Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hall Place in Kent

Hall Place is perhaps one of the most unusual places we have been in search of the Regency. It is situated in Bexley in Kent.  During the time I grew up theren the house was not open to the public, but it was a well-known local land mark.

Hall place dates back to before Henry VIII's reformation and around that time fell into the hands of one of London's Lord Mayors, Sir John Champney a self-made man who died of the plague in 1556.

This is a view of the Tudor courtyard built for Champney with its stunning pattern of grey and white stone.  A mark of his wealth and importance. Originally it would have had only one large oriel window looking into the courtyard, as all the other windows also would have done.

Over time, the house was added to and altered by succeeding owners and in 1772, the era in which we are interested it passed into the hands of Sir Francis Dashwood, later Baron Le Despenser.  Apparently there really were Dashwoods around in Jane Austen's time.

The red brick extension, with its two wings and front facing outwards now, was added to what would have been the back of  Tudor buildings as seen here. The extension formed a central enclosed courtyard between the new front and the old tudor great hall, and provided a corridor between the wings.

A view along the side shows where the new was added to the old.  I must say I found it rather odd from this angle, but I cannot contain my respect for those who decided to keep the old Tudor part in tact.



A bell tower was added within the new courtyard with a fashionable prospect room at the top for watching the hunt and for entertaining.  What and interesting looking tower it is.  The rectangular windows follow the ascending stairs to form an unusual asymmetric pattern.  The courtyard at this time would have been the hub of the household. Water was fetched from the pump and arrivals and departures would be observed from the upstairs windows. The archways around the courtyard lead to the new architectural development --- corridors.  It enabled privacy, one room no longer leading directly into the next

At the time Sir Francis inherited the property it was rented out to a Richard Calvert Esquire and then to the Reverend Richard Jeffreys in 1798 who set it up as a School for young gentlemen. And so it remained until the 1860's.

What a wonderful place for boys to go to school. At the time there were coach houses, stables, outhouses, office buildings, boat yards, orchard gardens, shrubberies, a pleasure ground and appurtenances thereto.

What a great setting for a story.


Hall Place today is a mix of original Tudor, Commonwealth and Restoration.

Next time will will take a peek around the interior.  Until then.....




I

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fashion for November 1816


The weather is cooling down but the fashions are hotting up.

What could be more Regency than this striped gown?

From Ackermann's November 1816

Evening Dress

A lilac and white striped gauze dress over a white satin slip; the bottom of the skirt is ornamented with five rows of white silk trimming of a very light and elegant description: it has just been introduced, and the pattern has more novelty than any thing we have seen for some time: a single flounce of deep blond lace completes the trimming. 

The body is also very novel; the upper part is formed of lace, and the lower of gauze, to correspond with the dress: the latter is quite tight to the shape, but the former has an easy fullness, which forms the shape in a manner extremely advantageous to the figure. 

The sleeve is short and very full; it is composed of lace, looped high, and finished by a trimming to correspond with that on the skirt. 

The hair is full dressed, without any ornament. 

 Ann LethbridgeNecklace, cross, armlets and bracelets of rubies. White satin slippers, and white kid gloves.

I like this gown, very pretty and flattering.  Get out your rubies, ladies!

Don't forget to order your copy of Secrets of the Marriage Bed in on-line stores everywhere.  Go to my website for links

What woman doesn't need to know a few secrets?


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your families and warm and wonderful weekend of celebrations

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fawkham in Kent

Fawkham Green in Kent or Fawkham is not likely a place you have ever heard of.  Indeed, in 17 97 it was described thusly:

THIS PARISH is a lonely unfrequented place, and contains about one thousand acres of land, of which about two hundred and fifty are wood, having no public high road through it. It lies on high ground, among the hills; the soil is much inclined to chalk, and is very slinty and barren, but though it is poor, yet this, as well as the neighbouring parishes in a like situation, is in some measure recompensed by being exceedingly healthy. There are two hamlets in it called Fawkham-green and Fawkham-street. The church stands near the northern boundary of it. The seat of Pennis is situated in the middle of the parish, adjoining to a large wood, which extends quite across it.

For all that, or perhaps because of it, the Duke of Norfolk built a country home here in 1806.  Now the Brands Hatch hotel, it is a beautiful Georgian Manor and a lovely place to stay.  The red brick mansion comes into view at the end of a tree-lined drive and visitors may enjoy twelve acres of surround gardens and parklandm

I have to admit it is not as quiet as it would have been in the Duke of Norfolk's day as one can easily hear the sound of engines buzzing from the nearby racetrack.  But the grounds are quite lovely, the room elegantly appointed and the dining excellent.




