You know, if my extensive education in feminism and gender issues has taught me anything, it’s that women of all walks of life have one thing in common: fainting at the slightest provocation. Amirite, ladies?
Of course, it’s not unheard of for a gentleman to indulge in a swoon, too – and who’s to judge? As long as he doesn’t make a habit of it, of course.
Shock and awe in Brussels, from , 1879. Charles O’Malley, the Irish Dragoon
The illustrator of (1848) seems to have specialised in penny dreadfuls. This lady’s just lucky she didn’t have to see the Ethelinde, or, the Fatal Vow horrifying clown emerging from a coffin.
A senseless lady, from Guy Rayner’s My Lady’s Novelettes (1871)
Guy Rayner also features a senseless man! Or… maybe he’s just dead.
Ugh, it’s going to be a pain to get her back over these rocks now that she’s out cold. ( , 1892) Jack Hinton
But wouldn’t it be more exciting if you waited until the train was about to run her over before you rescued her? ( , 1894) Illustrated Penny Tales
This southern lady, as depicted in the no doubt very impartial and unbiased (1892), appears to be suffering from the vapours. La Vie Americaine
I can’t help but think that corsetry might have something to do with all this fainting. ( , 1847) Moreton; or the Doomed House
I can’t go any further… You go on ahead. And carry me with you! ( , 1881) Tales of the Castle Guard
And to finish: a ponderous swoon from Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad, 1880.