Friday, 31 May 2013

Regency - Museum of Interest

British in India Musuem concentrates on the life and achievements of the British in India. Collections of photgraphs, uniforms, coins, documents and paintings. Sun Street, Colne, Lancashire BB8 0JJ

My main interest is the British in India from the days when the East India Company first traded in India up to and including the Regency era, so I would find out as much as possible abou the museum before visiting it.

Regency - Museum of Interest

British in India Museum

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Regency Place of Interest

Arundel Toy Museum. The collection of period dolls, dollhouses, soldiers, bears, games etc., are housed in an early 1800 cottage. 23 High Street, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9AD

The inclusion of bears in the collection means it is a mixture of Regency and Victiorian toys. Before I made a special trip to visit this museum I would phone up to find out more about it.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Regency Places of Interest

I have shared all the places of particular interest to me which are related to the Regency era in London tha I would like to visit, beginning on the 2nd June when a friend and I are going to visit Apsley House.

I also have a list of places outside London which I would like to visit which might be of interest to some of you.

The first on my list, in alphabetical order, is:-

Abbey House Museum which exhibits nineteenth - twentieth century costume,toys, dolls, domestic appliances. Also included are constructions of street scenesof the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries representing such trades as chemist, haberdasher, hairdresser, saddler, tobacconist and printer. Abbey Road, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3EH.

If I decide to visit places far from home it would be worthwhile seeing if I could find several places not far apart and stay near by for a few nights.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Regency - Place of Interest

National Maritime Museum. Exhibits cover ship design,ships' logs and furnishings, telescopes,maps, weapons, uniforms and personal items, such as the coat in which Lord Nelson died. Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Friday, 24 May 2013

Regency place of interest

Another place I want to visit is The Imperial War Museum - housed in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital or Bedlam, collections illustrate all areas of military affairs with uniforms, documents, medals and photographs. Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ

Regency - Place of Interest

Another place I want to visit is The Imperial War Museum - Housed in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital or Bedlam (1815)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Regency ;Place of Inerest to Visit

Gunnersby Park Museum is another place of interest I plan to visit. Once the home of the Rothschild banking family its displays include 19th century kitchens, items of domestic life, tools, costume and textiles, toys and dolls and two of the family carriages. Gunnersbury Park Museum, London W8 8LQ.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Regency Place of Interest to Visit

A friend of mine and I have decided to visit Apsley House - home of the first duke of Wellington, the musueum displays collections of paintings, plate, furniture, porcelian an personal items related to the duke. 149 Piccadilly, London WIV 9FA.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Regency Era - Places of Interest

To begin with I am making a list of places I would like to visit in London. Of course, there are many other places throughout the British Isles I would enjoy seeing but London is closer to home.
The first is the Court Dress Collection. It dates from 1750 and includes court dress and uniforms. The exhibition is at Kensington Palace, London W8 4PX

Friday, 17 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Extracts from my file.

Well, I've been through my file of Regency Snippets that I originally compliled for my personal reference. I hope you have enjoyed reading some of them.

I am now engaged in research for my new novel, Monday's Child, the sequel to Sunday's Child, and other novels set in the Regency era that I plan to write.

There are a number of books I intend to beg, borrow or buy to add to my modest library.

Captain Gronow:His Reminisences of Regency and Victorian Life 1810 - 1860 by Christopher Hibbert.

The Gentlemens' Clubs of London by Anthony Lejeune.

Regency Furniture 1800 -1830 by Clifford Musgrave.

Bucks and Bruisers:Pierce Egan and Regency England by John Reed.

Life in Regency England by R.J. White.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Waltz

Questions have been raised about when the waltz was first danced in England so you might find this interesting.

"Some such dance, it appears, had been known in England nearly a score of years before, for in The Times of February 19, 1796, we read: "The balls at Southampton are exceedingly lively and well-attended. The young ladies are particularly favourable to a German dance, called the Volse: for squeezing, hugging etc., it is excellent, and more than one Lady has actually fainted in the middle of it. The "Volse" however, had not penetrated the metropolis, or at least to the fashionable circles thereof;and when in 1813 it was danced at Almacks for the first time - it was then in a slow movement trow temps - by Madame de Lieven and "Cupid" Palmerston, and Princess Esterhazy and Baron de Neumann. It divided society into two camps; those who welcomed it with open arms and those who resented the introduction to them as a most indecorous proceeding. Lampoon after lampoon was provoked by the new dance, and more than one of these has come down to posterity."

