Category Archives: Oddments

Curious Tales which Defy Categorization

The Tooth Mouse — Regency Tooth Fairy

Or Tooth Rat, or even Tooth Squirrel.     Depending upon where you lived. Should a child loose one of their baby teeth during the Regency, there was as yet no tooth fairy to whisk it from under their pillow during … Continue reading

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1813:   The Year in Review

And the great fog. (More of this anon.) The end of yet another year is upon us, and two hundred years ago, so too was the end of the third year of the English Regency. The year 1813 saw an … Continue reading

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"Salads of Many Herbs" — Zibaldone in the Regency

Despite the title, this article has very little to do with salads, herbs or greens of any kind. Zibaldone is actually translated as "hotchpotch," and for centuries it was the Italian word for what were known as commonplace books in … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The "Scum of the Earth" Enrages Wellington

Today marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Vitoria, during which General the Marquess of Wellington led his troops to victory over the forces of Napoleon’s eldest brother, Joseph Bonaparte, puppet King of Spain. Wellington’s victory destroyed Napoleonic control … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   Prinny and the Head of Charles I

At about two o’clock in the afternoon, on Tuesday, 30 January 1649, King Charles I stepped through the northern-most second-storey window of the Banqueting House in Whitehall, from which the window frame had been removed, onto a scaffold which had … Continue reading

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Love Symbols of the Regency

With the approach of Valentine’s Day next week, it seems an appropriate time to discuss the various symbols which were emblematic of love and fidelity during the Regency. Some of those symbols are still recognized as appropriate for those same … Continue reading

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1812:   The Year in Review

This year marks the bicentennial of the second year of the English Regency. It was a momentous year for both the Regent and the country over which he ruled for his ailing father, King George III. Though there were some … Continue reading

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Transparencies for Celebratory Illuminations

Though we take it for granted today, light has been an important commodity in nearly every culture throughout history. It was especially important to those living in northern lands, like England, which are far away from the equator. Yes, they … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial: Wellington Whoops with Delight and Turns the French Tide

This coming Sunday marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the decisive battle in the Peninsula by which was broken the iron grip that Napoleon had held on Spain. Known as the Battle of Salamanca, though it did not completely rout the … Continue reading

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1811:   The Year in Review

Many of the news programs have devoted time during their broadcasts this week to reviews of various aspects of the past year. Since this rapidly-ending year marks the bicentennial of the beginning of the Regency in England, I thought it … Continue reading

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Snow in the Regency

Even though Christmas is still a month away, it is not too early to discuss snow, since here in New England we had "appreciable" snowfall across most of the area just before Halloween. (And if that is the last flake … Continue reading

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How a Tiny Fraction of an Inch Saved Millions of Lives

The fraction was 5/16 of an inch, the lives saved were those of bees, honey bees. Literally millions and millions of bees were saved by this little space, which came to be known as "bee space." The value of this … Continue reading

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Silk to Silicon:   How French Weaving Created Computer Commands

Truth, as usual, is always stranger than fiction. The machines that wove all those lovely French silks which were so often smuggled into England during the war with Napoleon did indeed provide the key to issuing commands to computers shortly … Continue reading

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Mutant Regency Squirrels!

Or not?      Mostly, not. This past weekend, I read the fourth or fifth Regency novel in the last few years in which a scratching or rustling noise intrudes upon a clandestine meeting or stealthy activity in which the hero and … Continue reading

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Of Lodestones & Smith’s Dust

Stones and dust hardly seem the things of romance. And yet the behaviour of these particular stones and this special "dust" is frequently used as a metaphor for the power of romantic attraction. However, that may not be immediately obvious … Continue reading

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Minutes Didn’t Matter in the Regency

Really! Hardly anyone in the Regency cared about minutes. Nor had anyone, anywhere, cared about these small measurements of time, throughout all of time, until just a few short years after the death of George IV, the erstwhile Prince Regent. … Continue reading

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The Two Calendars of the Regency

Strangely enough, there were two calendars in use across the globe during the decade of the Regency. Though most of the world had adopted the Gregorian calendar, there were still some countries, Russia included, which had refused to give up … Continue reading

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