Monday, April 20, 2015

Regency Fashion April 1815

Morning Gown
Ackermann's April 1815

I loved the addition of the parrot to this picture. And the description contains a word that jumped out at me:

A loose robe of fine cambric or worked jaconet muslin, over a petticoat of the same, flounced with French trimming; long full sleeve, confined at the wrist with treble drawings, and ornamented with corresponding trimming. 

The robe, or negligée of demi-length, is confined at the top by a narrow collar, or gathered into a Vandyke ruff, and is worn with a coloured silk handkerchief, tied carelessly round the neck, and is fastened down the front with bows and tassels. 

A mob cap, composed of net and Brussels lace, decorated with a cluster of flowers, and bows of satin ribbon. 

Hair curled in the neck. 

Slippers or sandals of pale tan-coloured kid. Gloves en suite.

Negligée, translated as robe, to me means night attire, as in bedroom attire, so I was interested to see the use of it in this context.  I also really liked the demi-length of it and was interested to see that is described as being over a petticoat, rather than a gown. Definitely something I will want to use in a story.

Talk about using fashion in stories my new release The Duke's Daring Debutante has several gowns inspired by this blog. I will give you a preview next time.

Coming soon and available for preorder, The Duke's Daring Debutante

Until next time .......

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lullworth Castle 5

One of the interesting things about Lullworth is its connection to the Prince of Wales. A slight tenuous it is true.

The Welds, the owners of Lullworth were staunch Roman Catholics and suffered much for their preferred religion, coming under suspicion whenever the issue of Catholicism or when the Stewarts were trying to reclaim the British throne. All Catholics were barred from holding public office.

After a childless first marriage,  Edward Weld's second wife was the beautiful seventeen-year-old Maria Smythe. Regency buffs will know that he died from injuries suffered from fall from his horse one month after his marriage. So very sad.

Maria, and was left destitute, because there was no will - how could her parents not have seen to this I ask myself? She married again - a Mr Fitzherbert.

Yes, she is indeed Maria Fitzherbert, who later illegally married the Prince Regent. Her marriage was never recognized.

And there we have the connection.  I think the Weld family were wrong not to support Edward's widow, don't you?

Until next time.....

Monday, April 6, 2015

Regency Fashion April 1815

What does the Spring of 1815 have in store for us. We know that Napoleon having left Elba has established himself in Paris, but what were the ladies wearing in London

Evening Dress Ackermann's for April 1815

WHITE satin petticoat, richly ornamented at the feet with white satin trimming; a deep flounce of blond lace, gathered full into a narrow heading of corresponding trimming, and tastefully laid on in festoons above the lower border;
a body of white satin; plain fronts open to a point in the centre of the waist; the back to correspond, very narrow on the shoulder, and the neck exposed; the body trimmed entirely round the top with a full plaiting of blond lace; short full sleeves, ornamented with satin trimming, corresponding with the bottom of the dress; the waist very short. 
Hat composed of white satin; narrow turban front, ornamented with a full plume of ostrich feathers. 
Necklace and cross of satin bead or pearl; ear-drops and armlets to correspond. 
Grecian scarf, or shawl, a pale buff colour, embroidered with shaded morone silk, in Grecian characters, and fancifully disposed on the figure. 
Plain silk stockings, with laced clocks. Slippers of buff satin or kid, trimmed with silver. White gloves of French kid, drawn over the elbow. Fan of carved ivory or sandal wood.

This is quite the lovely outfit and very much in what we think of Regency style I think.  This is one of the few times I recall the mention of stockings with clocks, so I thought that was very interesting.

Until next time…..

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lullworth Castle 4

We continue our tour.
 To give you a feel for the house in its grandeur, here is the door out to the park

This picture shows the grand cantilevered staircase rising to the first floor, built in 1780's and in use during our period of the Regency.
And here it is today.  Gosh, I did so want to explore that arched corridor. Alas, no stairs.

During the Regency, the following events took place at Lullworth.  The owner, Thomas Weld died and his son, also names Thomas, inherited the castle.  He did not live here.

From 1816 to 1826 the castle was let to some illustrious tenants.  The Barings, Robert Peel (of policeforce fame) and the Duke of Gloucester.

