Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Family Tree

This morning, I revised the first two chapters of Monday's Child, the sequel to Sunday's Child.

I had been struggling to introduce the characters from the earlier novel without confusing the reader. Then it was though a bright light was switched on. I realised I need to construct the heroine's family tree.

Historical - Research - Underclothes

The History of Underclothes by C.Willet & Phillis Cunnington. Over the years I have used books by these authors for research, and always found the detailed information extremely helpful, so I have ordered a copy of this one.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Culinary Delights

Shopped for food like crazy today. This week I plan to use Swiss chard from the garden to make a chard and ricotta pie, and to use the stalks for a cheese dish. I also plan to make colcannon, mango ice cream, and courgette pickle with courgettes from the garden. I also bought ready made biscuit dough which my small granddaughter will enjoy rolling out and cutting into various shapes before I put the biscuits in the oven. And I'll make more ice lollies for the grandchildren. Well that plus my strict writing routine and some gardening should keep me out of trouble.

Regency - Reseach - The Duchess of Richmond's Ball

The Duchess of Richmond's Ball 15th June 1815 by David Miller. Chapter One gives a very brief history of the Low Countries, Chapter Two introduces the reader to the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and their family, Chapter Three describes the arrival of the English, who had been "confined in their homeland" since the short peace in 1803.

Apart from the events preceding the famous ball David Miller presents the guest list and allows the reader to make the acquaintance of Civilian and Military guests. He also delves into romances, and in Appendix E examines Wellington's affair with James Wedderburn-Webster's wife, Lady Frances.

All in all valuable research.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Regency - Romance - Jane Austen's Christmas

Jane Austen's Christmas, The Festive Season in  Georgian England, Compiled by Maria Hubert.. "delivers far more than it promises ... far from an exploitation of current popularity it is a most interesting compilation of diaries, letters, extracts from the novels and even a rhyming recipe for Christmas pudding! Conjures up wonderfully the spirit of the times.  THE LADY"

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Regency - Research - The Wordl of Jane Austen

Although I own several books about Jane Austen I particularly like this well-illustrated one - The World of Jane Austen by Nigel Nicolson Photographs by Stephen Colover first published 1991.

"Nigel Nicholson explains how Jane Austen's creative talent embraced a keen awareness of architecture, gardens and landscape. He follows her through southern England  and as far north as Staffordshire to identify the places she lived in and visited, and suggests how she drew on them for settings of her love stories - grand houses like Rosings and Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, elegant town houses in Bath and London and Regency villas."

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Regency - Research - Madams Bawds & Brothel Keepers of London

Madams Bawds & Brothel Keepers of London by Fergus Linnane "is an entertaining romp through several centuries of social history," including The Regency.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Regency - Research - Royal St Jame's

Royal St Jame's Being a Story of Kings, Clubmen and Courtesans by E.J. Burford is useful when researching Regency London.

"A scandalous and sumptuously illustrated history of the royal parish of St James in London, from earliest times to the heyday of the Regency... the author colourfully portrays the astonishing variety of the little world of St James. He describes the long-standing rivalry between the beaux and bloods of the great Georgian clubs of White's, Boodles and Crockford's" - as well as many anecdotes.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Regency - Research - Walks Through Regency London

Walks Through Regency London by Louise Allen, describes 10 walks she  has undertaken.

"Louise Allen is the author of over thirty Regency novels. She loves exploring London in search of the ghosts of its past and is a passionate collector of all things Regency."

Walks Through Regency London has lavish illustrations from Louise Allen's collection of antique prints.

Ten walks are described. Walk One. (Distance 1.5 miles) St James. Gentleman's clubs, old shops, a palace, Almacks, Carlton House, Beau Brummell.

Even if the reader is unable to tread in Louise Allen's footsteps on each of the ten walks the book is rich in fascinating detail.

Amazon and my novels.

I'm delighted because Amazon are recommending my novels Tangled Love and Far Above Rubies to customers who have bought other historical novels.

