Jul 102015

If you like history, romance or shopping, you will certainly enjoy today’s article by romance author, Regan Walker. Oxford Street in London is one of the settings in Regan’s new release, To Tame the Wind, which is set at the end of the eighteenth century. Though shopping malls had yet to be developed in the late eighteenth century, Regan shares with us her research on a shopping area which was popular with the upper classes in London at that time.

Just sit back and let Regan take you on a tour of eighteenth-century Oxford Street . . .
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Aug 242013

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

All you health-conscious readers are probably shuddering at the very idea, but in actual fact, butter did help to protect the health of many people in England during the Regency, just as it had for several centuries before the nineteenth. At different times in its history, butter alternated between being considered a luxury food or fit only to be consumed the very poor. By the Regency it was a relatively expensive commodity, but it was widely available. And, it was no longer restricted to any particular social class by custom, though there was some restriction based on its cost. Regardless of social status, butter protected many of the leftover meals from the tables of all classes, when used correctly.

How butter churned it way through history …

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Jun 102012

 The Origins of the Modern Look Men’s Clothing

18th Century –  21st Century by Maggi Andersen

I don’t pretend to be an expert on fashion. I wanted to show some of the changes which have taken place over the last few hundred years to men’s clothing, as well as the styles which have remained constant.

I’ve added a few tidbits I thought might be of interest. I’ve had to be selective here –the military influence on fashion, for example, is for another blog.

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Mar 012012

Regency Coin — What Did it Cost? by Shannon Donnelly

Proper Conduct by Shannon Donnelly

Proper Conduct by Shannon Donnelly


In Proper Conduct, Shannon Donnelly’s heroine spends a good deal of time worrying about money that is not there, particular after her father spends nearly 1,000 pounds on a horse.


Not an excessive sum to someone such as the Prince Regent, whose racing stud farm cost him 30,000 pounds a year.


But all these numbers seemed to need a bit of perspective.

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Oct 172011

The UK Telegraph’s Travel section gives this wonderful suggestion for a Regency walk through parts of London.
Regency London: Let a romantic novelist be your guide – Sue Attwood goes in search of Regency London and finds much of it still just as described in Georgette Heyer’s historical novels.

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Apr 072011

Staying in Mayfair, the area of London featured in yesterday’s post, one of our tireless Beau Monde workers, Elaine Golden, talks about Shopping in Regency London.

The modern day shopping mall has its origins in Regency London. In a time when all clothing and accessories were custom made by hand, proprietors set up shops close to their customers –which for the Beau Monde of Regency London, meant as close to Mayfair as possible.

Bond Street

As the trendy new Mayfair neighborhood was developed in the 18th century, the eastern border became the location for the choicest of shops –and the legend of Bond Street as a shopping mecca was born. It quickly became not only a popular place to shop, but also a place to stroll –to see and be seen about town.

However, as popular as Bond Street and its shops were, it wasn’t without its downsides. It wasn’t uncommon for the street to become so packed with pedestrians, that people were forced to walk in the street, as depicted by this c1796 caricature “High-Change in Bond Street –or—the Politesse of du Grande Monde”. So much for high manners, if the local papers scorned the lack of courtesy, where women were forced to walk in the streets!

Then, there’s the weather. In a place known for rain, fog and cold winters, it wasn’t always prudent or convenient to go to Bond Street, or at least to linger there. Between the wet and the mud, I’m sure many a retail sale was lost because shoppers just couldn’t browse without getting wet and cold.

Burlington Arcade

So, when Lord George Cavendish, fed up with people dumping oyster shells in a passage bordering his town home, decided to put the area to good use and commissioned the Burlington Arcade, it was an immediate success when it opened in 1819, situated as it was on the corner of Bond and Piccadilly.

The first stroke of genius in the design was to cover the entire pedestrian boulevard with a glazed roof to protect customers as they visited the shops there. It also spoke to the Regency sense of uniformity of design and housed 2 rows of neat shops –a total of 72 enclosed shops of milliners, shoemakers, jewelers –just about anything the Regency shopper could imagine in a single, convenient location. Beadles, originally staffed from Cavendish’s old regiment of Hussars, were stationed at the Arcade to watch over the customers and to keep vagrants and thieves at bay.
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