Hollandaise Sauce in the Regency

Eggs Benedict is one of my favorite breakfast dishes of all time. Sadly, Regency characters cannot enjoy that delicious dish, since it was not invented until the 1860s, in New York City. Or can they? As far as I am concerned, that which makes Eggs Benedict so scrumptious is the Hollandaise sauce which is spooned over the eggs and ham nestled on their muffins. And Hollandaise sauce did exist during the Regency, though it was not yet widely known in Britain.

A brief history of Hollandaise sauce . . .

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For Love or Death:   Locket Rings

Locket rings had been in use for more than two hundred years before the Regency began. But the purposes of those special, often secretive rings had evolved over the course of those two centuries so that, by the Regency, they were more likely to be associated with love than with death. Locket rings hold so much potential for use in a Regency romance that Regency authors must most certainly be made aware of them and their various properties.

Locket rings to the Regency . . .

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Andrew Robertson:   Miniature Painting Innovator

By the Regency, Andrew Robertson was one of the most prominent painters of miniature portraits in all of Britain. This was due in large part to the fact that he painted in a style very different from the majority of the miniaturists who had come before him. His distinctive portrait style was enhanced because he had developed a new formula for his paint which enabled him to capture his subjects with more realism and with deeper, richer colors. Though some people still preferred miniature portraits in the old style, there were many who found Robertson’s miniature portraits much more compelling.

How Andrew Robertson transformed miniature portraiture . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Grand Banquet at the Brighton Pavilion

Two hundred years ago, this month, at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, the great French chef, Antonin Carême, devised one of the grandest banquets of all time. This meal was so extraordinary that it has gone down in history as an event on a par with Tigellinus’ Roman orgy for Nero (64 A.D.), the Field of Cloth of Gold (1520) and the Medici wedding celebration in Florence (1600). However, Carême’s meal was more than just vast quantities of lavish delicacies, it was a combination of art and theatre on a scale which would seldom again be seen on the dining tables of England.

Carême’s Brighton banquet . . .

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Regency Rookeries

Avid readers of Regency romance novels may well have read a scene or two set in a "rookery," or, at the very least, found a reference to such a place in one or more stories. But what exactly was a rookery, how did they get their name and what was life like in such areas during our favorite period?

Rookeries during the Regency . . .

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Regency Bicentennial:   An Improved History and Description of the Tower of London

Last week, I wrote about the Horse Armoury at the Tower of London. However, there were several other attractions at the Tower of London during that time which might be of interest to a Regency author. And what could be more useful to Regency authors than an actual Regency-era guidebook to the Tower of London? Such a guidebook was published two hundred years ago, this year, and a copy is available online.

The 1817 edition of An Improved History and Description of the Tower of London . . .

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The Horse Armoury at the Tower of London

Not long after its construction in the Middle Ages, the Tower of London became the principal official manufactory of armour for the Kings of England, and their trusty steeds. The armourers there continued to produce armour for several centuries. When the English Kings, and their horses, left off wearing armour, the armouries in the Tower of London became first storage, and then display areas for all of that magnificent royal armour. Thus, the armour collection held and displayed in the Tower of London makes it the very first museum in Britain. When the Regency began, that museum was already more than 150 years old, and was still open to the public. It continues as a museum even to this day. One of the most popular armouries in the Tower of London during the Regency was the Horse Armoury, including its stately "Line of Kings."

The Horse Armoury and the Line of Kings during the Regency . . .

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