More enticing yet were the glimpses of the Regency still visible inside and outside.

This staircase for example, and the exterior above.

If you like to stay where history meets modern conveniences, this might well be the place for you.

Join me next time as I delve deeper into Kent,

Until then.......

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Did They Wear in November 1816?

Two hundred years ago the fashion looked like this.

Morning Gown, November 1816, Ackermann's
     
A ROUND dress, composed of cambric; the skirt is finished at bottom by four rows of rich embroidery and two flounces of work;  it is very full; and the body, which is a chemisette, has also considerable fullness thrown behind. 

The body is made up to the throat, and trimmed at the neck with a double frill of rich work: it is made very full behind, but plain in front. 

A long loose sleeve, finished at the wrist by three puffings and a single fall of narrow work. 

Head-dress a morning cornette, composed of fine clear muslin, with a border to correspond. The form of this cornette is uncommonly novel and striking; the crown is ornamented, something in the style of a turban, with rolls of muslin, and finished at the top by a bow of straw-coloured ribbon. 

Gloves and sandals of straw colour. 

A new pattern silk handkerchief thrown carelessly over the shoulder, completes the dress.

Cornettes apparently continued to be the head dress of choice in this year.  I love the hem line, with all the layers of lace.  I assume the carelessly thrown handkerchief not only serves as decoration, but assists in parrot poop clean up.  I think this is the first time I have seen a pirate parrot on one of these plates.


Until next time.........

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fashion in the Regency - October 1816

 Ball Gown - October 1816  Ackermann's Repository

One cannot help loving the colour maiden-blush.

A gown, composed of white gauze, of an exquisitely beautiful and glossy texture: it is worn over a maiden-blush slip. 

For the form of the dress, which is in the highest degree novel and elegant, we refer our readers to our print. The trimming is a rich rollio of intermingled gauze and satin at the bottom of the dress, above which is a wreath of fancy flowers, and this wreath is surmounted by white satin draperies: the general effect of this trimming is uncommonly tasteful and striking. 

The hair is much parted on the forehead, and dressed very low at the sides; and the hind hair, brought up very high, forms a tuft. 

Head-dress, a wreath of French roses, placed so as apparently to support the hind hair. 

Necklace, bracelets, and ear-rings of pearl. White kid slippers and gloves.
                      
            We have to thank the condescension of a lady, one of our subscribers, for both the elegant dresses which we have given this month.

And finally we are caught up. Just in time for Christmas

By the way, my next book - Secrets of the Marriage Bed is available for preorder  Get all the links to your favorite story at   AnnLethbridge.com  


Until Next Time



Monday, October 31, 2016

Regency Fashion October 1816


       

Half Dress, from Ackermann's October 1815


A GOWN of lilac sarsnet, cut low round the bust, which is trimmed with pink ribbon, disposed so as to form a wreath; 

the shape of the back is  marked by bands of pink, and a large bow in the French style, ornaments the middle of it at the bottom. 

The back is full; a plain light front forms the shape in a most becoming manner. 

Long full sleeve, composed of clear muslin, trimmed at the wrist with a single row of lace, and finished by a pink bow. 

Fichu to correspond, very full trimmed round the throat with lace. The bottom of the skirt is edged with pink, and trimmed with a single flounce of blond lace, set on very full, and surmounted by a wreath of French roses. 

Cornette composed of tulle, finished by a quilling of blond round the face, and fastened by a pink bow under the chin; a bow to correspond ornaments it on the forehead, and a bunch of flowers is placed very far back on the head. The style of this cornette, though French, is so simply elegant and becoming, that we have not for some time seen any half-dress cap to equal it. 

Plain gold ornaments. White kid gloves, and white kid slippers with pink rosettes.


Well, despite the hyperbole, I don't thing I would be caught dead in the cornette.  What about you?

Until next time.......

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Regency Fashion September 1816

     
   Today's offering reminds me of dessert.

The description follows:


EVENING DRESS

A white British net dress over a white sarsnet slip; the dress is trimmed round the bottom with a deep flounce of lace, surmounted by a wreath of roses, immediately above which is a rollio of white satin. This trimming is uncommonly tasteful and striking. 

