January 3rd, 2012

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Weights and Measures

I posted a few days ago about Nelson's hat size. Today, we have Byron's dieting programme. Thank goodness for the record-keeping tradesmen of St James! People who'd just bought a hat at Locks could nip round the corner to have themselves weighed on the scales of Berry Bros & Rudd, whose primary business was selling wine.

Louise Foxcroft's Calories and Corsets, from which this comes (I think), looks as if it may be an interesting book. I'm glad at any rate to have been introduced to the Size 0 Empress of Austria:

She exercised vigorously, resembling an outlandish bird as she hung from gymnastic rings in a black ostrich feather-trimmed gown. She also swallowed only emetics, laxatives, oranges, and thin broth or one glass of milk from her own personal cow.


Roll over Cleopatra, and tell Semiramis the news.