Currently engrossed in books and articles on 17th century Paris, including:
~ Theatres (there were piss buckets in the corners so you didn’t have to miss a moment)
~ Opera (everyone sang along with their favourite songs)
~ Costume (male and female attire was only just beginning to diverge, so cross-dressing wasn’t quite so noticeable)
~ Fencing and duels (a golden age of fencing theory, although students quite often died during training).
I have borrowed a Paris atlas from around the turn of the (last) century, illustrated and with fabulous early photographs in which women with black lace head-dresses and long cloaks wander the boulevards and wait patiently for a break in the traffic – all horses and fine carriages.
I feel sure that one small pale boy staring sadly into the camera is called Marcel.