Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Swedish Nightingale: Jenny Lind~and a Giveaway



 Jenny Lind, 1850. Public domain.
In 1849, few Americans knew who Johanna Maria Lind was, but in 1850 when showman P.T. Barnum launched her on an American tour, the nation was swept by “Lindomania”—a craze for the Swedish opera singer known as Jenny Lind. Her success was naturally due to her voice, so sweet she was deemed “The Swedish Nightingale.”

Barnum also promoted her proper, generous character, which made her all the more irresistible. Overall she created such an impression that to many, Lind became what Barnum biographer Bluford Adams called "the standard for measuring not just sopranos, or even women artists, but women" throughout the 1850s.

Lind (Oct. 1820-Nov. 1887) was born in Sweden, the illegitimate daughter of a bookkeeper and a divorced schoolteacher whose religious beliefs didn’t permit her to remarry until her first husband died (it eventually happened, and Jenny’s parents wed when she was 14). At age 9, Jenny was enrolled in Sweden’s Royal Opera Program. By 20, she was the prima donna at the Royal Opera in Stockholm and a court singer for the King of Sweden and Norway.

Within a few years, she was in great demand throughout Sweden and northern Europe. She auditioned at the Opera in Paris, but their rejection stung her so much that once she became an international celebrity, she refused all invitations to perform there.
Lind as Amina in La Sonnambula. Public Domain
In 1843, she toured Denmark and met author Hans Christian Andersen. He fell in love with her, but she didn’t return his affections. It’s thought three of his fairy tales were inspired by her: The Nightingale, The Angel, and Beneath the Pillar. Others suggest Lind also inspired the cold-hearted title character in The Snow Queen after she rejected him.

watercolour portrait against blank background of a young man with dark, curly hair, facing the spectator: dressed in fashionable clothes of the 1830s, dark jacket with velvet collar, black silk cravat, high collar, white waistcoat
Mendelssohn, by Childe. Public domain.
Andersen wasn’t her only admirer, famous or otherwise. She was briefly engaged to a tenor named Julius G√ľnther, and composer Felix Mendelssohn was madly in love with her. Apparently, the married father of five was desperate for Lind to be his mistress and threatened suicide in an attempt to get his way with her.

She didn't give in. Nevertheless, they continued to work together and he began an opera, Lorelei, for her. Mendelssohn’s sudden death at age 38, in 1847, devastated her, and she founded the Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation in his memory.

Lind retired from professional singing soon after, at age 29.

In 1849, P.T. Barnum approached her with the invitation to tour America. Deciding it would be a good way to earn money for her favorite charities, Lind agreed. Barnum got busy advertising, when she arrived in New York City's harbor in September of 1850, 40,000 people awaited her ship.

A Jenny Lind souvenir token, 1850
She sang at 93 venues, from concert halls to train stations, in America,  Canada, and Cuba. Tickets for some of her concerts were in such demand that Barnum sold them by auction. Barnum also marketed Lind-inspired products, like clothes, pianos, tokens, and chairs.

Lind earned $350,000, and Barnum’s wealth grew by $500,000 (in 2016 dollars, that’s around $10 million and $14.2 million).

By 1851, however, Lind had grown weary of Barnum's methods and severed ties with him. She continued to tour on her own for a year with conductor and pianist Otto Goldschmidt. Unlike her previous suitors, Goldschmidt won Lind’s heart, and they were married in Boston in 1852, at the end of her tour.

Lind and Goldschmidt returned to Europe in May 1852, settling first in Germany, then in England, where they lived out the rest of their lives. They had three children, and Lind continued to sing, teach and support numerous charities, including the children’s hospital in Norwich, England.
Jenny Lind by Eduard Magnus, 1862, public domain
Meanwhile, she made such a strong impression wherever she went that her name was given to a chapel, hotel, park, psychiatric ward, and pub in England. An Australian schooner named for her was wrecked on a creek on the Queensland cost…and the creek’s name was changed to Jenny Lind Creek.

