I love Victorian advertisements. They are so different from what we read today. They have more words, more elegance, and more style. They are less strident than our own – and more entertaining as a result. Here are two fantastic examples from The Cambrian newspaper from 1865.
When I read that Madame de Winton’s Turkish Bloom of Health will make me Beautiful For Ever I was determined to track it down. I need it. Just look at my photo. It is apparently a delightful and harmless preparation which is so good that I will try it once and use it forever. Just try to stop me, is what I say. It removes wrinkles, freckles, pimples and all unsightly eruptions of the skin. Since I have all of them in varying degrees, they should rush me some immediately.
I mean, I know it is obviously designed to impart to the female face the bloom of youthful and healthy beauty but I am sure it won’t do me any harm. After all, it is recommended by female aristocracy and gentry everywhere, especially since it does not have a single deleterious particle in its composition, unlike the many vile and dangerous compounds daily offered to the public.
I was pleased to learn that it is sold in packets of various sizes but if I send just 32 postage stamps to Madame de Winton at 62 Hadley Street South in London she will kindly send me a sample.
But here is more. She is looking for agents in every town. How much better can it get? Not only a life transformed but a career opportunity too!
But here are other opportunities. I am especially drawn towards Kernick’s Vegetable Pills, for reasons which it might be best to shelter behind a discreet veil. These wonderful little things are without a particle of mercury, antimony or other material ingredients which is always a good sign I find. When I have taken them I will apparently require no confinement indoors and I will be cured of headaches, bilious complaints and all disorders of the head and stomach. And it is at this point that the reader begins to form an idea of the intentions of this fine product. According to Dr Balbernie, they are the best pills for ordinary constipated habits. It all becomes clear, doesn’t it? Another correspondent, Richard Rees, claims to have taken one box of pills and found instant relief and when the second box was consumed was entirely cured. Good news indeed I am sure you will agree, but I am inclined to think that the quantity of medication suggests a particularly extreme problem. And if they were as effective and as quick as he claimed, then one hopes that perhaps some precautionary confinement indoors was sensibly employed