Thursday, August 26, 2010

Young Men Be Warned

Carrington Bowles, The Man-Trap, 1780
Don't be deceived, she has a trick up her sleeve!  Carrington Bowles' 1780 satirical print could have its own theme song, for it serves as a warning to young men out there to be wary of one of the most feared things to an 18th century gentleman: women.  You may chuckle, but "man-traps" were a genuine concern, especially because women were considered to be vamps whose voracious sexual appetite couldn't be satisfied.  Many satirical prints show an amorous woman asking their exhausted lover for more sex. Oh the horror!

Here we have the culprit, not in the act, but in her natural form: sitting in high fashion on her couch.  She looks quite virginal in white, and her fair skin further serves to induce you to believe in her innocence.  But if you are only to look behind her and see her daily income of love letters you could just save yourself from a dangerous maneatertrap!

13 comments:

Vinery said...

Her shoes are great! Would they be part of the trap (by showing them off as she is doing)?

Fabulastic said...

I believe the term mantrap is used nowadays by the American youngsters referring to transvestites...

Heather said...

I loved this post! :)
My my how times have changed. Or not so much depending on your view.

Le Loup said...

From an 18th century man's point of view, I fail to see the problem.

Heather Carroll said...

Hahaha! Exactly!

Isara said...

I think the trap is in her hair. Maybe two. Or three...

The Duchess said...

It is so funny to me that people think that in the 18th century girls were married at 14 and were only used for sex. And, I agree, that in some cases they were only used for sex. People think that girls never spoke and were like slaves. If they ever picked up a book they would know! A lot of poeple could benefit from this post!

Good post, Heather!

adamantixx said...

some of us would take no heed whatsoever of these dire warnings and would boldly, or foolishly, go where angels fear to tread!

i might be suspicious about what she keeps under her headgear though.

heidenkind said...

Yes, the red shoes are definitely a clue. As my mom used to tell me, only children and whores wear red shoes.

The Duchess said...

No tart this week :(?

Fabulastic said...

heidenkind: Your dear mother forgot to mention the Pope...or maybe not...

Leah said...

Hehe :)
Very clever! And lol @Le Loup :D

Emmeline Cartwright said...

i agree with you. another point is how much she shows her ankles and legs...

question: the things she keeps the love letters in, is that some sort of furniture/accessory one had in the 18th c? if yes, i want one too!