Regency - Research - The Life and Times of George !V

The Life and Times of George IV by Alan Palmer (General Editor:Antonia Fraser) includes chapters titled, The Coming of the Regency 1807-1814, Contrasts of Victory 1814 - 1815 and Marriage and Mourning 1815 - 1819. Published in 1972 it is informative and well-illustrated.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Soup Maker

I used my new soup maker today. I chopped up a potato, a leek, a tomato, four stalks of celery and a leek and put it into the soup maker. then I shredded some coriander leaves and added it to the vegetables. Finally, I poured in three-quarters of a pint of water and two soup stock cubes. It took no more than ten minutes, and within twenty minutes the soup was ready except for the addition of two tablespoons of double cream. Delicious!

Regency - Waterloo - Dancing into Battle

Dancing into Battle, A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo by Nick Ffoulkes is fascinating. It "captures so well the mood of the time and each chapter covers an aspect of social life and the characters who were there, why they were there and what they did and thought about it." The Military Historical Society.

"Ffoulkes has written a wonderful book. Drawing on a rich stock of memoirs  from those who fought and those who partied at Waterloo, it creates a picture that is gaudy, sad, elegant and impeccably English." Mail on Sunday.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Regency - Research - The Age of Elegance

The Age of Elegance is the final book in Arthur Bryant's trilogy "devoted to the England that beat the French Revolution and Napoleon. This covers Regency England, a wonderful rich plum-pudding of a subject. It is the England of Wellington and Castlereagh, Scott and Byron and the Lake poets; of George Stephenson and Humphrey Davy, of Cobbet and Robert Owen. An England bursting with vitality and creativeness - getting on with the industrial revolution at home while successfully fighting the French Revolution abroad.!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Writing Goals and Cooking

Rather pleased with myself. I achieved my writing goals for today, made tomato soup, and also made rhubarb chutney with rhubarb from the garden. I enjoy the sweet and sour taste on crackers to be eaten with cheese, or, e.g. in a cheese and cucumber sandwich. I've also made a large jug of lemonade with unwaxed, organic lemons and organic honey. Very refreshing.

Regency - Research - Years of Victory

Years of Victory - 1802 - 1812 is the second in Sir Arthur Bryant's trilogy of the Napoleonic Wars.

"He paints a vital and  memorable picture of the Britain of 1939-1945 in its essential characteristics. A Britain startled by threats of invasion, grimly preparing to face the worst, solidly refusing to accept a tyrannical New Order in Europe, and then attacking again and again by land and sea. He shows how the inexorable blockade of an enslaved continent enabled her to gain a foothold in Spain and confront an astonished and sceptical world with the glorious campaigns of the Peninsular Wars."

Friday, 19 July 2013

Regency - Research - The Years of Endurance 1793 - 1802

Regency - Research - The Years of Endurance 1793 - 1802 by Arthur Bryant, the first of a trilogy.
"For twenty-two years this country fought against aggression and despotism to restore the law of nations and the liberties of mankind. She went to war in 1793 because the tyrants who had turned the French Revolution to violent and despotic ends had invaded Holland on the pretext of establishing the "natural frontiers".
As well as tracing the war against France this book also examines the social history and much more."

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Guest at Unusual Historicals

This week I am a guest at Unusual Historicals. The link is: unusual Apart from reading about Rosemary Morris and her novels, you can scroll down and find out about other interesting works of fiction.

Regency - Research - Britain against Napoleon

Britain against Napoleon by Carola Oman (Georgette Heyer's friend) is out of print, but as readable today as it was when my copy was published in 1943. Apart from tracing the events in the long war it is full of anecdotes.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fierce Sun Overhead and Gardening

Going over to daughter's house later on this afternoon with the intention of splashing in the inflatable pool with the grandchildren, and helping the youngest to blow bubbles. Lots of fun.
I deserve it, I was out in the garden in the heat finishing the narrow border planted with veronica, lavenders and fuchsias. It looks gorgeous. Tomorrow I need to dig up a sadly overgrown patch and stand my potted, purple-red-leaved Japanese Acacia on it.

Regency - Research - Bucks and Bruisers

Bucks and Bruisers, Pierce Egan and Regency England by J.C. Reid

Yesterday, I collected the book from the library. I have leafed through it, and it looks very interesting.

Regency - Research - Bucks & Bruisers

Yesterday, I collected Bucks and Bruisers, Pierce Egan and Regency England by J.C. Reid from the library.

I've leafed through the book, and it looks as though it will be very interesting.

