Enquiring Within Upon Everything - Your Victorian Great-Grandmother Solves Your Gen X Woes

Enquiring Within Upon Everything - Your Victorian Great-Grandmother Solves Your Gen X Woes

Updated Jan, 24th 2013

Update: This was intended to bea frivolous placeholder blog project: as a complete novice to HTML & CSS, pre-digital, I just needed enough creative content to get me down the bunny slopes without wrecking. Per Jonathon's recent comments duringoffice hours, if the blog format is back-end heavy and we won't be going there this class, I'll need to alter the structure of this project to allow for that. I'm awash in content; it just requires a different structuring device for the sake of learning. Which is cool. 

Where's this content from?


I've always dug the 1853 domestic manual Enquire WIthin Upon Everything, with its impressive detail on everything from the proper way to hyphenate "Firkin" to how much to pay one's servants (because of course one has them.) The editors have a huge amount of certainty that not only is there a correct way to do everything, they've listed it. Agatha Christie's fictional surrogates, women of a certain age in a rapidly modernizing world, were wont to lament the loss of Victorian practicality by mourning this book, clearly the Pinterest of its day and almost as crowd-sourced. If you believe Wikipedia, Tim Berners-Lee actually named his WWW precursor, ENQUIRE, after it. Here's Ariadne Oliver from Elephants Can Remember:

"...a big brown book. All Victorians had it. Enquire Within Upon Everything. And you could too! How to take iron mark stains off linen, how to deal with curdled mayonnaise, how to start a chatty letter to a bishop. Many, many things. It was all there in Enquire Within Upon Everything."

Sadly for Mrs Christie's conceit, EW was still in print through 1978: but its decline was valid enough. I thought it might be fun to freehand a blog with occasional daily challenges & try to solve them with this book's advice--barring maybe anything involving arsenic. If the code to suppor the updating and archiving of a blog isn't what we'll learn here, the idea might hold for a later project; one thing about this book is that investigating it leads all sorts of fascinating places. 

Case in point, my current status: I'm behind a whole lecture & project. I finished Code Challenge #2 and spent FAR too long wandering around ancient maps of London looking for an address that doesn't exist anymore. You can check it out here: 

http://www.enquiringwithin.com/Enquiring_Within/aboutbook.html

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