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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Before Vanilla:   Rose Water in the Regency

Some time ago, I wrote an article about the uses and applications of orange flower water during the Regency. It was one of the most popular ingredients used in cooking, medicines and perfumes in that decade, second only to rose water. So, it seems it is about time that the focus was turned on the uses of rose water during our favorite period. As with a number of other things which have been discussed in articles here, the Regency was something of a watershed between the popularity of rose water as a flavoring in food, and the just emerging, and much more exotic flavoring, vanilla.

Rose water during the Regency . . .

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Regent Street:   A Mile of Style by Hermione Hobhouse

Over the years, several bibliographic references to this book have crossed my path, increasingly piquing my curiosity and my desire to read it. My local library has a copy of the first edition, but it is in storage and the lengthy process required to get hold of that copy was more daunting than I was willing to endure. Recently, I was able to acquire a used copy of the second edition, in very good condition and at a price that did not break the budget. Though it is a thoroughly researched and well-written book, with a nice selection of illustrations, not all students of the Regency period may feel it necessary to add this volume to their library. I am hoping this review will help them to make their decision.

The Regency parts of Regent Street:   A Mile of Style . . .

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The Dandy Chargers — 2018 Riding Season

Those intrepid Dandy Chargers will embark on their eighteenth year of appearances in Regency dress, riding their Regency-era hobby horses. Those are the delightful vehicles which were also known as draisiennes, velocipedes, dandy horses and pedestrian curricles during our favorite period. Last year, the Dandy Chargers celebrated the bicentennial of the invention of the velocipede in Germany. This year, they will celebrate the bicentennial of the construction of the first dandy horses in England, at the very place where those first two-wheeled vehicles were made. They will also be making appearances at other Regency-themed events in Britain this summer.

Where to find the Dandy Chargers in 2018 . . .

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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 tweaks had been made to the machine since its last tour of Britain. More importantly, there was a whole new generation of people in Britain who had never seen The Turk. One of those people was inspired to create what is now considered to be the first mechanical computer. To help increase the public’s interest, the owner of The Turk had a few other mechanical contraptions which were included in his exhibition. A visit to The Turk might make for an amusing or engaging scene in a Regency romance.

A brief history of The Turk and its 1818 return to London . . .

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