Wednesday, 14 August 2013

From My Bookcase

Following the Drum - The Lives of Army Wives and Daughters Past and Present by Annabel Venning.

"Scanning four Centuries from the 1660's to the present day. Following the Drum tells the stories of wives, daughters and mistresses of the British army who followed their military menfolk to some of the most treacherous places in the world."

Annabel Vennings tells "of women taken captive, or forced to become fugitives in enemy territory; of women who endured long marches and harsh sieges; women who chose to follow their men onto the battlefield itself; women who had to give birth to the sound of canon fire and then march on minutes later; women who found themselves widowed and alone in a strange land; and of women who struggled to keep themselves and their families alive as the world they knew disintegrated around them."

A fascinating read, I glanced through the book and can't resist re-reading it.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Radish Pickle

Trying to be super-disciplined. Finished writing at 10 a.m. and got on in the garden. Some radish plants had formed seed pods. Hmm, I thought, I bet I can do something with them, so I googled radish seed pod pickles, found a recipe and followed it, however I replaced the chillies with mustard. Now I'll give the pickle time to mature and then taste it with interest. Next project is to pickle peppery nasturtium seeds and to make lemonade, some of which I'll use to make ice lollies.

From my Bookcase

The third publication I had forgotten I own is Waterloo A Guide to the Battlefield, The Official Guide of the Waterloo Committee published by Pitkin. It is informative with illustrations in colour. The guide book was written by the late David Howard who, according to His Grace the Duke of Wellington at the time of publication, " A Near Run Thing is certainly one of the most exciting accounts of the battle I have ever read."

Monday, 12 August 2013

From my Bookcase

Another 40 page long book I had forgotten I bought is one of the Men-At-Arms-Series (No.130) Wellington's Heavy Cavalry by Bryan Fosten, published by Osprey Military. There is a lot of useful information and it contains many black and white illustrations as well as coloured ones.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Men-At-Arms Series 126

I should catalogue my small but useful collection of non-fiction. Recently, I visited the National Army Museum in search of information. (At the moment I am researching British Hussar Regiments in the late 18th and early 19th century for my new novel, Monday's Child, the sequel to Sunday's Child published as an e-book.) Anyway, while removing a book from the shelf I found Wellington's Light Cavalry No.126 in the Men-At-Arms-Series by Bryan Fosten published by Osprey. I bought this informative book with many illustrations of uniforms and equipment ages ago and had forgotten about it. That's why I need to make a list of my books.

Friday, 9 August 2013

From My Bookshelf

Redcoat - The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket by Richard Holmes is an interesting addition to my library.

 'Wonderful ...Not just a work of history - but of enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge.' Bernard Cornwell.

'Redcoat is the story of the British soldier from the Seven Year War through to the Mutiny and Crimea. It is consistently entertaining, full of brilliantly chosen anecdotes, and rattles along at a good light infantry pace.' David Crane. Spectator Books of the Year.

From my bookcase Wellington's...

Amongst other books I am reading Wellington's Peninsular War Generals & Their Battles. A Biographical and Historical Dictionary by T. A. Heathcote.

The book "covers the lives of forty-one of the best known divisional commanders, principal staff officers and heads of supporting arms and services in Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese army which famously halted Napoleon's previously invincible eagles and forced them back into France..."

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Home Grown Vegetables

Home grown vegetables for lunch today. New potatoes with parsley sauce, Swiss Chard dressed with powdered sesame seeds and vinegar and runner beans. Delicious.

English Costume for Sports and Outdoor Recreation.

English Costume for Sports and Outdoor Recreation 16th - 19th century by C. Willet and Phillis Cummington is a very interesting book. I don't own a copy but have frequently consulted a copy borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Weeds and Pot Marigolds

The weeds have been growing like crazy, and the Lady's Mantle had finished flowering in a long narrow border, so I weeded and pruned this morning. Must say the pot marigolds look marvellous they are about two and a half feet tall, usually they are only about fifteen inches tall.

Costumes ffor Birth, Marriage and Death

Costumes for Births Marriage and Death by P.E.Cunnington and Catherine Lucas from the 11th century to 1914.  In the past I have consulted this book which is informative and interesting.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Costume - Household Servants -11th - 19th Century

Costume of Household Servants by P.E. Cunnington.

I don't own a copy of this book, but I have consulted and read it for pleasure in the past, and found it interesting and useful.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century

Here are two more snippets from the Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century by C. Willet and Phillis Cunnington.


'My dress at Court was a white satin petticoat with a patent net drapery - gold Brussels and fringe - gown; and train of green velvet ornamented with gold; headdress of seven white ostrich feathers and diamonds.' 1813. Journals of Mrs Calvert.


'a robe of real Brussels point lace over white satin...cottage bonnet of Brussels lace with two ostrich feathers; she wore a deep lace veil and a white satin pelisse trimmed with swansdown. The dress cost seven thousand guineas, the bonnet 150 and the veil 200.' 1812. The Ipswich Journal.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

National Army Museum, Chelsea, London

Yesterday, I visited the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London and made loads of notes for the sequels to Sunday's Child set in the Regency era. I also visited the research centre. The staff were very helpful and found books for me to consult. A very happy day.

Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century

Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century by C.Willet and Phillis Cunnington contains detailed descriptions of fabrics, gentlemen's and ladies' clothes and accessories.

For example: "Waistcoats: Materials: Striped Marcella, buff kerseymere, striped Valencia, casimere, swansdown, jean.

Throughout the two decades the back could be drawn in by means of one or two pairs of tapes or (rare) midline lacing.

Pockets sometimes absent, otherwise two horizontal c 5" wide, welted, containing the snuff-box, the watch being carried in the fob.

The lining and back usually twilled cotton, occasionally silk; the canvas of the eighteenth century no longer use.


'white, green buff with blue or black stripes wide asunder; blue striped twill jean manufactured expressly for the waistcoats and trousers of men of fashion. 1810 Ackermann's Repository."

Thursday, 1 August 2013