The Beaux of the Regency by Lewis Saul Benjamin (1908)

However, beware Princess Esterhazy was not in England in 1813. I hope the rest of this is accurate.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Tourists

"Travellers of repute regarded it as a matter of course that they should be allowed to view the seats of the aristocracy and gentry, and contemporary letters and journals aboud in descriptions of visits to notable houses. In an age of elegance and creative taste those who owned beautiful properties were proud and gratified for them to be shown to a small but discriminating public. The conducted tour was usuallly guided by the housekeeper, but for visitors to Blenheim there was a lyrically written and elegantly written guidebook entitled A New Description of Blenheim. Not only the gardens and park but also the Palace were open to visitors at stated times, even when the family was in residence."

The Profligate Duke by Mary Soames.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Servants, Rules

"1817 - Rules to be Strictly Observed

The Servants are all to dine at one o'clock, before the Parlour Dinner, both Upper and Under Servants, and to breakfast and sup at nine - and no hot suppers.

The Butler, or Groom of Chambers, to see that the Servants' Hall and Powder Rooms are cleaned and locked up every night before 11 o'clock.

All the Servants to sleep in the house when the family is at Blenheim; unless with special leave for any particular cause.

The Under Butler to be assisted by all the Footmen in turns, as there will be be no Plate Maid.

The plate to be washed by the Stillroom Maids and in the Stillroom, from whence the Under Butler must fetch it.

The plate to be kept and cleaned in the Pantry, and the present dark Plate Room to be shut up.

All the Glass etc., to be kept in the waiting room and closets adjoining; and to be cleared out of the dining room after dinner.

The Butler to keep the key and take charge of the Ale Cellars; also to superintend all the menservants and to keep the Accounts, passing them all with Mr Fellows.

No meals to be allowed anywhere, excepting the Servants' Hall and Stewards' Room. Breakfast excepted.

No Garden Men or Milkmen to have their meals here.

No Posthorses or hacks to be taken into the Stables; being so near Woodstock.

This ended on a firm note. Should any objections be made to these reforms those persons may retire."

The Profligate Duke by Mary Soames.

I found this very useful when I wrote Sunday's Child an e-booki published by MuseItUpPublishing.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pre-Regenxcy Snippet - The Prince of Wales in1780

Georgiana the Duchss of Devonshire's impressions of the future Prince Regent in 1780

"The Prince of Wales is rather tall and has a figure which though striking is not perfect. He is inclined to be too fat and looks much like a woman in men's clothes, but the gracefulness of his manner and his height certainly make him a pleasing figure. His face is very handsome and he is fond of dress, even to a tawdry degree,which, young as he is, will soon wear off. He is good-natured and rather extravagant...But he certainy does not want for understandding and his jokes sometimes have an apearance of wit. he appears to have an inclination to meddle with politics, he loves being of consequence, and whether it is intrigues of state or of gallantry, he often thinks more is intended than it really is.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Prince of Wales

This is pre-Regency but nevertheless pertinent.

At 17 "The Prince was not the fat, lecherous, dissipated hedonist of later years, depicted in so many satirical cartoons. When Mary Robinson first met him he was handsome, cultivated and good-tempered. He was known as a man of enormous charm, intelligence and taste. Mary was not exaggerating when she described him as 'the most admired and most accomplished Prince in Europe'. He fenced and boxed, but also played the cello, drew and had a deep appreciation of painting One of the members of the royal hosuehold, Mrs, Papeneiek, wrote in her journal, 'he was not so handsome as his brother,but his countenance was of a sweetness and intelligence quite irresistible. He had an elegant person, engaging and distinguished manners, added to an affectionate disposition and the cheerfulness of youth.'

The Life of Mary Robinson By Paula Byrne

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Wellington and his wife

Arthur Wellesly's (later the Duke of Wellington) was agitated during his last weeks in England. His wife, Kitty's youngest brother, Henry, "had run into debt  through gambling and persuaded her to lend him the housekeeping money. Arthur's imminent departure for Portugal brought in all the unpaid bills, Kitty could not settle her accounts and one of the tradesmen dunned Sir Arthur. His anger was unforgiving. She had misappropriated his funds.

This painful episode spoilt the last days together of husband an wife. Its echoes were to haunt Arthur's memory for the rest of their married life."

Wellington. Elizabeth Longford.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Religion

"Popery was despised.

It was the last age in which a majority of educated men grew up without doubt.

The old church and non-conformists were at loggerheads. Scornful squires forbade tenants to hear Methodists and Weslyans.

Methodists united Britain in the face of revolutionary peril by convincing the more serious minded workders of the validity of Christian ethics, the great 18th century evangelists inoculated the poor against the Jacobin fever that was sweeping the Continent. Only where there was hunger and intolerable injustice did the virus triumph and then only for so long as the more extreme hardships remained unalleviated."