A Jenny Lind Crib, available on Amazon
In America, a California gold rush town was named for her, as was an elementary school in Minnesota. Streets in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California bear her name. She’s been honored since 1948 by the Barnum Festival, a national competition that crowns a soprano in her honor, held every summer in Connecticut. And of course, her name is still used to describe a popular style of baby crib.



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YOUR TURN:

Had you heard of Jenny Lind? Or did you always wonder why a crib was named that?

BIO: 

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others. A pastor’s wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. Susanne is the author of over half-dozen historical romances; her latest, For a Song, is in Barbour’s The Cowboy’s Bride Collection. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com.

GIVEAWAY:

The heroine of For a Song, my new novella in The Cowboy’s Bride Collection, dreams of being the next Jenny Lind. 

I'll give away one copy of The Cowboy's Bride Collection to one randomly-chosen commenter. Contest runs through 11:59 pm EST Sunday, March 6, 2016. Winner announced here. Please leave a way to contact you in your comment.


The Cowboy's Bride:

Ride onto the open range alongside cowboys and cowgirls who embrace the adventures of living in the Old West from Kansas to New Mexico, Colorado to Texas. Whether rounding up cattle or mustangs, training horses, fending off outlaws, weathering storms, competing in rodeos, or surviving drought these cowboys work hard each day. But when hardheaded men have their weaknesses exposed by well-meaning women will they stampede away or will a lasting love develop? Find out in this exciting collection of nine historical romances.

82 comments:

  1. I'd never thought of that before, why a crib style was named after a person, but what an interesting story!
    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Hi Connie! Isn't it funny that so many types of things were named for her, even a crib? Then again, I suppose I own a few Downton Abbey licensed items, like a dish towel and tea. Fans go nuts for things related to celebrities or shows they like. Nothing new under the sun.

      Thanks for coming by, Connie! You're entered into the giveaway.

      Delete
  2. I grew up with a Jenny Lind bed and always wondered why it was named that. I still have the bed and got a Lind crib for my children. I love the style! LattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Good morning, Susan! How neat that you and your kids had/have Jenny Lind furniture. I think the style is pretty, too. Such a classic.

      I appreciate you visiting the blog and entering the giveaway! Have a great day.

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  3. Thank you for a great post! I always knew of the baby bed but never knew the back story. Very interesting!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Melanie, so good to see you! I heard of Jenny Lind cribs but didn't know the backstory, either. It's so interesting how the furniture style has lasted more than 150 years! I wonder about the particular manufacturer who came up with the idea...hmm, more research.

      You're entered in the giveaway!

      Delete
  4. I love the collections books, thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of "The Cowboy's Bride Collection".

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Wendy! I love Barbour novella collections, too. I have a few shelves full of collections I can't bear to part with. I love the other stories in The Cowboy's Bride...several HHH authors are in it!

      So glad you came by. You're in the giveaway!

      Delete
  5. I've heard of her and the many towns that was named after her, but I didn't know much about her. Thanks for the information. It's like a story itself abut her road to fame and the many suitors. Even the many stories she inspired! Thanks!

    Justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Annie, JC, you are so right about this being like a novel! How fun that would be to read! She was such an interesting person. Hmm, now my brain is whirling...

      You're entered into the giveaway. Hope your day is going well!

      Delete
  6. I've heard of her and the many towns that was named after her, but I didn't know much about her. Thanks for the information. It's like a story itself abut her road to fame and the many suitors. Even the many stories she inspired! Thanks!

    Justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I have never heard of her. That was a very interesting story, thank you for sharing.
    dhancock49@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Debra! I always wondered who Jenny Lind was because of the crib, but I used to think it was a made-up name, like Holly Hobbie. Then when I found out she was a real person, I was so intrigued! Glad you thought her story interesting, too.

      You're in the drawing. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  8. This was really interesting. Of Course, I know about the bed, but I've never read about Miss Lind herself.

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    1. Hi Vickie! Isn't it delightful that so many Cowboy's Bride authors are HHH contributors and can celebrate here? What a treat. Congratulations to you!

