Lonely Hearts

For an audio version of this legend, click on the link below:

Lonely Heart

1870 saw the forerunner to the dating websites emerge in the ‘Matrimonial News and Special Advertiser’. It was published in London and was the first paper to deal soley with lonely hearts!

Most of the advertisements came from men:

“Hubert, age twenty-six, height five feet eight, dark, is considered a handsome man, has an affectionate and loving nature, is agreeable in manner but possesses only a modest pittance.  He is anxious to correspond with an elderly lady, not older than sixty however, and intends to marry immediately.  She must possess the means to run a comfortable establishment.”


“Albert, big, dark, twenty-seven years old, without means except for his income of £80 a year, would like to make the aquaintance of a lady thirty to forty-five years old, who has means to make a comfortable home. Photograph wanted.”

A French writer called Hector France said that the paper was “the most extraordinary, the most English, the most eccentric, the most original and the most amusing journal in Great Britain.”

It was, as you can imagine a huge success and the paper was published for a further 25 years….and today, lonely hearts live in almost every newspaper and of course online…..

Dawn Denton©




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