Victorians’ Secrets: Handkerchiefs, Napkins, and Silverware

Did you know these everyday objects facilitated communication between enamored couples during the 19th and early 20th century? Next time you watch Downton Abbey or another period drama, see if you can spot any of the signals below.

napkins_1
Euphemia White Van Rensselaer by George Haley (1842)

HANDKERCHIEF SIGNALS:

Right cheek = Yes

Left cheek = No

Across lips = flirting

Twist left = not interested or go away

Twist right = thinking of you

Wind around 3rd finger left hand = married

Forefinger wind = engaged

dinnerparty
The Dinner Party by Sir Henry Cole (1808-1882)

NAPKIN SIGNALS:

Drawing napkin through the hand = I desire to converse by signal with you.

Holding napkin by the corners = Is it agreeable?

Using three fingers to hold napkin = Yes

SILVERWARE SIGNALS:

Playing with fork = I have something to tell you.

Holding up knife and fork (one in each hand) = When can I see you?

Laying both fork and knife to left of plate = After the meal

Clenching fork or knife with right hand on table = Yes

LINK:

The Mystery of Love, Courtship, and Marriage Explained (1890) by Henry J. Wehman
https://archive.org/details/TheMysteryOfLoveCourtshipAndMarriageExplained

RELATED POSTS:

Victorians’ Secrets: The Love Letter
http://jillianlark.com/tag/love-letters/

Victorians’ Secrets: Tussie-Mussies and Sweetheart Flower Clocks
http://jillianlark.com/tag/tussie-mussies/

Victorians’ Secrets: Fans
http://jillianlark.com/2014/02/04/victorians-secrets-fans/

The Golden Heart Part 6: What Do the Judges’ Scores Look Like?

Unfortunately participants who enter writing contests don’t receive their scores as quickly as the athletes participating in the Olympics. The results of writing contests aren’t revealed until months afterward. Lucky finalists receive their notifications first, usually by phone. Then the scores are e-mailed. In most contests the scores include optional comments from the judges but not in the Golden Heart contest.

olympic_symbol

scorecardsWhat do the judges’ scores look like? First-time Golden Heart judges and contestants have asked me this question recently. My answer is based on the scoring rubric and information sent last year.

  1. Each of the 5 individual judge’s numerical scores for romance, plot / story, writing, and characters plus a total are displayed in a rubric.
  2. The highest and lowest totals are dropped, and the 3 middle totals are averaged together for the final score.
  3. The ranges for the final scores are listed to aid contestants in evaluating how their entry compared to others in that category. (Please note that ranges vary from year to year due to the actual numerical scores and number of entries submitted.)

Are you a Golden Heart judge, contestant, or both? What’s your opinion of this year’s ruling allowing entrants to judge their own category?

LINK:

Scoring Guidelines for Judging The Golden Heart Contest
http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=816

RELATED POST:

The Golden Heart Part 1: Judging Contests by guest blogger, Jody Wallace

The Golden Heart Part 5: Here Come the Judges

FUTURE POST:

The Golden Heart Part 7 in Mar. 2014

Click here to follow this blog.

Vintage Valentine Card

valentine2014

Isn’t this hand-made card beautiful?

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and Week!

~ Jillian

Deadlines and Writing: Two Important Reminders

calendar

FEB. 28TH This deadline is for writers who paid anyone $600 or more for writing-related services (web work, promotion, assistant, etc.) during the previous year. Click on the following link for details.

Feb. 28th , the Other Filing Deadline for Some Writers: Are You One of Them? 

 

mar_1_calendar

MAR. 1st – This is the last date for Golden Heart Judges to complete, check, and finalize scores on the RWA website.

LINKS:

Scoring Guidelines for Judging The Golden Heart Contest
http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=816

RELATED POST:

The Golden Heart Part 1: Judging Contests by guest blogger, Jody Wallace

The Golden Heart Part 5: Here Come the Judges

FUTURE POSTS:

The Golden Heart Part 6: What Do the Judges’ Scores Look Like? (Feb. 18th)

The Golden Heart Part 7 (Mar. 2014)

Click here to follow this blog.

What deadlines are you working on?

Victorians’ Secrets: Fans

In the 19th century fans were not only a beautiful accessory or a means to cool off. Women often expressed their amorous feelings and arranged clandestine meetings through a series of signals. Can you interpret the following five responses to suitors?

a_fan
A. Finger to the tip of a fan
b_fan
B. Right hand, right cheek
c_fan
C. Left hand, left cheek
d_fan
D. Open fan wide near face
e_fan
E. Open fan near heart

ANSWERS:
A. I wish to speak with you.
Jeune élégante a l’éventail by Fernand Toussaint  (1873-1956)

B.  Yes
Woman with a Fan by Hamilton Hamilton (19th century)

C.  No
At the Ball by Berthe Morisot (1875)

D.  Wait for me or follow me.
The Loge by Mary Cassatt (1880)

E. You have won my love.
At the Theater by Mary Cassatt (1879)

Which signal(s) proved the hardest to decipher?

LINKS:

Donna MacMeans’ post “The Secret Language of Fans”
http://www.donnamacmeans.com/the-secret-language-of-fans/

The Mysteries of Love, Courtship, and Marriage (1890) by Henry J. Wehman
https://archive.org/details/TheMysteryOfLoveCourtshipAndMarriageExplained

RELATED POSTS:

Victorians’ Secrets: The Love Letter
http://jillianlark.com/tag/love-letters/

Victorians’ Secrets: Tussie-Mussies and Sweetheart Flower Clocks
http://jillianlark.com/tag/tussie-mussies/

FUTURE POST: Victorians’ Secrets: Handkerchiefs, Napkins, and Silverware
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