Jan 252014

When idly perusing the newspaper reports from the 18th Century I occasionally come across stories which completely  distract me from whatever I was looking for. That is certainly true of this gem, from 1771. It appeared in the Reading Mercury & Oxford Gazette on 21st July:


Now I have to admit – I am not especially close to my sister – certainly I wouldn’t expect her to put her coat on, let alone cross the street to come and see me. So the idea of a sibling dressing up in a man’s garb and travelling half way round the world is an intriguing one. How wonderful that the deception was exposed by so lowly a creature as the common louse! It would have made for an interesting shower scene….

  2 Responses to “An itch reveals all…… a lousy secret.”


    I don’t worry about not seeing my brother while we have a phone but if he had been gone for several years without communication – possibly both were illiterate – I can see her point….the common louse of course carried Typhus though that wasn’t known at the time, and delousing was rather important. Are you sure it’s lice not crabs though?


    and yes, the little gems of information that emerge when seeking other things are wonderful…

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