During this time Nelson won the battle of Trafalgar and Wellington defeated Napoleon.

There is a gem on this estate that I am keeping as a little secret, until next time.....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Regency Fashion ~ March 1815

 From Ackermann's for March 1815 we have this lovely gown and spencer described as follows:

    A petticoat of fine jaconet muslin, ornamented at the feet with a flounce laid on, appliqued with borders of needle-work.

 French spencer, of striped muslin; long loose sleeve, confined at the wrist with a bracelet; high military collar—collar and fronts trimmed with lace; short sash of lilac sarsnet tied in front. 

A melon cap, composed of lace and lilac ribbon, confined in bows upon the crown.

 Half-boots or sandals, lilac kid. Gloves, Limerick or French kid.

 For the fashions for this month we are again indebted to the tasteful and elegant designs of Mrs. Bean of Albemarle-street.

I enjoyed the description of the hat as a melon cap, but for a change I quite like it. I would have liked the colour lilac to have showed more in the picture, but I imagine that the lacy ruffles made the gown seem very light and airy and feminine. I had a blouse something like the spencer that I used to wear under a jacket. It was one of my favourites.

Until next time

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lullworth Castle 3

It is always fascinating to poke around in someone's home, even if those people are long gone.  This was the saloon in the Regency. Originally the Great Hall, a place where visitors would have processed through to reach the Great Chamber and the State Apartments on the first floor. (2nd floor in North America).

 This is how it looks now, but we are kindly given a picture of how it looked before the fire.

While not Regency, it is easy to imagine it looking like this in our period. If you have a character living in a house like this remember that this room was also the route to other rooms in the house.

As usual I am fascinated by the other nooks and crannies in these old places.  These stairs obviously originate back the the more castle-like structure of the house.  No doubt the servants route from one place to another.  The picture is grainy because without the use of a flash it was too dark to be seen, so I have brightened it.

And here we have a view of the house as it was in the time of Humphrey Weld who owned the house after the Howards.

Until next time.......

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lullworth Castle 2

Once a country house in a vast estate, Lullworth Castle is now this.

The castle was destroyed by fire in 1929 and is now an empty shell.

One can only imagine the feeling of loss. Certainly I felt sad when I walked into the building.

Still there is quite a bit to see and some information to garner of use in our period, so we will continue our visit next time.....

Monday, March 2, 2015

Regency Fashion March 1815

Walking Dress, Ackermann's March 1815

All set for windy weather, though I do wonder how the bonnet will fare.

Here is the official description, but I do not think this is primrose.

PELISSE of short walking length, made of evening primrose-coloured velvet, ornamented down the front with satin trimming; round capes, trimmed to correspond; full lace ruff. 

A French bonnet, composed of white velvet and satin in reversed plaitings, trimmed round the edge with a quilting of lace; full plume of ostrich feathers in the front. 

Half-boots of tan-coloured kid. Gloves, Limerick or York tan.

I think this is a beautifully elegant coat. Reminds me of a coat I had when the maxi fashion first came out.

Until next time……..

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Past Thrills for you

Celebrating Historical Romantic Suspense. Contgratulations to Pam, she won a copy of Captured Countess from me and Darcy Burke's the de Valary Code.  Than you to all who entered. Look out for more exciting things from over the next few months.

Captured Countess by Ann Lethbridge

Never trust a spy!

Nicoletta, the Countess Vilandry, is on a dangerous mission—to lure fellow spy Gabriel D'Arcy into bed and into revealing his true loyalties. With such sensual games at play and such strong sensations awakened, suddenly Nicky's dangerously close to exposing her real identity.
Gabe knows that the countess has been sent to seduce him. The only question is to what end? He's never met such a captivating woman—and he's determined to enjoy every seductive second she spends as his very willing captive!

"Plenty of tension and dangerous excitement blended with poignancy and passion." —RT Book Reviews on Falling for the Highland Rogue

 The de Valery Code by Darcy Burke

Miss Margery Derrington and her dear aunts are in dire straits. Their discovery of a rare medieval manuscript will hopefully stave off their creditors—if it’s worth what they hope. Margery reluctantly allies with a reclusive scholar to use the book to pursue a treasure that could exceed her expectations. Amidst danger, secrets, and an insatiable attraction, is Margery gambling just her financial future . . . or her heart?