"Pierce Egan, whose Boxiana was the incomparable record of the golden age of pugilism, was by profession printer, publisher, journalist, hack-writer, actor and dramatist. His great success was a book called Life in London...

"In this the f
irst study of Pierce Egan J.C. Reed outlines his life and descrbes his careet, his intimate knowledge of London low life, and his eccentric, cocky, resilient personality...."

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Regency Research - The Gentlemen's Clubs of London

Today I collected The Gentleman's Clubs of London - Text by Anthony Lejeune - Photographs by Malcolm Lewis,, which I had reserved at the library. I have yet to read it. However, a glance through the book with many illustrations confirmed that it is a history of 39 gentlemen's clubs from their inception to about 1980. The Regency reader or researcher will find details of clubs in existence during that era. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Midday Sun

I am a mad Englishwoman out in the midday sun. Actually I finished my writing session (6a.m.-10a.m.) and went into the garden to plant out perennial fuchsias, French lavender in two shades and Veronica. I dug up the cornflowers that have finished flowering and added compost. Mind you, it's so hot that I retreated indoors every 20 minutes to drink some water and study a cookery book.

Regency - Research - Wellington The Years of the Sword

Wellington, The Years of the Sword by Elizabeth Longford.

"In the first volume Elizabeth Longford covers his (the Iron Duke's) martial life that ended abruptly, when he was a handsome resilient forty-six, in the holocaust of Waterloo. After Waterloo, Wellington was never asked to fire another shot.

This first volume shows the sensitive, withdrawn child of Irish aristocrats pushed into the army as 'food for powder', stumbling his way through the Flanders field , an abortive love affair, and the roistering banquet halls of Dublin Castle to reach India at twenty-seven. There he made his name and, as Sir Arthur Wellesley, returned to England and marriage to Kitty Pakenham ...etc."

I read this biography with great enjoyment and will consult it while writing my new novel, Monday's Child, the sequel to Sunday's Child published by MuseItupPublishing.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Blackbirds Having a Bath

England is having a heat wave. Yesterday evening I turned on the sprinkler to water the veggie patches and top up my very small pond. After I came upstairs, I looked out of the window on the landing and saw 3/4 grown blackbird fledglings chasing their mother begging to be fed. Then the mother fluttered across the lawn and obviously enjoyed being showered by the sprinkler. The fledglings followed her. The four blackbirds ran in and out of the shower. After five minutes or a little more,  they spread their wings and shook off the water before having a drink at the bird bath. As you can imagine, it was a delightful scene.

Regency - Research - High Society in the Regency Period

I found High Society in the Regency Period 1788 - 1830 by Venetia Murray very useful, and often refer to it.

"A delightful book well-researched and highly entertaining." Christopher Hibbert."

"Spanning the years from the French revolution to the Age of Reform, the elegant, dissolute Regency era was one of glorious paradox and turbulent change. Drawing on original material from the Royal Archives at Windsor and the Chatsworth Archives, as well as diaries, letters, memoirs and menus covering the whole spectrum of society..."

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Regency = Research - The Jane Austen Handbook

The Jane Austen Handbook. A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World.

"Every young lady dreams of a life spent exchanging witty asides with a dashing Mr Darcy, but how should you let him know your intentions? Seek counsel from this charming guide to Jane Austen's world. "

I found this handbook interesting and informative.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Gymnastics & Proud Grandmother

A very busy day yesterday which included Year Six's production of Aladdin at two of my grandsons' school.
The elder boy has bee practising gymnastics for 6 years. He is a member of a country team and has performed more than once in a theatre. Yesterday his performance looked effortless but he trains for 3 hours 3 times a week and sometimes on 5 days a week when a competition is imminent. ( He has already won a gold, silver and bronze medal. Not bad going for an 11-year old.)
Yesterday he came down the aisle between the audience and executed forward flips, cartwheels, handstands etc.,. Later he performed again in the from of the stage and once more at the final curtain call.
He received ample praise and, as you can imagine, I am very proud of him and admire his dedication and determination.

Regency - Research - Everyday Life in Regency & Victorian England

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England From 1811 - 1901 by Kristine Hughes.

"In this time saving reference book, respected author Kristine Hughes brings 19th century England to life as she leads you through the details that characterise this fascinating era.

