Of Darning and Darning Notions

Though the stitching technique of darning is no longer practiced as widely today as it was in centuries past, there are still a number of needlewomen who employ that skill in the twenty-first century. Darning has both utilitarian and decorative applications in modern times, just as it did during the Regency. However, since our favorite decade, the sewing notions used for darning have evolved and changed. Authors of tales of romance may be interested in the details of darning and the implements used to do it during the Regency, should one or more of their characters employ that skill during the course of the story.

Of darning and darning notions . . .

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The Evolution of the Clerk of Works

The Clerk of Works was an important position on most construction sites in Regency England, just as it had begun to be in the Middle Ages. But like so many things in this transitional decade at the beginning of the late modern period, that position and the responsibilities which appertained to it were gradually changing, to eventually become standard as the nineteenth century came to a close. But during the Regency, there was a wide latitude in the circumstances of those who held the position, their duties and even their clients, which could vary from project to project. Regency Authors may find the position of Clerk of Works just the thing to suit a character in an upcoming story.

Clerks of Works in Regency England . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Prince Regent Dissolves Parliament

This coming Sunday marks the two hundredth anniversary of the dissolution of the Fifth Imperial Parliament. This was only the second dissolution of Parliament during the Regency and it would be the last during the life of King George III. It was also the first time the monarch had come to the Houses of Parliament in person to dissolve that body in almost a hundred and fifty years. Of course, the Prince Regent made sure his visit was surrounded with as much pomp and circumstance as possible and there were a number of important personages who viewed the spectacle from the gallery.

When the Prince Regent dissolved Parliament . . .

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Of Fausses Montres, or Dummy Watches

Curious as it may seem, there was a fashion in England for wearing fake or dummy watches which began in the late eighteenth century and that fashion contined into the latter half of the nineteenth century. There were quite a few people who followed that fashion during the Regency, both men and women. In addition, there were many false watches which had been worn in the years before the Regency which could still have been found in the accessory drawers and jewel boxes of many homes across Britain during our favorite period. One of these quaint and singular personal objects might be just the thing to incorporate into the plot of a Regency romance.

A brief chronicle of fake watches through the Regency . . .

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Carshalton:   Commercial and Industrial

Last week, I wrote about the rural delights of the countryside around Carshalton village during the Regency. This week, the focus will be on the village itself, and the various commercial and industrial activities which were ongoing in the surrounding area during our favorite period. Though much of the area was pastorally idyllic, a number of businesses were carried on in this village located just ten miles south west of London. Carshalton was a bustling place during the Regency.

Trade and industry in the village of Carshalton . . .

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Carshalton:   Rural and Picturesque

Today, Carshalton is a charming suburb of London, but during the Regency, it was a small, partially commercial village about ten miles south-west of the metropolis. Early nineteenth-century Carshalton offers many options for a Regency author in need of a setting within easy reach of London, whether those needs require an idyllic and bucolic environment, a bustling industrial mill works, or a mix of the two.

Before London swallowed the village of Carshalton . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   Opening Night at the Royal Coburg Theatre

Two hundred years ago, today, a new theatre opened in the Lambeth area of London. Though it is known as the "Old Vic" today, it was originally named after the beloved young Princess of Wales, who, along with her new husband, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, had laid the foundation stone two years earlier, the day construction began. Sadly, Princess Charlotte would not live to attend the first performance at her namesake theatre. Eventually, the theatre was renamed for a German duchess who would marry one of the royal dukes later in that same month of May. Unlike the patent theatres in Regency London, this new theatre was built south, rather than north, of the Thames River.

The founding of the Royal Coburg Theatre . . .

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