Category Archive: Regency Life

Apr 18 2017

Taxed, smuggled and adulterated: Tea in Britain

“Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea.”~Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Barnaby Rudge   Since its popular introduction by Catherine of Braganza, in 1662, tea in Britain was an expensive commodity It was so expensive it was usually kept under lock and key, protected from pilfering by the servants. Both the cupboards and the tea caddies …

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Apr 04 2017

Hardwicke Marriage Act in Jane Austen’s World

The Hardwicke Marriage Act laid out the path to the altar for regency couples Engagements in the regency era were generally brief, often only a few weeks long. Why the hurry? Since premarital sex was common and the birth of illegitimate children problematic for inheritance, parents preferred to see couples married sooner rather than later. Reading the banns or …

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Mar 21 2017

Dangerous, even deadly: Teething in Jane Austen’s World

 Anyone who has dealt with young children knows the misery teething can bring, not just to the baby, but the entire household. Modern parents expect teething to begin at about five months, ushering in fussiness, sleep disruption and drooling, but nothing more difficult or dangerous than that. Twenty four hundred years ago, though, Hippocrates warned …

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Mar 04 2017

Regency Medicine: Betwixt and Between by Kyra Cornelius Kramer

I’d like to welcome Kyra Kramer today as she shares a fascinating article on Regency Medicine and how it was more medieval than modern. There would be significant changes in health care in the later decades of the 1800s, with the emergence of germ theory producing biomedicine as we would recognize it by the Edwardian age. …

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Feb 21 2017

Providing for young ladies’ future in Jane Austen’s World

How did dowries provide for a young woman’s future? A Woman’s Dowry Though Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Bennet referred to dowries as “bribes to worthless young men to marry his daughters,” dowries were more commonly considered a means by which a responsible family compensated a husband for their daughter’s lifelong upkeep. How’s that for a romantic notion?  Dowries …

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