Sunday, June 26, 1887
The river was crowded with rowing boats and punts, and for long distances the banks were lined with houseboats blooming with flowers. The house-boats appear to be the special summer resort of the well-to-do, who live on them throughout the summer. What struck me particularly was the athletic prowess of so many young women, who were astonishingly adept at rowing and punting, and seemed to be quite capable of handling their boats as well as the men. That I take it is the reason why English girls are so fresh complexioned and free in their movements. It is a fact that you see fewer white-lipped and waxed-cheeked girls than anywhere else, in spite of tight-lacing, which is as prevalent here as in France or the United States. But the women play tennis and go for long walks. They are not restricted by convention as in other countries.