IN the late 19th Century, you could buy The 25 Stages from Courtship to Marriage. Presented as hand-tinted stereographs, they tell the story of the Bashful Lover and his pursuit of the chaste maiden:
She offers her cheek. This is an ‘improvement’.
Coming where with Mother?
CM loves leaning. Mr Bashful is now a ‘Him’.
1am. More leaning.
1:30am. His arm is numb. His shoulder is numb. He will never play table-tennis again.
Fifteen minuts later and Father gives Mr Bashful a massage. Chaste Maiden now upright, mostly.
He’s on is knees.
She is relocated to a palm forest.
MISSING SLIDE NUMBER 11.
The Mother’s Kiss or the Bridegroom’s Kiss? Who did it better?
To a clearing in the jungles of Burma…