 Academic Rhys Bowen can’t believe he has his hands on the elusive de Valery text. Solving its hidden code and unearthing its legendary treasure would establish him as one of Britain’s leading antiquarians, finally casting him out of his brilliant late father’s shadow. But when a centuries-old organization convinces Rhys of the perils of disturbing the past, he must choose between his conscience…and the captivating woman he’s sworn to help.

Click the above link to participate. Visit

Until next time.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Regency Fashion February 2015

Evening Dress from Ackermann's Repository February 1815

My first thought when I saw this was "sumptuous".  I love this. I have to use it in a book. This is a very sophisticated dress and the neckline is very daring. It is certainly not the gown for the shy debutante, I am thinking.

Here is the description from the magazine.

Pale pink or primrose-coloured crape petticoat over white satin, ornamented at the feet with a deep border of tull, trimmed with blond lace and pink, or primrose-coloured ribband, festooned and decorated with roses; 

short full sleeve, composed of tull and crape, with a border of French embroidery; and back drawn nearly to a point, corresponding to the cape front of the dress, and trimmed round with blond lace; 

the waist very short, and an easy fullness in the petticoat, carried entirely round.

Necklace and drop of pearl; ear-drops and bracelets to correspond. 

Hair in irregular curls, confined in the Eastern style, and blended with flowers. French scarf, fancifully disposed on the figure. 

Slippers of pink or primrose-coloured kid; gloves to correspond.

For the fashions for this month we are indebted to the tasteful and elegant designs of Mrs. Bean of Albemarle-street.

Until next time…….

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sneak Peek

Coming Soon

Vampires are showing up in Vauxhall Gardens and dying in droves on London's streets. Watch this space for more information.

This is part of the multi author series "A Most Peculiar Season"

For the earlier books check out the author's websites:

Michelle Willingham A Viking for the Viscountess

Deborah Hale  Scandal on his Doorstep 

Barbara Monajem The Lady of Flames - March 2015

Until next time…..

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lullworth Castle 1

Our next visit to a Great Country House is to Lullworth Castle near the coast of Dorset.

At first view, this is a magnificent building built in the seventeenth century by Lord Binden as a hunting lodge and later became a country house, is as as tempting as chocolate cake.

Sadly the chocolate is more bitter than sweet. But I get a head of myself.

Here are some of the views we saw on our approach from the car park.  This first one were it not for the paved road could have been just as it ws in the Regency.

The trees are old and the park is vast.
 One can quite imagine ascending these magnificent steps in a regency ball gown.

What comes next is a completely different experience, but these outer views are to be enjoyed in their own right.  I believe I have more later from other angles, but let us start here.

Until next time...…

My latest novel, Captured Countess is still  in stores and can also be found on line at:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble
Chapters Indigo Canada


Monday, February 9, 2015

Celebrating Valentines week

Join me and other harlequin authors and readers as we celebrate Valentines.

Should be a fun fun week, I'll be hanging out at the Historical board

Regency Morning Dress February 1815

I would call this young lady lachrymose, what do you think?

I'm glad we don't feel obligated to wear these caps anymore.  To me this dress looks a bit like a dressing gown, something to float around in after you get out of bed but not for anyone to see.

From Ackermann's Repository

A ROUND robe of fine Cambric jaconot muslin, fastened down the front with cotton ball tassels; 
a flounce of lace or needle-work at the feet, appliqued with a narrow border of embroidery; 
long full sleeve, confined at the hand with needle-work or French embroidery; 
a falling collar and cape, trimmed with blond lace; full back, drawn to the shape. 
A French mob cap, composed of white satin and blond lace, tied under the chin with celestial blue satin ribband, and ornamented with a wreath of flowers. 
Necklace and cross of satin bead or pearl. Slippers of blue kid. Gloves of Limerick or York tan.

My latest novel, Captured Countess is still  in stores and can also be found on line at:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble
Chapters Indigo Canada Until next time…….

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Susana's Parlour - It's all True

Drop by for a visit and learn more than you ever wanted to know about me at Susana's Parlour, writing, about research and other fun stuff.

We all know how shy we writers are but when someone asks us friendly questions, there's no stopping the words pouring forth. I wold love to see you over there.

