A Visit to the Foundling Museum

Some of you know that I am obsessed with handwriting.  I am the acting President of the Graphophiles’ Association of Her Majesty’s Kingdom and Current and Former Colonies (my friend and erstwhile editor HS-D is the VP; we’re currently accepting applications for membership) and also the first writer to be represented by Handwriting for Hire, an agency service that provides distinctive handwriting for use in films, for cards, etc.  In addition to liking my own handwriting, I very much enjoy deciphering the writing of others.  Remember this book I have?  Well, the woman who edited it had to figure out how to read each letter writer’s strange scrawl.  I don’t remember where I learned that, but after I did, I immediately her and asked her how she got such a plum gig.  Sadly, no response.

Well, two weeks ago or so, my friend LH and I decided to visit the Foundling Museum, which is housed in the old Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury.  We were interested in seeing the museum itself (did you know that on Sundays, average London residents could observe the orphans eating their lunch in silence?!) but mostly in checking out an exhibit called “The Fallen Woman,” on unwed Victorian mothers who applied to have their babies sent to the Hospital.  The exhibition included, along with a number of fantastic prints of women throwing themselves off bridges, a few of the original applications made by said women, and it occurred to me that someone probably would have had to do that same job for this project.  Why am I never around when these little jobs are being offered?!  If you need your great-great-grandmother’s love letters to her lesbian mistress transcribed, by all means, reach out.

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