Elizabeth’s Commonplace Book of Dragons

Elizabeth's Every Day Book of DragonsDuring the Regency Era, women kept journals called commonplace books where they recorded things they wanted to save. Not entirely unlike a Regency era pinterest account if you think about it. Recipes, called receipts then, advice, pretty verses to use in letters, sketches and drawings, and their own thoughts and experiences filled the pages.

If a young Elizabeth Bennet grew up hearing and interacting with dragons, no doubt that would be reflected in her own commonplace book. So here is a peek into her world, her commonplace book of dragon experiences.  If you missed the start of grown up Elizabeth’s adventure with dragons, check out this post .

April 1801

Mama says I am now a big enough girl to have an commonplace book. She says I am to write down important things like passages from conduct books, pretty phrases for letters I will write some day and receipts for dishes my future husband might one day like to eat.

I know all these things are important, and I will be a good girl and do as I am told. I shall record all those things in the pretty red volume she gave to me on my birthday. But I shall reserve this book for those things I think are important.

What could be more important than dragons?

I cannot talk with Mama or Jane about them. Papa says Mary hears them too, but we can only talk of them when he is with us. So, I shall satisfy my desires to speak of them here. This will be my every day book of dragons.

Rustle, Uncle Gardiner’s cockatrice is ever so nice, even if he can be a bit cranky at times. I think it is because his scale mites itch. Perhaps there is a salve that would help. I will ask Papa for permission to read in his dragon lore books to find such a remedy.

Today, Papa took me into the woods. He showed me where Longbourn lives. I cannot wait until I am allowed to meet him. Papa want me to wait though as he does not want me to be frightened by Longbourn. Wyverns are fearsome creatures I am to understand. But, I am sure I shall not be. My courage always rises with any attempt to intimidate me.

Oh, I like that thought. I shall have to remember that for the future. What a good idea it is to write these things down!

While we were in the woods, Papa took me to where the old tatzelworm lives. His name is Rumblkins. From the front he looks like a furry striped cat. His toes are so funny. He has extras that look like thumbs. His snake-tail is very long. Papa said I must not step on it. I almost did when Rumblkins rubbed my ankles and purred. He purrs so loud. I wish he lived at the house. It would be nice to have a companion dragon there. But since Mama is dragon-deaf, Papa does not regard it a good idea.signature dragon

Maybe someday.

What would it be like to have a whole house full of dragons? I can hardly think of anything nicer. A tatzelworm, or maybe two by the fire, sleeping in their nice warm baskets. A cockatrice on a perch amongst the chair. Fairy dragons sharing my room, in a little white cage so Mama would think them birds. She would never notice it opened from the inside.

I thought I heard fairy dragons in the trees near where we saw Rumblkins. Perhaps, if I ask, Papa  will let me go back tomorrow. I know they are wild, but perhaps they would not mind me watching them.



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  1. I love this. The voice of a young girl writing candidly to herself. It is reminiscent of Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book.

    1. Thanks so much Earnie!

  2. I’ve heard of commonplace books, but not everyday books. They seem to serve the same function, anyway. The place where I work as an online teacher to homeschooled families, Brave Writer, mentions commonplace books based on the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason who lived and taught small cottage schools in the Lake District. I have kept a commonplace book since 2001; I’m well into the second volume now. No recipes are there–but there are some awesome song lyrics, LOL!

    I can’t wait to read more about your dragon series!! Love it!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂

    1. Oops, I’m glad you commented, Susanne. I don’t know where my head was this morning, but I actually meant commonplace books, not every day books. I’ll have to go back and fix that. Thanks for the catch!

      Definitely needed more caffeine in the system before tackling the blog! Hugs!

  3. Still our LIzzie, just younger – and with dragons!

    1. Yep, I thought it would be fun to read her insights as she grew up with them. Thanks, Catherine.

    • tgruy on September 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm
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    What a lovely idea! I have always loved dragon tales! I can’t wait to read this one!

    1. Thanks! I have a huge soft spot for dragons too!

    • Agnes on September 26, 2016 at 4:24 pm
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    How lovely – along with the previous excerpt, of course. I can’t wait to read the whole book!

    1. I hope to compile them all into a book eventually. Thanks, Agnes.

    • Carol hoyt on September 26, 2016 at 5:57 pm
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    Oh my! The excerpts just get better !
    Eager read this series. ….. Do get them written…..fast!

    My best to you and family!!!

    1. I”m taking a couple weeks to catch y breath over the holiday, then will dive right in! Thanks, Carol!

    • Megan on September 26, 2016 at 11:04 pm
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    Love, love love this!!! Can’t wait to read it!!!!

    1. Thanks! I”m having such fun writing it!

    • Carol on November 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm
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    How wonderful! I just got to the part of the book where Lizzy’s written observations were mentioned and praised by her uncle! I’m looking forward to more of her insights on the dragon world! Great job!

    1. Thanks Carol! I’m kind of looking forward to it too!

    • Carole in Canada on November 9, 2016 at 4:11 pm
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    I love reading the thoughts of a very young Elizabeth. Now here’s a companion piece to your dragon book(s)!!!

    1. I’m thrilled to be doing these little vignettes while I’m working on the next book. Thanks, Carole!

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