Journalism is about recording and reporting on current events. By looking back on articles from the past, we can learn so much about the lives of previous generations. Here is one such historic piece from the Flipside archives.
September 3rd, 1666
Fire continues to rage across the beautiful city of London, consuming land and buildings alike with frightening speed, showing no sign of stopping. In the face of this horrific conflagration, one woman stands out as a hero: Local model Kathryne Ward has raised over £500,000 towards firefighting efforts by selling nude sketches of herself.
Ward started her venture by posting flyers around town proclaiming that anyone who donated £10 or more toward fighting the fire would receive a nude sketch of herself. Within hours, London’s fire department found itself practically drowning in hundreds of pounds… of pounds — an amount that surprised Ward herself.
“I never expected this to happen,” Ward commented, pausing to dip her pen into her inkwell and resuming work on an image of her naked body. “Selling nude sketches is how I make a living, but the amount of requests I’ve gotten over the past few days is absolutely unbelievable! My wrist is getting quite sore from all the drawing, but it’s for a good cause, so I can’t complain. Although I have gotten a few odd requests. Yesterday someone asked for a sketch of me sitting on Oliver Cromwell’s face. I charged triple for that one.”
One recipient of a Ward sketch, who wished to stay anonymous commented, “I am but a simple unmarried man, and as such, I have never seen anything more of a woman than a few bare ankles,” he explained. “To donate towards extinguishing this catastrophic blaze, and at the same time receive an exquisite sketch of a completely unclothed woman? Nothing could give me more pleasure! …Pleasure meaning a sense of emotional satisfaction from helping the greater good, of course,” he hastily clarified.
At press time, members of the London fire department were seen pouring kerosene onto the raging inferno in hopes of keeping it going for a few more days. Sources have been unable to officially confirm the reasoning behind this action, although some speculate it has something to do with the steadily increasing stack of papers currently filling up the fire station.