Friday, 12 September 2008

Procrastinating Acts

Doing some research today I found myself scrolling through Wikipedia’s lists of ‘Acts of Parliament 1800-1899’. It gives an intriguing insight into 19th century life and also sparked off some ideas for historical story writing.

Some of the titles that tickled my fancy were the

Smugglers' Families Act
Anatomy Act
Hanging in Chains Act
Piracy Act
Bastard Children Act
Rogue Money Act
Burning of Houses Act
Madhouses Act
Relief of Certain Bishops Act
Coalwhippers Act
Threatening Letters Act
Aliens Act
Absconding Debtors Arrest Act,
Arsenic Act
Baths and Wash Houses Act

The actual texts of most of these would probably prove v. dull, but fortunately (as I haven't started my 'If you like Sarah Walters and Michel Faber you'll love this' masterwork) I didn’t have to read them.

My absolute favourites however are the

Frivolous Suits Act 1841
Unlawful Combinations Act 1848
Petty Bag Act 1849

- surely crimes against fashion that we’ve all been guilty of ;o)


KAREN said...

Ooh, I like your new look :o)

Love those titles, especially the Coalwhippers Act! I've never tried writing historical fiction, but love reading it and would love to give it a go some time.

Tam said...

Ha! They sound excellent in principle but I suspect you're right and would be dealy boring to read :-)

willow said...

I'm popping in via the mysterious little black box! Love Ted Hughes.

MauritaMason said...

Arrived via Black Boxes, and I'm rather fond of the Bastard Children Act.

liz fenwick said...

Haven't been here before but I love your 'acts'. Black Boxes Widget is great. I'll be back again :-)

HelenMH said...

I love the sound of the Frivolous Suits Act!

KathyLikesPink said...

Frivolous Suits Act - That sounds like a Vaudeville act.

Great post - I surfed in via black box.

Jumbly Girl said...

Karen - yeah I'm sure there's a historical novel in me somewhere, maybe next time

Tam - yes defintiely a case of don't judge a document by its title

Willow - hi there. I love Ted Hughes poems and couldn't resist putting this one on my blog, glad you like it too

Mauritamason - yes I wonder what it was suggesting should be done with them?

Liz - hi, yes do please call again :o)

Helen - yes, I think I need one to brighten up my wardrobe

Kathylikespink - ooh I love a bit of vaudeville - I can imagine the costumes now - thanks for blackboxing in