Flirting with a fan in 1860

Victorian ladies flirted and sent their lovers messages with their fans, a language with its own codes:

You have won my love – place your fan near your heart

You may kiss me – press half-opened fan to your lips

I love you – hide your eyes behind an open fan, or draw it across your cheek

You are cruel – open and close your fan several times

I am married – fan slowly

I am engaged – fan quickly

You are being watched – twirl the fan in your left hand

I will marry you – close the fan very slowly

Don’t be impudent – threaten with a closed fan

Don’t tell our secrets – cover your left ear with an open fan

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