The Curious Ladies’ Guide to Marriage


The Regency era is synonymous with romance. But what was marriage really like for Irish women? How did they find a husband? Did they live happily ever? And what of those left on the shelf? How did they fare?

You find yourself in need of a husband in Regency times. Where will you meet a suitor? How best should you present your charms? Once married, what will you do with yourself all day? And how will you navigate the bedroom at night?

This 90 page, full-colour A4 guide has the answers. With gentle humour and quirky drawings you will discover fashion and beauty, gossip and scandal and the most up to date information on those delicate gynaecological matters. Each book comes with hand-inserted letters, fabric snippets and wild flowers.

Written, designed and illustrated by Jenny Dempsey, the Curious Ladies’ Guide to Marriage© is the second in a visual series of books telling the story of life for Irish women.


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       My work is a graphic designer’s response to years of collecting social history. Using a myriad of story-telling and visual communication techniques, I’m excited to share my discoveries. My aim is to show how women’s history is relevant. We owe our lifestyles to the women who came before us and, in turn, we pave the way for those who follow us.

By examining details from daily lives, material culture and ephemera, Author Jenny Dempsey hopes to discover the mindsets and emotions of women from our past. By creating stories and illustrations around these women to bring them back to life.

A series of visual anthologies tracing Irish female social history form the eighteenth century to the 1920s. Using stories from diaries, letters, old newspapers and historical references the Guides covers fashion & beauty, gossip & scandal, tasty recipes and the latest in medicines and technology.

Each Guide uses quirky facts, visual charm and gentle humour to entertain.. The Guides also contain a selection of handmaid, hand-inserted newspaper snippets, fabric cuttings and dried flowers to evoke each period. 


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