Arthur Bryant

Monday, 6 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Army Officers

"Among the officers a chivalrous sense of honour was more than an instinct. It was a code. They were almost too ready to take on a bully hat and too punish a cheat. Charles Napier flattered himself that his leg was as straight a one as ever bore up the body of a gentleman or kicked a blackguard. He regarded the treatment of women as the measure of civilisation; the tenderness towards the helpless and adherence to one's word constituted for him the tests of a gentleman. A man who broke his parole was beneath contempt; George Napier held it up to his children as the unforgivable offence - that and cowardice. One rode straight, spoke the truth and never showed fear. There was little outward religion in Wellington's officers;skylarking and often uproariously noisy, they were like a pack of schoolboys. Yet under the surface was a deep fund of Christian feeling; their beau ideal was a man like John Colborne of the 52nd - upright, fearless and gentle - or John Vandeleur - his friends never heard to speak harshly of any man. 'The British army is what it is," said Wellington long afterweards, (after the Battle of Waterloo?) "because it is officered by gentlemen; men who would scorn to do a dishonourable thing and who have something more at stake than a reputation for military smartness."

The Age of Elegance. Arthur Bryant.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Prince Regent & the Army & His palaces.

"Of one activity the Prince Regent never tired. He would have made, it was said, a splendid upholsterer. He filled Army Orders with instructions about epaulettes, gold lace and feathers, sent the 23rd Dragoons to Spain so arrayed that the could not be distinguished from the French, and rigged out his own Regiment of Hussars like padded monkeys in crimson breeches and yellow boots. 'His whole soul is wrapped in Hussar saddles, caps,cuirasses and sword belts.

Yet wonderful as were the costumes he designed, they were surpassed by the settings he chose for them. His guests complained that the splendour of his rooms made their clothes insignificant. This palaces were constantly being rebuilt. Sydney Smith remarked that the Brighton Pavillion looked as if The Krelin had pupped. Its walls decorated with mandarins and flluted yellow draperies, its peach blossom ceilings and canopies of tassels and bells, its imperial five-clawed dragons darting from every chandelier and overmantel. Outre and grotesque it was yet informed by its creator's exquisite taste. On its statuary carpets, pictures - he was an early collector of Dutch masters - china and ormulu he lavished an inexhaustible care.

...Carlton House rivalled St Cloud and Versailles."

The Age of Elegance. Arthur Bryant

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Mourning - Widows and Widowers.

"There were degrees of mourning. Full mourning for a husband by a widow was the stricttest. For a year and a day she wore a black dress and a mantle of bombazine, a mixute of silk and wool. The dress had to be almost completely covered with crape. Crape was a silk fabric that had been treated so it was completely without luster. There could be no hint of shine in anything worn by a widow. There were no trimmings allowed at all. No shiny buttons, no buckles on her shoes, no jewelery except her wedding rihg and mourning jewelry made of jet. The widow had to wear a mourning bonnet with a widow's cap and a crape veil. She wrote all her letters on black bordered paper. After 12 months and one day, she could replace her crape covered dress with a black silk one, trimmed with crape. After about another half year of mourning the death, the widow could go into half-mourning. The colours allowed were grey, lavender, mauve, violet or black and grey with white stripes. She could wear half-mourning jewelry - pearls and amethysts. Some widows never went into half mourning and wore  black for the rest of their lives.

During the first year of mourning, the widow had no social life. She could not go to parties, dinners or the theatre and it was considered bad taste to even be seen in public. Her soical life consisted of receiving calls and that was about it. After one year, the widow could resume her social life, but she had to do so very gradually. The power of public opinion was strong and a widow who did not show proper respect to the memory of her dead  husband faced being socially ostracised.

Mourning for men was much simpler. They wore a black mourning band on the sleeve of their coats for about 6 months and could take part in soical occasions sooner than could a widow."

Source unknown,.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Regency Drapery Misses

In the penultimate canto of Don Juan, George, Lord Byron mentioned drapery misses, young ladies of pleasing appearance who were walking advertisemants for some dressmaker or other. The woman would give their families a large discount on the clothes if the girls were willing to tell everyone where her their gowns etc., were made. Naturally, the girls needed to be pretty and mingle with members of society who could afford the dressmaker's prices.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Princess Amelia

Princess Amelia's sufferings shocked the Prince of Wales. He described so accurately the pain caused by the affected knee that it is possible to hazard a diagnosis of acute arthritis. The smallest touch in any part of her sofa conveys on occasions the most dreadful agonies. Apart from the local disease she had little appetite, could eat nothing without vomiting and had a 'most dreadful cough.' Laudanum had been relied on in an attempt to control the pain and cough, and as a tonic she had been given porter to drink which upset her. But soon after the Prince sent his report to the Queen she was electrified.