stoking the furnace


Furneaux Jordan was a surgeon, architect and writer who  claimed that a certain type of woman was almost guaranteed to become a casualty of domestic violence.


I came slowly to see that the skin of the assaulted women was often clear, delicate, perhaps rosy. Their hair-growth was never heavy or long, and the eyebrows were spare and refined. Their upper spinal curves were so formed as to give a somewhat convex appearance to the back and shoulders and a more or less forward pose to the head. This bodily conformation is a favourite one with artists, one of whom states that, in a well-formed woman, a plumb-line dropped from the tip of the nose should fall in front of the toes. The friends and neighbours usually let it be known that these unfortunate women had sharp tongues in their heads and a supply of irritating topics on which to exercise them.


He certainly seemed obsessed with eyebrows – delicate brows indicated a forceful manner while a stronger growth showed a preference for tennis matches with medical personel

singing nurses

“singing nurses”

"It is a significant circumstance that by far the
greater number of head mistresses, matrons, and lady
superintendents generally, are women of curved upper
spine, forward head-poise, and limited hair-growth.

The hospital matron of forward head-poise
and delicate eyebrow keeps everyone up to the mark
every moment of the day

 the matron with strongly
marked eyebrows spares an hour to play at lawn tennis
with the resident doctors".
matron by jonathon

click here to see the world's longest eyebrow
Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 8:07 am  Comments (31)  

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love your blog posts. The accompanying visuals are always so perfect, if not low brow.

  2. Low brow is what I aim for 😉

  3. The kind of men who would and should get assaulted : People like Jordan who come up with things like that! If anything, i’d beat him up just because of his name!

    • Feisty!

      • She’s feisty because she isn’t beaten enough. Where’s her husband and why is he failing in his duties!?!?!

  4. but what about the unibrow? does it indicate a predilection for sleeping alone?

  5. Why, oh why do I always click on your links while eating breakfast?

    • While eating lunch or dinner would be better?

  6. I like that last picture.

    The forward head is the indicator of a hypertonic sternocleidomastoid and anterior shoulder girdle musculature in general, which seems to show up in people who are (1) inactive (2) chronically afraid or timid (it’s a protective posture). I can imagine how it might show up in beaten women. Can’t account for the hospital matrons.

    • Thank you sledpress. You took the words right out of my mouth. The protective posture is perfectly described in this post.

  7. I learn something new and exciting every day around here!

  8. She’s a buxom lass, is that matron !!!

  9. An’ a guid pair o’ broad shoulders on her – I’m going weak at the knees !!!

    • duncan you’re sounding more and more like daddyp every day 😉


  10. Okay, nursemyra. I can see how this might be construed as humorous, and I’m sure you are not an advocate of domestic violence. I so wish there had been some sort of differentiation made between sex games of bondage and discipline and advocacy of beating women just on principle.

    • I thought I might get a bit of flak for this post which is why I called it stoking the furnace. You’re right of course, I do not condone domestic violence at all.

      Hard to believe doctors were allowed to voice such opinions, hopefully not many people listened to him

      • I figured that was the point of the title, actually. I didn’t figure you condoned domestic violence, but I guess I’m over-sensitized to it since I have worked on far too many battered wives and survivors of sexual violence in my practice. I don’t even like to see people joking about it, it’s just not funny. You haven’t lived until you are giving a massage to someone who starts having a flashback.

  11. I must say I prefer the gentle touch ….. never seen anything attractive in pain …… apart from my shins of course ……..

  12. HA! That’s guy’s name is Furneaux! That’s hilarious. I bet he got lots of beatings as a kid for that name.

  13. Furneaux Jordan was a surgeon, architect and writer….what a mix!

  14. I lettered in tennis in high school. Doesn’t mean I played it well though. But if you owned a racket you could be on the team.

  15. monobrows are the worst thing ever.. I guess that is the same as a unibrow that Daisyfae mentioned … thankfully I don’t have that affliction perfect brows with out any maintenance needed 🙂

  16. Hmmm a sharp tongue does have it’s uses…

    The King

  17. careful.
    i spank back.

  18. How’s about men who become casualties of violence, I wonder what eyebrows they have 🙂 ? Anywho, none of this would have happened had they just stayed in the kitchen!

  19. Princess has firm eyebrows, and she plays tennis, so it really *is* scientific!

    NB: I don’t beat Princess, not even at tennis.

  20. The pictures make this blog series one of the most entertaining ones out there. 🙂

  21. What is she were to use tweezers for her eyebrows and alter their shape outside these parameters? Would that get her off the hook?

    • It would just confuse the issue. And the men.

  22. “click here to see the world’s longest eyebrow”


    But am a fan of singing nurses.

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