Are You Good Natured Dear

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[Note 008.1] The King's Cross terminus of the Great Northern was opened in 1852. [i] The railways were the route into London for provincial folk in search of a better life or simply adventure.


Lewis Cubitt, King's Cross Station, 1851-52

[Note 008.2] 'Are you good natured' : A loose woman or prostitute was euphemistically said to be 'good natured'. 

[Note 008.3] Edward Yates wrote in his memoirs that "for one or two seasons there was a steamboat which left the adjacent Cadogan pier at the close of the entertainment, and carried passengers to Hungerford Bridge, and which was very popular." [i]  A search of the British Newspaper Archive reveals advertisements for steamers to Cremorne in 1861 , 1862 and 1863 [ii]. The West Middlesex Advertiser and Family Journal of Saturday 07 March 1863 reported that Cremorne railway station had opened. This is almost certainly a reference to the Chelsea & Fulham station of the West London Railway that opened on 2nd March 1863[iii]. No advertisements for steamers to Cremorne or Cadogan Pier have been found after that date, so seemingly the railway rapidly superseded the river boats.

[i] Edmund Yates, His Recollections and Experiences, 1885 [chapter on 1847-1852]
[ii] Hampshire Advertiser Saturday 22 June 1861;  London Evening Standard, Monday 28 April 1862; West Middlesex Advertiser and Family Journal Saturday 07 March 1863 

[Note 008.4] Cremorne Gardens lay between Chelsea Harbour and the end of the King's Road and flourished between 1845 and 1877 [i] A contemporary account of 1870 records: "The Gardens are covered with trees, and ornamented with fountains, flower-beds, and statues. [ii]


[ii] London Parks & Gardens Trust

[Note 008.5] An account written in the 1870s said "Between the dances the girls promenade, or take supper with their male friends in the numerous restaurants, which are always crowded to excess by noisy people of both sexes, drinking Champagne and Moselle, or eating lobsters or devilled kidneys. Cold suppers are provided for the girls in an upper saloon, for which they are charged two shillings and sixpence a piece, without wine."

London Parks & Gardens Trust

[Note 008.6] In 1856, a French visitor to London, Francis Wey, described the dancing at Cremorne "In a Chinese bandstand an orchestra struck up a scottische. A minute later the carefully levelled open space was filled with couples […] people here dance with their hips and their shoulders, seeming to have little control over their legs […] frivolous young things improvise all sorts of indecorous antics."



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