The English Festivals by Laurence Whistler

This book was actually written more than seventy years ago, but fortunately, it has recently been republished, with a new a new Foreword. Even more fortunately, a copy was given to me as a gift and, though it is not specifically focused on the Regency, or even the Georgian period, it has been a delight to read and it certainly has informed my understanding of the ancient holidays of England. For that reason, I believe that many authors of stories set in the Regency will want to be aware of this charming history of England’s cyclical calendar of holidays, as they may find within it historical details with which they can embellish their tales.

A glimpse into The English Festivals by Laurence Whistler . . .

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Sabrina Sidney Bicknell:   Bespoke Wife?

Yet another instance of truth being stranger than fiction is the life of Sabrina Sidney Bicknell. Though the most extraordinary events in this young woman’s life occurred before the turn of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Bicknell was still living during the Regency. And, even before the Prince of Wales became Regent, Mrs. Bicknell’s story had been published, much to her chagrin and that of her children, so many people living during the Regency knew something about how she was treated in her early years. Nevertheless, she persevered against great difficulties and went on to live a long and productive, if rather retired, life.

The singular life of Sabrina Sidney Bicknell . . .

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When Transferware Came Into Its Own

Transferware is a type of ceramics which have been ornamented by transfer printing. That was a method for decorating ceramics which was invented in England during middle of the eighteenth century. However, the popularity of transferware began to increase significantly during the second half of the Regency. Curiously, transfer printing was first developed as a cheap method by which to imitate Chinese imports. However, in the years after Waterloo, the focus turned to indigenous British designs and those designs found great favor with a wide range of people, both across the country and abroad. Transferware pieces would have been found in many homes all over Britain during the Regency. Authors setting stories in that period may want to know the specific particulars about transferware before the Regent became king.

Transferware through the Regency . . .

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Of Taw, or Marbles, Through the Regency

Games played using small spheres have been in existence for centuries. Such games were also played in many parts of Britain during the Regency. Games of marbles are still played around the world, even today. However, there have been some changes in the types of marbles used to play these games since the early nineteenth century. Regency authors who wish to include a game or two of marbles in one of their stories may like to have some of the details about the game of marbles during our favorite period. Romance authors may also be intrigued to learn that there is a tale of romance bound up in the history of the first competitive marble tournament in England.

A brief look at marbles through the Regency . . .

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Your Most Obedient Servant

This is a remarkable and charming little book which I was thoroughly delighted to find on the shelves of one of my favorite local used book stores. My discovery was completely serendipitous, since I had previously been quite unaware of it. Even more so, since my discovery mirrored that of the manuscript on which this book is based. Those who are interested in the Regency, the Peninsular Wars, the Battle of Waterloo or the Duke of Wellington may well want to read it, if not acquire their own copy. The fact that the manuscript on which this book is based survived into the twentieth century is just as remarkable as the story it tells.

Why Your Most Obedient Servant is so special . . .

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Cat Keeping in the Regency

Domestic cats have been sharing the lives of humans for centuries, and they certainly did so during the Regency. But the life of a cat during our favorite decade was rather different than that of a cat in the early twenty-first century. So was the attitude of most humans toward these often solitary and seemingly mysterious creatures during the Regency. For Regency authors who might want to allow one of their characters to keep a cat in an upcoming story, some details on cat-keeping in the early nineteenth century might be useful.

Domestic cats and their care during the Regency . . .

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The Dorset Button

Not only did Dorset buttons hold a wide array of garments together, these tiny works of needle art also helped to hold together many families in Dorsetshire, right through the decade of the Regency. Though this type of button originated almost four hundred years ago, and fell mostly out of fashion early in the last century, that same button type is still made and used today. In fact, many of you may have Dorset buttons on one or more of your own garments. Perhaps the needleworkers among you may even make your own Dorset buttons.

The buttons of Dorset through the Regency . . .

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