The body and sleeves are of the same material as the dress; the former is full, and cut in a very novel style: a quilling of blond lace goes round the bosom, which comes high at the sides, but is sloped very much just in front. 

A small bouquet of moss roses shades the bosom and gives an elegant finish to the dress. 

The sleeve, short and extremely full, is divided into compartments by rollios of satin. 

Head-dress a wreath of moss roses, fancifully intermixed with corn-flowers; the hair very becomingly dressed in light loose ringlets on the forehead, and moderately high behind. 

A superb white lace scarf, thrown round the shoulders, partially shades the back of the neck. 

Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets, pearl. White satin slippers and white kid gloves.

We are indebted to the condescension of a lady of distinguished rank for both our dresses this month.

Until Next Time

Monday, October 17, 2016

Regency Fashion September 1816

A Half Dress

Which is something you would wear around the house.

I this it is very pretty. This one I want for one of my characters.

It is from the September fashions for 1816 from Ackermann's.  Here is the description:


HALF DRESS.

A STRIPED sarsnet gown, very richly trimmed round the bottom with a flounce of deep work, finished with a heading: a second flounce is set on at some distance; which is much narrower; it is also finished with a heading. Bows of Pomona green ribbon ornament the skirt a little above the flounce.

The body is cut very low; it is full. The sleeve is long, very loose, and fancifully trimmed with bows of Pomona green ribbon to correspond with the trimming of the skirt; the sleeve is finished by a very novel and pretty cuff of pointed lace. 

Fichu a la Duchesse de Berri, composed of white lace, which comes very high; but though it shades the neck in the most delicate manner, it does not by any means give an idea of dishabille; on the contrary, it might be worn in full dress. 

Hair cropped, and dressed in very full curls in the neck, and very full on the forehead. 

Striped kid slippers to correspond with the dress. White kid gloves. 

Necklace white cornelian, with a small gold cross. Ear-rings white cornelian.

There is lots of information here for the avid dresser of Regency ladies, from colours to jewels to lace and trimmings. I really like this gown.  What about you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Regency Fashion August 1816


EVENING DRESS   - August 1816 from Ackermann's.

You will not that we are presented with the back of the gown for some reason. Perhaps because of the way it is gathered. It is exceedingly low i n the neckline.

A GOWN of white soft satin, cut low all round the back and bosom. 

The skirt gored, and a good deal of fullness thrown behind. 

The body, which is disposed in small plaits, displays the shape, as our readers will perceive by our print, to a very great advantage; it is trimmed round the bosom with a wreath of small white net roses, with a little tuft of pearl in the heart of each. 

Long loose sleeve, composed of white lace, and finished a la Parisienne with a rich double frill of lace at the wrists. 

The skirt is ornamented, in an exquisitely tasteful style, with a broad flounce of rich blond, surmounted by wreaths of roses and deep scollops of white net, the points of which are finished by bows of white satin ribbon. The effect of this trimming is uncommonly beautiful. 

Hair, cropped and curled full in the back of the neck, and dressed light, and much parted on the forehead: it is ornamented with a superb white ostrich-plume, at the base of which is an aigrette of diamonds. Neck-lace, ear-rings, and bracelets also of diamond. 

White satin slippers, and white kid gloves.

Extra
Fashion Notes.
 I thought this comment by Ackermann's in the same month interesting enough to add it here.

We see, with pleasure, ladies of distinction give liberal encouragements to English manufactures; and it is but justice to our own, that the productions of our own looms may vie with those of any other country. Our imitations of China crape and French silk, both for dresses and scarfs, are now universally adopted; the former in particular are uncommonly good.

Did you see Poldark last night. The comment about acres of bosom being all the fashion. I thought of that remark when I saw this gown.

Until next time........

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Regency Fashion for August 1816

   
MORNING DRESS from Ackermann's August 1816

A round dress, composed of jaconot muslin, finished round the bottom of the skirt by a deep flounce of rich work scalloped at the edge, and a heading to correspond. 

The body has a slight fullness behind. The form of the front, as our readers will perceive by our print, is extremely novel and pretty. 

Plain long sleeve, finished at the wrist by a pink band and bow. 

The cornette worn with this dress is of the mob kind, and by much the most becoming we have ever seen: it is composed of white lace, and tastefully ornamented with roses. 

Pink kid slippers, and white kid gloves.

This dress is much approved by belles of taste for its elegant simplicity; its form and materials are certainly strictly appropriate to morning costume. It was invented by Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, Burlington Gardens, to whom we are indebted for it.