We will return to our regular program next week, until then

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Regency Fashion Advertisement January 1815

Here is something a bit different and though we are actually in February, I did hope you would not mind.

Imagine the appearance of adverts like this today. How many folks would bother to figure it out.

I must say I puzzled over it for a bit.

It is from Ackerman's repository and it is two advertisements in one.

The first is about fabrics available for purchase, and the second is to remind this manufactures of such goods that they might be permitted to advertise their wares in the Repository as long as they met the standards of "Novelty, Fashion and Elegance".

I wonder what a magazine would have in the quotes today.

Now the main part of the ad, the picture, is somewhere in there amid the allegorial stuff (my computer wants to call it allegorical). If you can find it, it  draws attention to the following:

PS, the numbers in the text relate to the numbers in the picture. No really, it does.

NOS. 1 and 2. A new choice pattern for furniture, which admits of the ball fringe, and has a neat and elegant appearance. It is sold by Mr. Allen, No. 61, Pall-Mall.
No. 3. A French striped tabbinet, calculated for morning or domestic wear; and is supplied by George and Bradley, No. 19, Holywell-street, Strand.

No. 4. Silk and cotton toilinette, appropriate for evening or full dress, and worn with a bodice of pink, or white satin, or velvet, has a rich and elegant appearance. This article is furnished us by Kestevens, No. 4, York-street, Covent-Garden.

Naturally the charm of this description, the added bonus is the insight it gives us into the locations of our wonderful purveyors of fabric.

Until next time……...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Athelhampton Part VI

I am going to leave you with some external views of Athelhampton before we move on in our tour of Britain and some of its great country houses.

 These views show just how worth a visit to this lovely old house is.
And last but not least the River Piddle.

One cannot make this stuff up.

Until next time....

Friday, January 23, 2015

Athelhampton Part V

Athelhampton. I keep thinking how much I love that name. 

Much of the upstairs was changed during renovations in 1863, for example what is now called the library was then three bedrooms in the west wing. I did love these steps which would have brought one into the west wing added in the early 16th century, and would, in our time, have been the entrance to the corridor with the bedrooms leading off.

Here are some other little nooks that caught my fancy as I moved around the house.
 They are presented for atmosphere rather than any particular significance.

The next room we entered is called the King's Room traditionally the place where the manorial court would be held in the name of the king.

It is now a bedroom with lovely linenfold panelling.  The tester bedstead is Charles 1, the oak coffer  from James the first's time and the brass lantern clock  from the late 17th century and made in Dorset.

All of these items could have been found in a Regency dwelling, since they survived until now, but my guess is they would have been thought dreadfully heavy and old fashioned by our fashion-conscious heroes and heroines.

Until Next time.....

Monday, January 19, 2015

Regency Fashion January 1815

Here we see a trend. Another wide trim around the hem for January

Unusually, we have the back view.

Here is the description from Ackermann's Repository for January 1815

Evening Dress

Light pink satin gown, trimmed round the bottom with a lace flounce, laid on richly, worked and headed with tufts of the same; short full sleeve, trimmed with lace. A shell lace tippet. 
White kid gloves, drawn over the elbow. An India fan of carved ivory. Slippers of white kid. Full crop head-dress, ornamented with flowers.
And a further tidbit of interest
The Fashions for this month, and those for the whole of last year, are from the designs of Mrs. Bean, of Albemarle-street. This lady, since her visit to Paris, has incorporated in her dresses, in the style of French costume, all that is to be admired in the exuberant varieties which that country produces; and has moderated the same by a fancy governed by a chaste feeling peculiar to herself. We were much delighted on viewing the splendid dresses in the Magazin des Modes of this lady.
I really like this gown, at least from this view. I think the shell lace tippet, shawl in s nice touch.
Until next time….

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Regency Romance Turns 80

Can it really be 80 years since Georgette Heyer began our beloved and most popular genre? Apparently so.

My father introduced me to her books, the old romantic. He loved them and we used to fight to be the first to read the book brought home from the library.  I have read them all, many many times and along with those lovely stories comes lovely memories of home and family.

Join the Beau Monde Blog as we celebrate this event.  The first blog appears here. After today you will find at least one article a month discussing each of her books.  Mine will show up in June.

Until next time......