In several words, she professed her desire for a nice gentleman — but society had yet to warm up to such a practice.
The message caught the attention of one man, the city mayor, who committed the lady to an asylum for a month.
His Circle was a social network before the time of mass electronic communication.
Members would be given subscription to the club’s monthly magazine, , access to photos of other members, and space in the magazine to discuss “the subject that interests them most.” Members could even correspond anonymously (and thereby, it was thought, more freely), and would reveal identities when their mutual consent had reached the authority of the Circle’s Controller, who vetted correspondence in the main office.
The humor is dry, the personal ads are as precise as haiku, and nobody seems to be taking themselves too seriously.
Well, maybe the "beardy physicist" who provided the ad from which the title was taken, but certainly not the parade of loners who have not forgotten that humor is the most powerful aphrodesiac of all.
But the traditional personal ad still thrives in certain spaces.Yet with the internet, the institution marches on, and it’s stronger than first personal ads likely began to appear in periodicals in the 1690s.