While Ackermann's like the form of the body at the front, personally I am not that keen on it. I am however intrigued by the comment that it is strictly "appropriate".  I really love the hem, it is so very pretty and lacy, as well as the pink kid slippers.  I especially like the setting since she is sitting on what I assume is a music stool and hold a book of sheet music.  What do you think?  Do you like the cornette?

Until next time............

Monday, September 26, 2016

Regency Fashion - July 1816

     From Ackermann's July 1816
         

 OPERA DRESS.

THIS dress is composed of white lace, and is worn over a rich soft white satin slip. 

The skirt is trimmed, in a style of peculiar elegance, with lace festooned at regular distances; the festoons are edged by a plain band of byas satin, and finished by pearl ornaments of a very novel and pretty shape. 

The body, composed also of lace, is cut byas, and is richly ornamented round the bosom with pointed lace. 

Plain long sleeve, very full, except towards the wrist, which is nearly tight to the arm, and elegantly finished with lace. 

The hair, which is ornamented only with a wreath of French roses, is parted in front, and simply dressed in loose curls, which fall very low on each side. The hind hair forms a tuft at the back of the head. 

Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets of pearl. 

White satin slippers, and white kid gloves. 

A blush-coloured French silk scarf is thrown carelessly over the shoulders.

We are indebted for this very elegant and tasteful dress to a lady of rank, by whom it has just been introduced.

I wonder who the young lady of rank might have been?

Until Next Time - Happy Rambles

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Regency Fashion June 1816

 
A second lovely gown from our Mrs Gill of Cork Street, Burlington Gardens. I think you might agree that there is great similarity in these two gowns.

I should also note that the marriage of Princess Charlotte had great influence on the fashions at this time.



Evening Gown - June !816 Ackermann's

This dress is composed of white lace, and worn over a rich white soft satin slip; the skirt is finished round the bottom by a deep flounce of lace, and three narrow byas satin tucks, which are surmounted by a wreath of beautiful fancy flowers. 

The body and sleeves are peculiarly elegant and novel; a satin front, which forms the shape in an easy and becoming style, is ornamented at each side with a light embroidery of flowers, and finished with bows of ribbon. The sleeve, for which we must refer our readers to the print, is, we think, the most tasteful that has been lately introduced. 

The hair is parted so as partially display the forehead, and ornamented with a wreath of flowers. 

Necklace, ear-rings and bracelets of diamonds. 

White kid gloves, and white satin slippers richly embroidered in coloured silks. 

A rich white lace scarf is thrown carelessly over the left shoulder, and partially shades one side of the neck.
Here is a special tidbit just for you!  Fashionable colours for the month are, green of all the lighter shades, evening primrose, sapphire blue, pale blush colour, and straw colour.

I do wish I could see the embroidery on the slippers.

Until next time............  Happy Rambles

Monday, September 19, 2016

Regency Fashion June 2015

Bridal Gown from Ackermann's June 1816
June 1816 Bridal Gown, Ackermann's This is one of the prettiest gowns we have seen for a while.

Of particular note is the statement that it was designed specifically as a wedding gown, though I must believe the experts in their judgement that in this era the gown would not have been worn for that one occasion only.

Here is the official description:

A FROCK of striped French gauze over a white satin slip: the bottom of the frock is superbly trimmed with a deep flounce of Brussels lace, which is surmounted by a single tuck of byas [sic] white satin and a wreath of roses; above the wreath are two tucks of byas [sic] white satin. 

We refer our readers to our print for the form of the body and sleeve: it is singularly novel and tasteful, but we are forbidden either to describe it, or to mention the materials of which it is composed. 

The hair is dressed low at the sides, and parted so as to entirely display the forehead: it is ornamented with an elegant aigrette of pearls in front, and a sprig of French roses placed nearly at the back of the head. 

Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets of pearl. White kid gloves and white satin slippers.

We have to thank Mrs. Gill of Cork-street, Burlington Gardens, for both our dresses this month; and we must observe, that the one we have just described, is a wedding-dress which she has recently finished for a young lady of high distinction.

So, there we have a wedding-dress pretty enough to be worn today.


The second gown spoken off will appear in my next blog as I continue to try to catch up.  This summer has been a busy one, with books due and relatives visiting from England, not to mention not a single rainy day to keep me indoors at the computer.  I hope you didn't miss me to much? Or forget me?

