Tonight, Victorian love guru Jennifer Phegley visits the Central Library to discuss her book Courtship and Love in Victorian England. And today, right here on KC Unbound, we’ve got the results of our Victorian Valentines reader contest.
As alert readers are well aware, this past week we asked you to craft clever personal ads for characters from Victorian novels and post those ads to Facebook and Twitter. The winner, as chosen by a team of lovelorn librarians, would receive a copy of Phegley’s book plus a box of chocolates from local chocolatier par excellence Christopher Elbow.
Meanwhile, as the social media sphere around Kansas City saw an uptick in conversations with a 19th-century literary flare, we talked with Dr. Phegley about how real-life Victorians practically invented the newspaper personal ad.
Phegley will share more stories of how our Victorian forebears found love during her free 6:30 p.m. presentation tonight in Helzberg Auditorium. (RSVP now to attend.)
And now, without further ado, we’re pleased to present top honors to master matchmaker Terese Barker Babcock, for her clever ad on behalf of Wonderland's most eligible single lady, Alice:
Lovely but somewhat pendantic SWF with a penchant for wanderlust and an inability to choose a standard height seeks gentlemen with a curious sense of humor. Must adore cats and tea parties and understand the significance of white versus red roses. Hat makers will be given preferenential treatment. Please send inquires to Wonderland Girl c/o The White Rabbit.
Terese will receive a copy of Phegley’s book and a box of Elbow chocolates – either to share with a soul mate or to devour in seclusion while poring over the pages of a loveworn novel.
Check out the other great submissions below, and stay tuned to KC Unbound for more reader contests!
Sullen, mysterious male seeks intelligent, loner chick who is both a sound sleeper and willing to ignore strange noises coming from the attic. Must not mind the occasional cross-dressing tendency. The French need not apply. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Character: Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre) -- Neely LoTam
Headstrong, literary chestnut brunette seeks mature man, preferable of tenacious nature interested in doing useful work. -- Carolyn Wood
Young, spirited woman seeks a handsome, well-made man who will whisk her away from misfortune, love her and show compassion. I care for my family greatly, and one day hope to the stars that I have just one love in life, and a healthy family of my own. Prospects can apply to the d'Urbervilles home. -- Sarah Wood
Artistic blond girly girl seeks someone to watch over her. (Character from Little Women) -- Carolyn Wood
Confirmed bachelor seeks arch-nemesis for deadly games of cat and mouse. Appreciation for travel (I hear the Reichenbach Falls are lovely this time of year), recreational cocaine use a plus. Let's take the plunge! Direct inquiries to 221B Baker Street, London. -- Zach Hoskins
Strong chap & letter-hoarder wants wife what he can runna pub wit' & to bring a little snack o' supper/gin when needed. Scornful o' proud need nottapply--not askin' much! -- Marie DiFilippo
SWF, fair hair & complexion, sincere & sympathetic when affordable, wants refined man who can afford comfy home away from all wells and lime-walks. -- Marie DiFilippo
Amateur singer and notorious party animal seeks female companion. Prefer music lover who enjoys conversation and dignified tea parties. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Prefer we not focus on the past and instead look toward the future. CHANGE PLACES! It is most important that the right person know the answer to the following riddle: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" TEA TIME! -- Timothy S. Russell
Married but looking passionate and flighty woman seeking lustful companions. Must be young, wealthy, generous, intelligent and extremely forgiving with a love of opera and financial planning. Aversion to arsenic a plus! -- Timothy S. Russell
Young beauty with a sharp wit and breeding seeks a hero with a certain je ne sais quois looking to live away from the vulgar city people of London. The gentleman must have a heart, brains, wealth and social standing. Please send applications to Clytemnestra, Rawdon Court, London. -- Deirdre Mikolajcik
Fallen woman seeks guilty man.
Reply to Porphyria -- Carla Malone Steck
Lonely Doctor and sometimes stealthy hermit seeks woman friend for leisurely strolls, or friends for multiple objectionable purposes of unmitigated horror,..or not. Not quite sure what I am looking for, or who I really am. Help me find out? Apply to 1 Creepy Lab Lane, or #2 House, Soho. -- Lori Triba
Pretty, young, eighteen year old lady looking for an rather wicked, frank, unhypocritical, and exciting cousin named Earnest. Must like food and long walks. Mustn't be too sensible or speak German. Contact: C.C., The Manor House, Woolton, Hertfordshire. -- Katy R. Pent
Handsome, well-made scholar and accomplished scientist seeks a meek, loving companion of great wit and kindness. No moral compass and a penchant for evil and lust is desired. Must be a compassionate caretaker of a close family friend who has bouts of hysteria and tolerate a bored, repressed scientist who drinks strange concoctions. -- Sarah Wood
About the Author
Jason Harper is the web content developer and social media manager at the Kansas City Public Library.