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  9. I knew a little about Jenny Lind, but not much. This was very interesting. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Good morning, Susan! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I wish we had a recording of what she sounded like! It must have been amazing.

      You're entered into the drawing! Thanks for coming by.

      Delete
  10. Hi Susanne,
    Great job on the post! Miss Lind was an extraordinary woman. I'm entering the contest on behalf of Debbie Lynne who is so busy right now, but loves cowboy tales! Thanks for holding the contest.
    Btw, just yesterday I did a post on "Contest Mavens: An Author's Secret Weapon" over at Novel Rocket--in case you're interested. http://tinyurl.com/jn2plmt

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and link, Linore! And you are a very good friend indeed to enter on Debbie Lynne's behalf. Tell her she's entered!

      I'll visit the post.

      Delete
  11. Such an interesting post, Susie - thank you!!

    I had heard of Jenny Lind and the crib, also - but knew little about her except that she sang, so enjoyed reading her background story.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of "The Cowboy's Bride Collection" - looking forward to reading "For a Song"!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Bonnie, I'm so glad you could come by! I'm glad you enjoyed the post, too. Jenny Lind must have been astounding to hear live. Can you imagine?

      You're entered into the giveaway! Blessings!

      Delete
  12. I think I had one of those cribs, but it was 39 years ago, so I'm not quite sure. :)

    Doreen
    PrivesAndPrims at yahoo (dot) com

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    1. LOL Doreen! I have no clue what kind of crib I was in, either. I should ask my mom.

      You're entered into the giveaway! Have a fabulous day.

      Delete
  13. I alway wondered about the crib and rocking chair I had for my oldest. Thanks for sharing! sanddlax(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Shari, isn't it funny how many of us own(ed) Jenny Lind furniture? What would she say if she knew?

      I've got you down for the giveaway. Have a great day.

      Delete
  14. I alway wondered about the crib and rocking chair I had for my oldest. Thanks for sharing! sanddlax(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. When I was growing up, my parents had gotten a piano for older sis and me to learn to play. I was not gifted, for sure, but wish now I had kept up with lessons. I learned to play the 'Jenny Lind Polka' and looked up and learned more about her. May have even read a biography, I can't remember where I got the info - long before internet days! I would love to win this, Barbour does put together collections of excellent authors! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this new collection, and the reminder of this Songbird that I wish I could have heard! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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    1. Mama Cat, I took piano, too. I was not at all talented, but it was a good experience. I wish I could sing well, too. My friend Suzanne has a gorgeous voice, and I used it as a model for my heroine's!

      Barbour does such a nice job with their collections. I say this about the other 8 authors in this one, not me, LOL.

      You're entered in the giveaway! Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  16. That was a an amazing background! I knew of the crib but never thought about the name, just knew it was a popular brand. She sounds like a woman who didn't give in, but stuck to her standards.

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. I thought the same thing, Melody. I thought it was a brand name or made up name. Then I learned about her and WOW! She was quite a lady! I'm glad she stuck to her values, too.

      You're entered into the giveaway! Thanks!

      Delete
  17. I had heard of Jenny Lind long ago but never knew much about her. Loved the bio on her. thank you for sharing. rebunting(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. So kind of you to drop by to say hi, Robin! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. You're entered into the drawing!

      Delete
  18. I know I've heard the name - but never went looking for the story :) A person doing those things at that time of the world had to be a very brave and strong woman. Thanks for sharing....
    jking23(at)kent(dot)edu

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    1. Great point about all she accomplished, considering she lived in a time that made things difficult for women. I love how she took a stand against PT Barnum and toured on her own, and boy did she make a lot of money!

      You're in the drawing!

      Delete
  19. Never heard of her but very interesting. THanks for sharing.

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    1. Glad you popped by to read and visit, Kim! Thank you!

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  20. My husband and I attended a Jenny Lind function when I was pregnant with our first son. I never knew the history behind her name. So very interesting and I love how she found love! This would be a great book! Thanks Susanne for sharing. Jenny
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

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    1. Ooh, Jenny, what sort of function was it? A concert or a fundraiser? Seems like her name is associated with both of these things, even today.