Until next time............

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fashion May 1816

A Carriage Dress from Ackermann's for May 1816

A cambric slip, tucked very high, and finished at the bottom with a deep flounce of worked muslin.

Over the slip is a robe of the same material, open in front, and trimmed all round with very rich work. The body of the robe is made in the chemiset style, and displays a lace fichu worn underneath.

The long sleeve is ornamented with a bow of blue ribbon, and finished at the wrist by a novel and elegant ruffle.

Head-dress, a cornette composed of plain white lace, profusely trimmed with flounces and blue ribbon.

Gloves and slippers of blue kid.

This dress is likely to continue a favourite, because, independent of its novelty, it is extremely elegant and striking; and both its form and material are peculiarly appropriate to the present season.

We are again indebted to the elegant invention of Mrs. Gill of Cork-street, Burlington-Gardens, for both our dresses this month.


Enjoy!  Until Next time.................

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fashion for May 1816

Evening Gown May 1816
   A WHITE satin slip, over which is a white lace dress, ornamented with three quillings of white lace on the skirt, intermixed with bows of white satin ribbon. 

The body and sleeve, both of which are richly ornamented with coloured stones, are formed, as our readers will see by the print, in a very novel style.

Head-dress, a cap composed of white satin, finished with a band edged with pearls and a superb plume of white feathers.

Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets, coloured stones intermixed with pearls. White satin slippers, and white kid gloves.


Such a pretty dress!

Until next time.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fashion April 1816

Opera Dress Ackermann's April 1816

Oddly, this is almost exactly the same gown as the other plate for 1816.  I guess this really was the in look for this particular months.

Here is the description.

Opera Dress

White satin slip, over which is a white lace skirt, finished with satin tucks and a rich flounce of deep blond at the bottom. The body is composed of white satin and white lace; it is uncommonly novel and elegant.

The sleeve, which is long, is also composed of satin and lace; its form is original, and the manner in which it is finished at the wrist is singularly tasteful and elegant. The hair is disposed so as to display the forehead, and falls in short loose curls at each side. Head-dress the Berlin cap composed of white satin, lower part ornamented with a rich gold band, and the crown with a profusion of beautiful short ostrich feathers, disposed with much taste and novelty.

The Berlin cap, is, in our opinion, the most generally becoming head-dress which has been introduced for some seasons.

Necklace and cross composed of pearl and amethyst. Pearl ear-rings. White kid gloves and white satin slippers.

We are indebted to the good taste and exquisite invention of Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, Burlington-Gardens for both our dresses this month.

Until Next time............





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Playing Catch Up

Oops how did this happen.

No fashion since April? Right. Sleeves rolled up. Back on it.

I'll be posting couple a week until we are all caught up to August.

Where have I been in the meantime? I had a great trip to England. Stayed at a house Jane Austen used to visit. More on that to come. I feel a blog coming on. But I have to say it was quite a thrill.

I also visited my editor and the editorial team at Harlequin, Mills and Boon in London as well as other interesting spots.


Since then  have been to the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego, where I learned much, and this week gave a talk at the Limestone Genre Festival in Kingston.

Oh, I have been busy, have I not.?Well now I am back to my writing in full force,and to the blog.

Look out for the first fashion post on Thursday.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

More Than A Lover

Introducing Bladen Read from More Than A Lover In stores April 19
  

Lots of giveaways and events happening. Here are some links:
April 19 and May 1  Blog and giveaway at CelebratewithaBook.com
April 19 Prettyhot.com

Until next time......................





Thursday, April 7, 2016

Regency Fashion - April 1816

MORNING DRESS April 1816 - Ackermann's

A ROUND dress composed of cambric, and finished at the bottom with a number of small tucks, and a very richly worked flounce with a heading. The back has just fullness enough to give the dress an air of ease, without disguising the contour of the shape. 

We refer our readers to the print for the front. Long and very loose sleeve, with a very elegant half sleeve and cuff. A shirt richly trimmed round the collar with lace, and thrown open at the throat, where it fastens with a gold and coral broach. 

Hair parted on the forehead and dressed low at the sides. Head-dress an exquisitely fancied lace cap, of a form extremely simple, but uncommonly becoming: it is ornamented with bows of lilac ribbon. 

Plain gold ear-rings, and white kid slippers and gloves.

Don't forget to check out my Goodreads Giveaway of my upcoming book More Than A Lover

Until next time.................