Aug 202015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Truth, as usual, is always stranger than fiction. The machines that wove all those lovely French silks which were so often smuggled into England during the war with Napoleon did indeed provide the key to issuing commands to computers shortly after the Regency. This same method continued in use for several decades, only falling out of favor at the end of the last century.

How holes made patterned silks and talked to computers …

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Jun 162015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Or to give this new history its full title, Prinny’s Taylor:   The Life and Times of Louis Bazalgette (1750 – 1830). As is probably obvious from the fact that the subject of this book and the author share a rather unique last name, Charles Bazalgette has researched and written a history of his ancestor, Jean Louis Bazalgette. Born in southern France, into a family of tailors, Louis emigrated to Great Britain about 1770. He began his career in London as a tailor, but by the end of his life, he had become a man of affluence who was able to enjoy a comfortable retirement and give all his children a good start in life.

The remarkable career of Louis Bazalgette . . .

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May 122015
 

So many articles this month! I hope you find some of them to be of interest.

Gillray-very slippy weatherThe prodigiously talented Gillray: http://18thcand19thc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/james-gillray-prince-of-caricaturists.html

The care and upbringing of foundlings: http://www.thehistoryoflondon.co.uk/thomas-coram-and-the-foundling-hospital/

A London walk: https://londonhistorians.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/footsteps-of-soane-ii/

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May 082015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Today, paper hats are most often worn for a bit of fun at parties, or are made for a child by parent or grandparent for some make-believe playtime. But during the Regency, paper hats were regularly worn by working men in a number of trades. In fact, the wearing of such hats had only begun a few years before the Prince of Wales became Regent. It was during that second decade of the nineteenth century that the use of these hats became much more widespread among an expanding number of craftsmen and tradesmen. But these hats were not worn for fun, they had a much more serious purpose. It should be noted that the wearing of these hats seem to have been confined to English working men.

When paper hats were for work, not play …

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Feb 092015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Though seldom used today, gimmel rings had been in use since the late Middle Ages as wedding or betrothal rings. And they continued to be used for that purpose right through the Regency. Long before the Regency began, a variation on this type of ring had become even more complex, these more elaborate versions being most commonly known as puzzle rings.

A basic background of how the bands embodying the bonds of love became nearly as much a puzzle as love itself …

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Jan 152015
 

Assembly Rooms is a collection of links to blogs and articles of interest to lovers of the Regency Era.

Glorious Gothic: http://www.regencyhistory.net/2015/01/strawberry-hill-horace-walpoles-gothic.html

Strawberry Hill by Paul Sandby, courtesy Wikipedia

Strawberry Hill by Paul Sandby, courtesy Wikipedia

An impressive display of carriages: http://www.regencyhistory.net/2014/10/the-national-trust-carriage-museum-at.html Continue reading »

Jun 012014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Most people today are familiar with modern diamonds which have been cut with great precision, giving them the mathematically exact facet size and number which allows them to reflect and refract light for optimum brilliance or fire. These precise cutting techniques were first discovered and introduced into the diamond industry in the early twentieth century. Yet I have read any number of Regency novels in which the heroine or some other character has acquired a diamond which by description is clearly a diamond of a modern cut, a diamond which could not possibly have existed during the Regency. In fact, all of the diamonds which were available during the Regency would appear rather dull when compared to diamonds cut after the early 1920s.

And now, how the diamond intensified its sparkle across the centuries …

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Apr 252014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Both, actually.

Coal is just rock, after all. But a most interesting sedimentary rock, which is not only highly flamable, but it can be fairly easily carved and takes a high polish. However, by the Regency, coal was much more likely to be burned than worn. A concise chronicle of coal culminating in the Regency …

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Feb 142014
 

What is your bedtime routine? How does the bedtime routine of a Regency lady compare with yours? Regency romance author, Regina Scott, whose latest print book is The Wife Campaign, gives us a glimpse into the preparations a Regency lady must make before she could retire for the night. Would you be willing to go throught that, every night?

