Persönliche Anzeigen

Die Historikerin Noga Arikha über die Geschichte des Zeitungsinserats:
»In 1727, a lady named Helen Morrison placed a personal advertisement in the Manchester Weekly Journal. It was possibly the first time a newspaper was ever used for such a purpose. As it happens, Morrison was committed to an asylum for a month. Society was clearly not ready for such an autonomous practice, especially on the part of a woman. But personal ads quickly became an institution. Heinrich von Kleist’s celebrated novella The Marquise of O […] opens on the newspaper ad placed by ›a lady of unblemished reputation and the mother of several well-brought-up children‹, to the effect ›that she had, without knowledge of the cause, come to find herself in a certain situation […]‹.
With anonymous ads, the press could serve not only women ›in a certain situation‹ but also newly isolated individuals – the widowed, the divorcees, or those who were simply miserable and lonely within their marriages – in large, expanding, rapidly industrializing cities like Manchester or London. The earliest ads were announcements of an intention to marry, and could be seen as an aid to the necessary pursuit of a socially and economically appropriate partner. But by their very nature, and in spite of their often lofty tone, ads hovered on the edge of respectability because they were public, and could be seen by all and sundry.«

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