Topic: history

Les Misérables: French Revolutions, In Order

Les Misérables: French Revolutions, In Order

If you’re anything like me, all this talk about the Les Mis movie, with its glancing attentions to the Paris Uprising of 1832, has reignited your long-dormant interest in French military history (I assume you’re already all talked out on Anne Hathaway’s weight loss and Russell Crowe’s singing voice). Between 1789 and 1905 the French tried to have a revolution at least once a year, to keep things fresh. Here are a few of the best ones. More »

Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do: Be Cicisbeo (The Male Equivalent Of A Mistress)

 Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do:  Be Cicisbeo (The Male Equivalent Of A Mistress)

I think one of the things that makes me not want to develop a time machine and go back to the 18th century right now (despite the great wigs) is the notion that I would probably be married off to someone I didn’t like very much, who would then take a mistress. While I would do… nothing. At least, nothing in terms of fun and flirtations and romance. I would bear children, and I would knit. Knitting. That’s a thing ladies do. They knit like fiends, slowly forming the nets that mirror the metaphoric web called life which has so trapped them.

Wrong! Not true! And not the case for all women. If you eneded up in, say, 18th century Italy, you would totally not knit, because you would have a cicisbeo (sometimes called a cavalier servente).

While men were permitted mistresses, in Italian culture through the 18th and 19th century a somewhat similar arrangement existed for women More »

Gallery: Meet Pam Shaw, The 70-Year-Old Virgin Who Is Finally Ready For Love

Gallery: Meet Pam Shaw, The 70-Year-Old Virgin Who Is Finally Ready For Love

In a story straight out of a heartwarming Lifetime movie of the week, a former cabaret star named Pam Shaw is finally looking, at the age of 70, for a man to marry and “go to bed with.” She would have lost her v-card sooner, you see, but she was too busy focusing on her career to get married, and she doesn’t believe in premarital sex. She also lived with her mother until she was 57, which may have had something to do with it. Here are some photos of the kicky septuagenarian, as well as some facts about her. More »