Madge of Truth

Madge of Truth

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I’ve been involved in the creation of a webcomic, Madge of Truth. My friend Laura writes and boards out the comics, and I do the drawing, lettering, and shading. I’ve created a number of assets for the comic in cameo form, to keep in the spirit of the Victorian vibe. Our webcomic is based on Victorian etiquette books published by Mrs. Charlotte Eliza Humphry, who wrote under the title “Madge” of “Truth.” (Quotation marks hers)

Madge Cameo laura cameo cara cameo Madge Cameo - silhouette

Madge was a prolific writer at the turn of the 19th century. She wrote etiquette articles for newspapers, along with several books on etiquette. I’ve managed to track down 5 of her books so far – Manners for Men, Manners for Women, A Word to Women (which I think is my favourite), Cookery Up-to-Date, and The Book of the Home, Volume 2. My copy of The Book of the Home is from 1909, inscribed with a lovely message from a mother to a daughter for the occasion of her wedding. I would love to track down the further volumes of The Book of The Home – I found some on Amazon’s UK site, but shipping the books would cost as much as the books themselves, I think. Etiquette for Every Day, Beauty Adorned, and How to be Pretty Though Plain are some further titles I would love to find.

Interestingly, not a lot of information can be found about Mrs. Humphry – not even a Wikipedia article exists about her. The most information I have found about her has been in 1901 articles in a New Zealand newspaper. Apparently, she was born in Ireland and moved to England in the 1880s. She was married and had a daughter. However, this is the extent of personal information I could find. I find it fascinating that she is such a difficult woman to research in an age where the world’s information is at our fingertips. Her etiquette books, however, provide a font of information about the condition of everyday life in turn-of-the-century Britain. The webcomic has barely skimmed the surface of the content we have.

Madge of Truth is updated every Wednesday with webcomics interspersed with blog entries.