just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In A Victorian Garden

This photo courtesy of my fourth cousin, Kathy, shows her great-great grandfather, John Inglis (brother of my own great-great grandfather) and his wife, Agnes, in formal pose in their equally formal Victorian garden.

Click on image to enlarge

I´ve noticed that many photos from that era show the husband standing behind his seated wife and it´s repeated in the photo of the same couple which I´ve tucked behind the frame. I can think of several possible reasons for this. Perhaps to show the ascendancy of the husband over his wife? After all, women had few rights during that period and the man was definitely the boss in every respect. Or maybe, more kindly, to show protectiveness towards feminine frailty? My own personal theory is that poor Agnes, constricted by her stays and whalebone corset, would have been unable to stand still for long enough to have her photo taken without collapsing with a fit of the vapours and having to be revived by smelling salts.

Under the circumstances, I know I would!


  1. I think you hit that one on the head!
    I watched a show once, where they showed how deformed the ribcages of women became after wearing the corsets for several years..... And I complain about having to wear suits to work LOL.

  2. Fantastic page to show off this wonderful photo of your great-great-great-uncle and aunt. Love the elements and papers you used on the page, and the way you tucked the 2nd photo! The garden looks very manicured, and the house (what we can see of it in the small photo) looks very large... the small photo also looks like it shows several children to fill the house... What a treasure for your heritage book. :)

  3. I'm really impressed with the way the photo and frame coordinate into a larger scene. Such a beautiful page. I still marvel at how you and Kathy connected. Your ideas about why the man is standing are probably both correct. What I find unusual is that he is standing behind an empty chair. One of my favorite old photos is hoop skirt era of a great grandmother standing slightly behind her seated husband. Though her waist is really cinched in, I think it was easier for her to stand than deal with the hoop seated. Also, photographers had apparatus to prop up the subjects. So nice to have fast cameras and loose clothes!