Today, for lack of anything better to do, I read a book. There are plenty of them in this house, but needing something I had never read before, I turned to our collection of oldies.
Today I read The Girl Captives, A Story Of The Indian Frontier, by Bessie Marchant. Produced by Blackie and Son of Glasgow, there was no print date but it was presented to one Winnie Short, for attendance and behaviour, by the St Saviours Girls' Sunday School in Paddington, Christmas 1922 and must have been written during, or referred to, sometime between 1837 and 1901.
Today I learned many wonderful things about 'normal society' of the then recent past, how the virtue of kindness to others 'of a lower station' could be conveyed to the young women of the day.
I learned that even then, in the early 1920s, Germany was referred to as The Fatherland; that German traders would set up their stalls at an Indian festival market and that it was worth remarking, as unusual, that everything they sold was marked 'made in Germany'.
I learned that Queen Victoria (hence the dates, above) was referred to in India as The Great White Queen, or more familiarly as Kaiser-i-Hind, meaning Empress.
Heres an excerpt for you:
"Juliet bowed in her turn, her manner to the full as haughty as his. "It may be that the ransom will be paid in shot and shell if you do not have a care, Mr, Wuzeer," she rejoined haughtily, for somehow the little prime minister, with his foppish airs and affected manner, got upon her nerves to quite a serious extent, and she could rarely resist the temptation to have a fling at him when opportunity offered."