      I'm so glad you came by! You're entered into the drawing.

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    2. It was for the crib and children's stuff that the company makes. We almost bought their stuff but it was way to expensive.

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    3. Oh, wow! I bet it was quite an event. I confess, I didn't buy a Jenny Lind crib. Our kids slept in their cousins' old crib. We were blessed to have one gifted to us.

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  21. I've heard of her. Just figured someone had named the cribs that for a cute play on the name. Interesting story her life is. That is why I love history, just so much we are impacted by today based on what happened in the past. Right now I am reading K. Willow's book Ice Whispers. Based in the South during the height of slavery. I can't imagine I had so much still to learn about that time. It's a fiction, but her historical knowledge shines through, it's very good.

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    1. Becky, that book sounds fascinating. I, too, love how we always have new things to learn about the world, history, and other people. I will have to check out that book! Thanks for the intel!

      Delete
  22. I've heard of her. Just figured someone had named the cribs that for a cute play on the name. Interesting story her life is. That is why I love history, just so much we are impacted by today based on what happened in the past. Right now I am reading K. Willow's book Ice Whispers. Based in the South during the height of slavery. I can't imagine I had so much still to learn about that time. It's a fiction, but her historical knowledge shines through, it's very good.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What an interesting and informative post. I knew of the Jenny Lind Crib but not the background. I found her relationship story with Hans Christian Andersen interesting and it was nice to read how charitable Jenny was.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Hi Maryann! Yes, Jenny Lind was quite charity-focused. I think that's wonderful. She gave a significant portion of her tour earnings to education in Sweden.

      I'd like to know more about her relationship with Andersen, too!

      Thanks for visiting. You're in the drawing!

      Delete
  24. I had not heard of the singer. I have heard of a Jenny Lind crib but had no idea how it was named. Very interesting research you did. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. I wonder if Jenny Lind knew she inspired a crib? I don't know when it happened, in her lifetime or later. Hmm!

      Thanks for coming by and entering the drawing!

      Delete
  25. I've heard reference to her such as "The singing was good but she was no Jenny Lind!" mrs(dot)nipper(at)gmail

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    1. Wow, Cindy, I haven't heard that! How interesting!

      Glad you shared. You are in the drawing!

      Delete
  26. I want to be one randomly-chosen commenter :D My dad named our singing bird on our porch Jenny Wren when we lived on the farm ~ he made a little house with a perch for her across from the kitchen door. So sweet ~ until I found out they like to disturb bluebird nests! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Hi Kathleen! I love that he named it Jenny Wren! I didn't know they disturb other birds' nests. How interesting!

      You're entered into the giveaway. Thanks for sharing the story!

      Delete
  27. SUSIE, this is a fascinating post. I haven't heard of Jenny Lind. Congratulations on your release!!!!

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Caryl! Nice to see you! Thanks so much for the kind words. You're entered into the giveaway!

      Delete
  28. My mom always said that you learn something new everyday. I have never heard of Jenny Lind. Interesting history lesson for me today. Thanks.

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    1. Heather, that's totally the truth. I learn something every single day. The world is such a rich, amazing place! I love that we never stop learning!

      So glad you came by!

      Delete
  29. I have heard of Jenny Lind all my life and I knew the crib was named for her. spotts06(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. I'm glad you knew about Jenny Lind. I think it's wonderful that she's maintained a following and has had influence for well over 150 years.

      Thanks for coming by. You're entered into the drawing!

      Delete
  30. That is such an interesting history. I have heard of Jenny Lind, but didn't know that much about her. What a fantastic life she lived! Thanks for sharing her story.

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    1. I forgot to share my email address:
      Cagould15(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    2. Hi Carrie! She did indeed live a fascinating life. She made so much money...in one tour! Can't imagine!

      Thanks for coming back with your email addy! You're entered into the drawing!

