"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Newspaper Clipping(s) of the Day

February 5, 1898

For me, one of the innumerable joys of the "Illustrated Police News" is that while they did report on a lot of women who were victims of the domestic abuse, robberies, natural disasters and 'orrible murders that were a staple of this august publication, they balanced this by depicting a remarkable number of kick-ass females who fought their own battles, took no prisoners, and generally raised hell.  No one who browses through the archives of this paper falls for the myth of Victorian female fragility for a second.  Call this post my little tribute to the ladies of the IPN.

As the above sketch so eloquently demonstrates, IPN woman did not take insults from men lightly.  The following image shows what happened when a drunk made offensive remarks to a lady cyclist who was "noted for her athletic powers":

Next, a woman's fiance breaks off their engagement with the insulting words that she was "one step above the street."  After that, he was one foot into the grave:

August 10, 1872

Birmingham lady caught her husband with another woman, and acted accordingly:

September 19, 1896

The "Chicago Times" published an article that Lydia Thompson of the Blonde Burlesque Troupe did not like.  She issued a rebuttal to the editor:

This policeman attempted to charge this woman with breaking the rules of a dog show.  He soon regretted the effort.

October 11, 1879

In the Victorian novels, a "traduced" woman cried, or fainted, or committed suicide.  Not the IPN lady:

September 9, 1899

Other insulted ladies scorned mere weapons and used the direct approach:

March 28, 1896

April 13, 1895

April 30, 1898

March 6, 1899

On a more civilized note, aggrieved women did not hesitate to settle their differences on the dueling field:

December 11, 1869
March 7, 1896

December 11, 1897

Even the nuns got into the true IPN spirit:

August 14, 1869

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News were life-savers!

December 4, 1869

February 28, 1874

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News were crime-fighters!

August 2, 1897

March 7, 1885

August 29, 1896

February 14, 1874

March 20, 1897

May 16, 1896

September 9, 1894

March 27, 1897

November 6, 1877

April 7, 1877

December 3, 1898
March 26, 1898
March 4, 1899

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News turned the tails on would-be murderers!

March 20, 1899

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News were expert marriage counselors!

August 31, 1878
August 5, 1899

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News wore whatever they damn well pleased!

September 5, 1896

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News liked to dance!

October 15, 1898

The ladies of the Illustrated Police News knew that sometimes the best man for a job is a woman!

January 14, 1899

And don't you even dream of getting between them and their cats!

October 1, 1870

In short, the ladies of the Illustrated Police News knew what they wanted, and didn't hesitate to get it.

April 9, 1898

How can you not love them?  Here's to you, ladies.  Long may you wave those horsewhips.

[Note: A sequel can be found here.]


  1. These are great and "I am women hear me horsewhip" is the greatest blog tag of all time. I am overwhelmed with JOY right now. Look at these babes!

  2. Feminism dressed to the nines. Only in Victorian times. Great blog!

  3. Where exactly did they get all those whips?

    1. Carrying a horsewhip was common at the time, since horse driven carriages/buggies were a common means of transportation.

    2. Yikes. Still, better than the firearms everyone seems to carry today.

      Great compilation, by the way. It's like a 'best of' or 'all-stars' issue.

  4. Beauutifulll..!! (..Reminding me of my Mom & my Sister..!!)


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