Sunday, 12 March 2017

My Husband and Other Men

Dear Reader,


In the 1970s I took part in a daily television programme called "House Party" on the Southern Network.  I am not sure why I was chosen to be on it, and can only say my performances were rather poor.  But the point is that today I am writing a few thoughts about wigs, and on the programme, so that my hair would always be neat and look the same, I had to wear a wig, and I did not find this a good thing to do.  My wig had a mind of its own: it frequently scratched me, and often moved its position on my head, making me look ridiculous.  And it was hot under the bright lights where we had to work, so the wig and I were not friends.

The wearing of wigs by men started to be very popular at the end of the 17th century.  However, Samuel Pepys bought a wig in 1663 when wigs were still uncommon.  It was such a novelty that he feared people would laugh at him in church, and was greatly relieved to find they did not.  He also worried that the hair of wigs might have come from plague victims.  In fact, wigs could be made of anything from human hair, cotton threads, goat hair, or silk.  The more substantial the wig, the higher up the social echelon one stood - one literally became a bigwig.  But all wigs tended to be scratchy,
uncomfortable and hot, particularly in summer, and people who couldn't afford them tried to make their hair look like a wig.  From about 1700 it was fashionable to powder the wig and the main powdering agent was flour.  By the late eighteenth century hair powders were commonly coloured, blue and pink being especially popular, and they were also scented.

In Britain today judges' wigs are made of horsehair and cost about £600.  To make them appear old and well-worn, lawyers wishing to look experienced often soak their wigs in tea.


My Husband and Other Men 

My husband is from heaven,
well, he is close to God;
but goodness me, even so,
I do find men are odd.


Very best wishes,  Patricia

PS.  I forgot to say that mice often made wigs their home in the 17th century.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff about the wigs Patricia. And the poem is just wonderful! X