Category Archives: Entertainments

Aspects of Entertainments Enjoyed During the Regency

Fore-Edge Painting:   The Very Best Book Secret, Ever!

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 … Continue reading

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The Spanish vs. The English Guitar

During the Regency, two different types of guitar were known in England. Authors, and readers, of Regency romances, may wish to know something of the differences between the two, should they feature in a story sent in our favorite period. … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Grimm’s Fairy Tales for Children

Today, the fairy tales which are published as having been collected by the Brothers Grimm are thought to be quite suitable for everyone. However, the original versions of most of those tales were highly criticized as being very inappropriate for … Continue reading

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Publications of Benjamin Tabart’s Juvenile Library

Last week, I wrote about the close relationship between Sir Richard Phillips and Benjamin Tabart in the children’s book publishing business. This week’s article will focus on some of the most popular of the children’s books published by Tabart & … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Turk Returns to London

Two hundred years ago, a chess-playing automaton returned to London, where it was on exhibit for much of the year. This same automaton, widely known as "The Turk," had already been displayed in England, thirty-five years before. However, a few … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:  Gaslight Makes Its Debut on the London Stage

This coming Sunday marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the first instance in which gaslight was used to light the stage of one of London’s legitimate theatres. A non-patent theatre had been fully lit with gas, including its stage, the year … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   "Russian Mountains" Come to Paris

Those of you who speak French, or any one of several other Romance languages spoken in Europe, may have already guessed the topic of this article, since the term "Russian mountains" is still used to refer to this thrilling form … Continue reading

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Of Bilbo-catch and Bilbo Catchers

      ". . . just a family party, for those who don’t care a straw for fashionable squeezes, but like to spend a cozy evening playing Jackstraws, or Bilbo-catch, or Speculation — . . . " Chapter 12 of Frederica … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Before the Paperback:   Charles Whittingham & The Chiswick Press

The paperback book as we know it today came into common use during the twentieth century. However, there was a forward-thinking publisher who established his own press during the Regency which produced inexpensive editions of books which were considered classics … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Dog Follows the Cat of Sentiment

It was just two centuries ago that the children’s book, Cato, or Interesting Adventures of A Dog of Sentiment was published in London. And "Cato" the dog followed "Felissa," who happened to have been a "Kitten of Sentiment." Both books … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The British Museum Discovers Britain

Well, it was not exactly the country that the officials of the British Museum discovered. They had always known where it was. But for more than half a century, they had mostly ignored its stuff. The British Museum was founded … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Britain Acquires the Elgin Marbles

Two hundred years ago today, an order was issued, by the authority of the British Parliament, to procure a warrant from the Prince Regent for the payment of £35,000. This sum was to be paid to Lord Elgin, for the … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Horror at Villa Diodati

"It was a dark and stormy night . . . "   Is that not the quintessential opening line of a horror story? But in this case, it had been a dark and stormy summer, for two hundred years ago, … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   First Publication of Emma

Two hundred years ago, this coming Wednesday, Jane Austen’s novel, Emma was published. Though it was not the last of her novels which would go to press, it was the last she would see published in her lifetime. The heroine … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Edinburgh Scoops London

This article is yet another in my ongoing series on panoramas. Several of those articles were devoted to the first panorama in London, Robert Barker’s purpose-built rotunda in Leicester Square. Barker learned early on that the public would flock to … Continue reading

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