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  31. I think my grandmother had a Jenny Lind bed. bjleecontests(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Becky! The style has been around for several decades, that's for sure. It's a classic.

      I'm glad you came by to say hi and enter the drawing!

      Delete
  32. How fascinating! I had heard of Jenny Lind cribs, but I did not know about the lady herself. Thanks for sharing, Susie!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Britney! I was just like you; I'd heard of the cribs but wasn't sure who she was. Her story is pretty amazing!

      You're entered into the drawing! Thanks!

      Delete
  33. What a fun and informative post! I remember learning about the Jenny Lind sewing machine company in school. I remember seeing part of a film about Barnum and Jenny Lind. Very interesting to watch. Thanks for the opportunity to win your novella collection! Prayers and best wishes for your release!
    nataliedmonk AT gmail DOT com

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    1. You've taught me something, Natalie! I had no idea there was a Jenny Lind sewing machine company. Wow! Her name is everywhere! I'm curious about that film, too. I wish I'd seen it.

      I am so grateful for the prayers and best wishes. Thank you! Blessings! Oh--and you're entered into the giveaway, too!

      Delete
  34. I don't recall her and honestly, I never really thought about the name of the crib. I'm sure I saw the name before, but never really thought about it. Thanks for sharing this, it was very interesting...you learn something new every day.
    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. We do indeed learn something new every day, don't we? The world is an amazing place.

      Thanks so much for coming by. You're entered into the giveaway. Blessings!

      Delete
  35. I remember learning about The Swedish Nightingale but I never connected her with the baby bed and I never knew just how influential she was. Thanks for a wonderful post!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. HI Connie! I don't know if she ever knew about the cribs, but I'm sure she knew about other things named after her. Sounds like there was quite a bit of souvenir paraphernalia sold on her tours. Reminds me today of celebrities' clothing lines and cookware, etc.

      You're entered into the drawing. Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  36. Hi Susanne! So glad to see Jenny Lind being discussed here. She gets a couple of mentions in my latest WIP about a singer, so it's wonderful to see people talking about her again! Thanks fro the great post!

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    1. Hi Piper! So good to see you! I admit I'm very curious about your WIP! :) Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks so much for coming by!

      Delete
  37. If you mentioned the name 'Jenny Lind' to me I would think it sounded familiar, but I don't think I could tell you who she was. Interesting blog post!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I think a lot of people know her name, Patty, but aren't sure why. That was certainly the case for me until a few years ago. It's fun to keep on learning!

      Thanks for coming by and entering the giveaway!

      Delete
  38. I didn't know Jenny Lind was an actual person. What a fascinating person she was. I am very familiar with Jenny Lind cribs. With 12 children we are went through quite a lot of cribs, a lot of them Jenny Lind. What an exciting book I really look forward to reading The Cowboy’s Bride Collection.

    Deanne Patterson Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Deanne! Good to see you! Twelve kids? WOW! I imagine you went through a few cribs!

      I'm so glad you came by and entered the giveaway. Have a great evening!

      Delete
  39. Thank you for the fascinating history of Ms. Lind and explaining about the crib, etc. being named after her! I had no idea she had so many notable admirers!
    Janice
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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    1. Janice, I know what you mean about Jenny Lind's admirers! Wow! Authors, composers, musicians, and probably numerous other fellas thought she was exquisite. I also think it's interesting that she was considered the height of femininity. My, how times have changed, perhaps not for the better.

      I'm glad you came by. You're entered into the drawing!

      Delete
  40. I had never heard of Jenny Lind before. What an amazing story her life was!! I had heard of Jenny Lind cribs but had no clue it was her. I simply thought it was a brand. Her suitors were such interesting men in her time! Too bad one of them was married with children. Thank you for teaching me about someone new. mnjesusfreak @ gmail . com

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    1. Hi Mimi! Good to see you! I thought Jenny Lind was a brand, too. I doubt she saw a dime from the cribs!

      You're entered into the drawing! Hope you have a great day.

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  41. Just popped over to random.org...the winner is Robin Bunting! Thanks to all who entered the drawing. Blessings!

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