Eleven years and one day ago, I posted the first article for The Regency Redingote here. Earlier this year, I retired and I have decided that this is an auspicious day on which to retire The Regency Redingote. This will be the last post for this blog, it is now permanently closed and no more articles will be posted. However, The Regency Redingote will be left online as a reference archive for anyone who might find the articles here of value as they pursue their own research into our favorite decade. Or wish to peruse them for their own edification.
The option to comment on articles posted here will remain available through the end of this month. I will respond to any comments posted during that period, as time permits, though it may not be daily. After 1 September 2019, commenting for all articles here will be turned off permanently.
I would like to thank all of you who have visited here over the years to add your courteous comments to the discussions of the various snippets of Regency history about which I have written. I wish you all many happy hours reading Regency romances, and/or the history of our favorite decade.
Posted in About
Tagged Regency, Writing
This document flitted across my research radar nearly ten years ago, mentioned in a footnote in one of those superior books on the history of jewelery written by Diana Scarisbrick. She very kindly noted where the document was archived, and I was delighted to discover that it was held in an academic library in the greater Boston area, only a few miles from my home. However, due to a number of circumstances beyond my control, it was only recently that I finally had the opportunity to visit the special collections room of that library and view this fascinating piece of first-hand Regency history.
When George Fox worked at Rundell, Bridge and Rundell . . .
Even before the Regency began, these redolent objects were carried by a great many ladies, and even a few gentlemen. Fortunately, by the beginning of our favorite decade, they had become much smaller than had been necessary in previous centuries. Even better, a number of clever craftsmen had also developed the skill to create some truly unique and distinctive objects which often hid other delightful and charming features, beyond the obvious purpose of these little boxes. There are many ways in which a Regency author might use a vinaigrette to add a hint of sweetness or spice to a story of romance set in our favorite decade.
Vinaigrettes though the Regency . . .
It was the English who first liberated furniture from the walls of their rooms. However, by the time the Prince of Wales became Regent, most people in other countries, both on the Continent and in America, had done the same. Nevertheless, there were at least a few people who lived in Britain during our favorite period who preferred the old way of furniture arrangement. In fact, one of Jane Austen’s most memorable, if least likable, characters held to the old way of furniture arrangement in her home, much to the discomfiture of the majority of her guests. An author of a romance set in the Regency may wish to employ this old-fashioned custom in a scene or two between a few of their characters.
When furniture moved into the middle of the room . . .
The first time I saw a fore-edge painting was as a freshman, on an orientation tour of the rare book collection of my college library. I love books and art, so I was thoroughly entranced by the combination, particularly since the paintings I saw were hidden and could be revealed only to those who knew the secret. In the years since I learned of the existence of fore-edge painting, I have continued to seek them in most of the libraries and book shops I have had occasion to visit. What might be called the golden age of the art of fore-edge painting occurred in Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and thus was in full swing during our favorite decade. That is why this delightful art form merits discussion here. Once they know about fore-edge paintings, will any Regency author be able to resist gifting at least one of her characters with one, or more, books which are so adorned?
Fore-edge paintings through the Regency . . .
Women have been doing various kinds of needlework for millenia. Initially, most of that work was utilitarian, primarily making and mending clothing and household textiles. But as the centuries progressed, more and more women, particularly ladies of the upper classes, began to enjoy a number of different needlework techniques as a form of recreation and a means of creative expression. It was only natural that those ladies would want a place to keep their needlework safe, clean and readily at hand. By the Regency, most avid needleworkers had acquired a special table in which they could secure and protect their current needlework project. Such tables might offer a number of different options by which to embroider a tale of romance set in our favorite decade.
Of work and "pouch" tables through the Regency . . .
There is no mistake in the title of this article. Trial by combat was quite legal in Britain, until the last full year of the Regency. Essentially, trial by combat was a type of duel which was sanctioned by the courts, as had been the case since the Middle Ages. In Britain, this practice was not officially abolished until two hundred years ago, this month, when Parliament took up the issue, at the request of the Attorney General for England and Wales. A Regency author might find inspiration in any or all of the aspects of this situation for an upcoming story of romance.
The abolition of trial by combat . . .