From slice-of life facts, anecdotes and first hand accounts, to sweeping timelines and major historical events, this book presents the delightful and often surprising daily realities of Regency and Victorian England. With it you'll craft a vibrant story while you learn." 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Regency Research - Walking Jane Austen's London

Walking Jane Austen's London, A Tour Guide for The Modern Traveller, by Louise Allen, is a beautifully illustrated gem of a book. Even if you will never physically tread in Jane Austen's footsteps it is well worth reading.

"This book presents nine walks through both the London Jane Austen knew and the London of her novels.  Follow in Jane Austen's footsteps to the Prince Regent's vanished palace, see where she stayed when she was correcting the proofs of Sense and Sensibility, accompany her on shopping expeditions. ...etc."

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Regency - Research - Gardens

I have a rough book nearly filled with notes - non-fiction books for research, places of interest to visit including the ones I have been blogging about, websites and much more. Today I began to put them to good use. I reserved some books from the library, ordered some books from Amazon and visited lots of interesting websites. 

When I wrote Sunday's Child I found Regency Gardens by Mavis Batey published by Shire Publications Ltd., very useful.

"Regency architecture and gardening inherited the stylish elegance of the 18th century but added a lively touch, consistent with the mood of the new century and a high-spirited monarch in waiting."   

Monday, 8 July 2013

Regency - Reference Book - Costume

Two of my Regency Novels have been published and I am writing a third. The (out of print) Handbook of English Costume in the Nineteenth Century by C.Willet and Phillis Cunnington interesting and useful.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

5* review of Far Beyond Rubies

Far Above Rubies has received five star reviews, one of which is as follows:-

“Hot Hero, Great Research, Touch of the Exotic, 24 Mar 2013


J. Pittam "Maythorn. "This review is from: Far Beyond Rubies (Kindle Edition)

It was great to see that there's a new Rosemary Morris out. I like her exquisite attention to detail, and she writes in the reign of Queen Anne, which is something a bit different from the usual Regency romance. In this new book, which I have to admit I raced through and will now read again, the heroine Juliana is stunned to discover that, according to her half-brother William, she and her sister are bastards.

The tale of how Gervaise Seymour helps her, how she helps herself, her sister and her various strays is quite enchanting.

Rosemary uses her knowledge of India, very pertinent in this period, to bring a spice of something different to this novel. Her 'tanned hero' is no pallid, painted Englishman but one who has travelled, married and been widowed on that exotic continent, thus earning himself the nickname 'Beau Hindu' amongst the fashionable in London.

This novel is not a light book, as it contains research into the politics, religion and morality of the reign of Queen Anne. However the research informs the novel quite naturally and I found this to be a lovely, sparkling romance. It is somewhat in the style of the late Georgette Heyer, although I think after four novels Rosemary Morris is developing a voice of her own.

Suitable for those who like a cracking good historical romance set in England, wll-researched, sensual but no explicit sex.”


Unusual Historicals

I'm delighted to have been invited to be featured at Lisa Yarde's group, Unusual Historical

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Book Covers

This afternoon, I attended an interesting talk by Jane-Dixon Smith at the London Chapter meeting of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Her websites are well-worth visiting.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Writing - planning and plotting.

I am writing the Monday's Child set pre the Battle of Waterloo. It is the sequel to my novel Sunday's Child set in England in 1813, which is published by MuseItupPublishing.

Today, I took time out from writing to think about the novel. While doing so I made lettuce and pea soup.

My home grown Little Gem lettuces had bolted and the leaves were bitter so I stripped off the leaves.

The recipe is as follows:-
2 tablespoons of olive oil.
1 sliced leek
Leaves from 3 Little Gem or other lettuces.
Half a pound of peas.
One and a half pints of vegetable stock.
Salt and pepper to taste.
2 generous tablespoons of cream.

Fry the leek add all the ingredients except for the salt, pepper and cream. Bring to the boil then simmer until the lettuce is cooked. Tip it into a blender and liquidise. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the cream. Delicious.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Museums Relevant to the Regency

I've come to the end of my personal list of museums relevant to the Regency, but I'm sure there is much more to be found. Visits to the British Museum and art galleries would probably be worthwhile.