“252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

The whole point of my research project is to focus on wrestling in the 1880s and early 1890s. 1902-ish onward has been ‘done’, hasn’t it? Early Edwardian performers (Hackenschmidt, Gotch et al), born quarter of a century after Jack Wannop, were well photographed, documented, and if a written wrestling history exists without them it’s a… Read More “252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

Where Did You Go, Hezekiah Moscow? The Life and Times of Ching Hook (Part II: 1888-96)

This is the second chapter of Ching Hook / Ching Ghook / Hezekiah Moscow’s story. You can read the first part (which includes information about why I’m researching him and what on earth all the name variations are about) here. The year 1888 started well for Ching Hook, with a week-long residency at the Sebright… Read More Where Did You Go, Hezekiah Moscow? The Life and Times of Ching Hook (Part II: 1888-96)

“Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”

Last week I read Andrew Horrall’s excellent Popular Culture in London c. 1890-1910 (Manchester University Press, 2001), and in Chapter 10, Boxing, he explores the introduction of sport to the music hall stage. In the two decades prior to WWI, boxing was transformed from “brutal, semi-legal origins to middle-class respectability” writes Horrall and during the… Read More “Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”