the prospect of finding love by appealing in public to a mass of strangers.

Yet with the internet, the institution marches on, and it’s stronger than first personal ads likely began to appear in periodicals in the 1690s.

They are windows into other people's lives and many make for compulsive reading.An ad that ran in the in March 1748 concerned a “lady, genteely dressed,” seen leading “a string of beautiful stone horses through Edmonton, Tottenham, and Newington” (now outer boroughs of London): “This is to acquaint her, that if she is disengaged and inclinable to marry, a gentleman who was on that occasion is desirous of making honorable proposals to her; in which state if he be not so happy as to please, he will readily purchase the whole string for her satisfaction.” We will never know whether the lady in question responded or even saw the ad that concerned her.Perhaps she did and was charmed; perhaps a heady romance ensued.One might find a wealthy bachelor looking for a well-born lady, or a recent widow in search of a new gentleman for the household.In 1722, one Bostonian took out space in the to parody the frequently naked, transactional concerns of the personal ad.

They are windows into other people's lives and many make for compulsive reading.

An ad that ran in the in March 1748 concerned a “lady, genteely dressed,” seen leading “a string of beautiful stone horses through Edmonton, Tottenham, and Newington” (now outer boroughs of London): “This is to acquaint her, that if she is disengaged and inclinable to marry, a gentleman who was on that occasion is desirous of making honorable proposals to her; in which state if he be not so happy as to please, he will readily purchase the whole string for her satisfaction.” We will never know whether the lady in question responded or even saw the ad that concerned her.

Perhaps she did and was charmed; perhaps a heady romance ensued.

One might find a wealthy bachelor looking for a well-born lady, or a recent widow in search of a new gentleman for the household.

In 1722, one Bostonian took out space in the to parody the frequently naked, transactional concerns of the personal ad.

It's almost as if the global economic downturn has hit Britain hard in the heart and the wind has thrown caution back to whence it came. , the glossy magazine of matte boredom.__________ Of related interest: "Have Books Destroyed Your Life, Too?