Category Archive: Regency Life

May 16 2017

Wedding Dresses in Jane Austen’s World

Though nearly all of Jane Austen’s works end with a wedding, she does not spend much time detailing the weddings themselves, much less the wedding dresses. Modern brides often spend a great deal of effort and money on the wedding dress and expect to wear it only once. Honestly, it is hard to imagine another …

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May 09 2017

The Shocking Lyrics of Lavender’s Blue

Sometimes you run into some really interesting bits when you fall down the research rabbit hole. Not infrequently, the delicious little tidbits don’t fit the story you’re trying to write, but they deserve to be shared nonetheless. Here’s the latest offering. So, picture the scene: I was just minding my own business, looking for a …

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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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