Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hankie History To Sneeze At?

In Modern Woman Magazine (Vol 14, No 5, 1945), a little snippet on hankies:
Historians credit Marie Antoinette with the invention of the pocket handkerchief. She was so broken up at leaving her home in Austria that she cried all the way to France and wiped her eyes with bits of lace torn from her dress and lingerie. Anticipating future tears, she made it a point always to have a piece of lace tucked in a pocket of her dress. This, say the historians, was how handkerchiefs were born.

I don't know if this is true, even if it is said that Marie-Antoinette made an observation that a square handkerchief is most convenient and pleasing, and so King Louis XVI published a decree ordering the new lengths.

In any case, because of this, I do not think it's right that we sneeze, tear, snot or otherwise 'goo' onto hankies with French motifs, including but not limited to, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Statue of Liberty, or French language.

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Blogger Fabulástico said...

In my country (Portugal) there was an ancient tradition to embroider poems and drawings in handkerchiefs to offer to the loved one: it was called «Lenço dos namorados» (lovers handkerchiefs. The best part is that this was made in the worst taste possible and the most appaling writing. Nowadays it's a very collectible kitsh memorabilia.
Check it here:

November 18, 2008 9:31 AM  

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