Some of the juiciest bits in Jennifer Phegley
's new book come from personal ads — personal ads from the 1850s. The University of Missouri-Kansas City professor dug through a stack of seriously pre-Craigslist "SWM seeks SWF" materials while researching Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England
. "Everyday people, across all classes, were advertising for love," she says. "By the 1870s, entire papers devoted to spouse-hunting were widely available." Covering a vast array of subjects (including wedding planning, honeymooning, same-sex couples, and the transformation of wedding laws), Phegley's book is the subject of her talk at the Kansas City Central Library (14 West 10th Street, 816-701-3400). It's the place to be to hear how hooking up Victorian-style wasn't all that different from how your parents did it — or how you do it. "Couples found ways to flirt and run off for short periods by themselves at picnics and garden parties, during dances and balls, and on boating trips or museum visits," Phegley says. Find out what makes quaintness so hot at 6:30 p.m., following a reception at 6. See kclibrary.org
or call 816-701-3407 to RSVP.