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Jan 152014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Last week, I wrote about the origins of the rare blue diamond now known as the Hope, and traced its adventures through the end of the eighteenth century, at which point it dropped out of sight. The large deep blue diamond had been discovered in India, purchased by the merchant Tavernier, who in turn sold it to Louis XIV. The king had it cut and faceted, resulting in the gem commonly known as the "French Blue." Louis XV had it set in his jeweled insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, where it remained part of the French Crown jewels, until it was stolen, four months before its next owner, Louis XVI, lost his head in the square outside the very building from which it had been taken.

One theory suggests it was taken to England by one of the men who stole it, another that it was part of a group of the stolen Crown jewels which was used to bribe the Duke of Brunswick to abandon his invasion of France and the rescue of Louis XVI and his family. After that, the trail of the French Blue goes cold, until a large blue diamond surfaces in Regency England …

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Jan 112014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

He certainly did save the hope of England, even of Europe, that June day in Belgium, on the battlefield of Waterloo. But the Hope to which I refer is a precious blue diamond, which, thanks to the efforts of the Duke of Wellington, was not lost to history. And shortly after he prevented its misappropriation, it was acquired by the man whose name it bears, even to this day.

The supposed curse which is attributed to the Hope Diamond is fiction. However, the true story of its real-life adventures are so much stranger than the plot of any novel. Now, how this rare blue diamond glittered its way across Europe, through the hands of crowned heads and cut-throats …

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Dec 132013
 

As we move inexorably toward the winter months, choosing just the right accessories to keep our hands warm, snug and fashionable as we prepare for our outdoor activities is an important part of our toilet. But what about our Regency ancestors? What kinds of accessories did those ladies choose as they prepared for a walk or a drive in the frosty winter air?

In today’s article, award-winning romance author and past Beau Monde President, Regina Scott tells us about a lady’s accessory which might well have multiple purposes. How will you answer the questions she poses at the end of her article?

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Dec 072013
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Over the years, I have read many Regency novels set in Scotland, or which included Scottish characters. And yet, I have not found any mention of cairngorms in the pages of those novels, despite the fact that they are the very rock of Scotland itself. What happened to the cairngorms?

The stony story of the cairngorms of Scotland …

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Oct 242013
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Yet again, I have come across another unique and fascinating book while browsing at my local library. A book which I think many authors of Regency novels will find quite informative. This book is about exactly what the title says it is, how to wear the costumes of days gone by. The author’s stated purpose in writing the book was to provide information for actors in movies and plays, and for readers of historical novels, to help them imagine how the characters in the book they are reading would move, based on the constraints of the clothing of the time period in which the story is set. It would seem to me that this book would also be of use to writers of historical novels, as well as to those who enjoy re-enacting historical events.

Some of the more intriguing aspects of the wearing of clothing in England in times past …

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Jun 272013
 

This is the second and final article in Ann Lethbridge’s series on Regency-era beauty products. As we learned from her last article, the use of these products was not restricted to ladies. There were a number of toiletry products which were also regularly used by men during the Regency. She includes an image of an eighteenth-century shaving stand which was sent to her by one of the readers of her first article. A most intriguing contraption.

Ann also offers a home recipe from the era on how to make one’s own lavender water. Once you understand its many benefits, would you consider making some?

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Jun 242013
 

Regency romance author Ann Lethbridge’s most recent novel, Haunted by the Earl’s Touch, is in bookstores now. Today, she shares with us her research into Regency-era cosmetics and toiletries in this first of two articles. Did you know there were depilatories available during the Regency? And that there were also preparations available for men who had lost their hair and wanted to grow it back? The more things change it would appear, the more they stay the same.

Which of these preparations and practices would be part of your toilette?

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Jun 112013
 

Cheryl Bolen reviews the Victoria and Albert Museum’s book on Fans in today’s article. She shares some of the history of the origin of the fan and its use in Georgian England. Fans have had a place in many Georgian and Regency novels since the origin of the genre. Do you remember that scene in Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, when Justin, Duke of Avon, used his new fan of chicken skin to annoy his friend, Hugh Davenant? How many romance heroines have employed a fan to great effect in a dalliance with the hero?

Fans are one of those lovely accouterments of a bygone age which few of us use today. But they are still fascinating to many of us, nonetheless. Delicate and beautiful, they can become a weapon in the hands of a woman who knows how to wield it. Fair warning, if you read this review, you may find yourself with a strong desire to own a copy of this book yourself.

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