There are a number of on line libraries, but my favorite is Project Gutenberg. For anyone who loves reading or writing Regency romances they have a fantastic Regency reference book. 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose This was published in 1811 and marketed at young men who wished to speak about vulgar things in front of the ladies without the ladies understanding. It could also be called A Dictionary of Cant for the year 1811. The snippets explaining the meaning of the words are more interesting than the words. They create this snapshot of the time. You can read it on line or download an e-book copy for free! How lucky is that?
For those interested in Gothic romances, Project Gutenberg has a section called Gothic Fiction. They have all the old classics (late 18th early 19th century) and more I’ve never heard of. I’m bookmarked!
Last, but not remotely least…I came across a section titled Love (Bookshelf). If you’re in need of a laugh I have a book for you! It’s called Hints for Lovers by T. Arnold Haultain. Published in 1909 apparently there were only 540 numbered copies printed which makes it even funnier. If you go to all the effort to write a book on hints for lovers, surely you want to reach as many lovers as possible. No. There were only 540 lucky lovers.
Here’s a sample. (Chapter one…page one…)
I. On Girls "A Pearl, A Girl." -Browning There are of course, girls and girls; yet at heart they are pretty much alike. In age, naturally, they differ wildly. But this is a thorny subject. Suffice it to say that all men love all girls-the maid of sweet sixteen equally with the maid of untold age. * * * There is something exasperatingly something-or-otherish about girls. And they know it--which makes them more something-or-otherish still:--there is no other word for it. * * * A girl is a complicated thing. It is made up of clothes, smiles, a pompadour, things of which space and prudence forbid the enumeration here. These things by themselves do not constitute a girl which is obvious; nor is any one girl without these things which is not too obvious. Where the things end and the girl begins many men have tried to find out. Many girls would like to be men--except on occasions. At least so they say, but perhaps this is just a part of their something-or-otherishness. Why they should want to be men, men cannot conceive. Men pale before them, grow hot and cold before them, run before them (and after them), swear by them (and at them), and a bit of a chit of a thing in short skirts and lisle-thread stockings will twist able-bodied males round her little finger. It is an open secret that girls are fonder of men than they are of one another--which is very lucky for the men. Girls differ; and the same girl is different at different times. When she is by herself, she is one thing. When she is with other girls she is another thing. When she is with a lot of men, she is a third sort of thing. When she is with a man. . . But this baffled even Agur the son of Jakeh. As a rule, a man prefers a girl by herself. This is natural. And yet is said that you cannot have too much of a good thing. If this were true, a bevy of girls would be the height of happiness. Yet some men would sooner face the bulls of Bashan. If you share my weird sense of humor and want to read more...go HERE .