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.
Former captain Bladen Read knows respectable Caroline Falkner would never look twice at an illegitimate ruffian like him. But when he's suddenly thrown into the role of her protector he discovers the undercurrent of tension runs both ways…
At first Caro tries to resist the pull of attraction, for Blade is a link to the scandalous past she buried long ago to protect her son. Although when the opportunity to explore this rake's expertise in the bedroom presents itself, temptation proves too much to resist!
To me this looks like a cross between a graduation outfit and a carpet.
Here is the official Description
A high body of jaconot muslin, with a lace frill, over which is a low one, formed of pink silk and trimmed with the same material; the upper part of the trimming is tastefully ornamented with bows of pink ribbon. Long loose sleeve, finished down the arm with bands and bows, to correspond with the trimming of the train; it is drawn tight at the wrist, and ornamented with a large pink bow. A superb French shawl is thrown carelessly over the shoulders. The hair is dressed very much off the forehead, and low on each side of the face. Head-dress, the Polish cap, which is uncommonly novel and pretty; it is composed of black velvet and ornamented with a silk tassel and gold band. Necklace, ear-rings, and cross, composed of gold and pearl. French watch, set with pearls. White kid gloves, and black Levantine sandals. Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, Burlington Gardens, has favoured us with the original and elegantly fancied dresses given in our prints this month.
I anticipated this post would be purely selfish. And yet after digging a bit deeper, perhaps it has some relevance to Regency-world lovers also.
As I have mentioned, Brighton has family associations for me. My dear mother in law, Kit, lived there as a girl, and it is where she met her husband Richard Samuel. And it is not every family that can lay claim to a huge building in a major town - or at least a small part in its beginning.
This is the Burton Tailors building on the corner of North and West Streets in Brighton.
Richard Samuel and his brother Lawrence had a hand in its construction in 1926. They were bricklayers. And this is how Sam, as he was known, who originated in London's East End, met Kit, because just up the road from here lies Wyckham Terrace. Clearly whoever designed the building was trying to capture some of the Regency style of the town.
If you are wondering about the blob at the top of the picture. That is a rain drop. England, people! Raining! Naturally, I could not resist investigating the building's history. Burtons occupied the store until the 1990's. But what a wonderful surprise, look the tailors are gone to smaller premises and now it hosts a lovely bookstore. Waterstones. Such a thrill to find such a neat connection.
Travelling back in time, courtesy of the regencysociety.org the corner was occupied by Geo. Bull, Grocer and Tea Dealer in 1875
But here is the real treasure, North Street in 1851. G. Bull occupies number 71 on the corner. Father or grandfather, perhaps. I think North Street might well have looked similar in the period of the Regency, don't you?
Evening Dress, March 1817 the trimming of which is top secret---apparently....
From the March Ackermann's Repository 1816
WHITE satin slip trimmed with a deep flounce of blond lace, set on full and finished by a double heading.
The upper dress is a robe composed of striped French gauze, open in front: the waist is very short; and the body, which is made in a perfectly novel style, displays the contour of the shape to the utmost advantage.
For the form of the sleeve, which is peculiarly elegant, we refer our readers to the print; as we are also obliged to do for the beautiful trimming which goes round the robe: it is composed of novel materials, which we are not allowed to describe.
Hair dressed much off the forehead, and low at the sides. Head-dress Circassian turban composed of French gauze: the ends, which depend from each side, are so disposed as partly to shade the neck; they are extremely rich and beautiful.
The only ornament is a superb aigrette composed of pearls and rubies. This head-dress is well calculated for graceful and majestic belles, to whom it gives what the French term l’air imposant.
Necklace, earrings, bracelets, rubies intermixed with pearls. White satin slippers and white kid gloves.
................My excuses for the pallor of this plate. I must say, the dress is pretty, both the robe and the petticoat beneath, but that the trimming is a secret, well curiosity killed the cat. I must visit this modiste immediately to see it for myself.
From time to time I post a needlework project I have completed. Here is a blackwork tray cloth I undertook after a class with Liz Almond. It took me ages to do.
You can imagine this on one of the ubiquitous tea trays that always make an appearance in many scenes. Er... not in my house though. No putting rings on my tray cloth, thank you very much.
As you may know, Blackwork is from an earlier era, and was simply something I wanted to try, along with the fancy edging that might well have been used in the Regency period for finishing a handkerchief. The style would have been known to our ladies of the ton, if only from the paintings in their galleries of ancestors. Not in this form though, which is a modern take on it. I can assure you, the back does not look exactly like the front.
I often read about Regency heroines who hate embroidery. Knowing how satisfying this form of creation is, to me hating embroidery or needlework, seems like us hating having new paint on the walls of our living space or even hating having a job. Embroidery was an expression of a lady's skill in making her home a comfortable and beautiful place to live. A Lady (as against a woman) would have hours of time at her disposal, and since medieval times and before, embroidery was valued for its beauty and its purpose. It was a sign of being a lady, in my opinion.
All of my heroines have some embroidery on the go, just like me. While embroidery on a gown might be done by a seamstress, embroidery on underthings, monograms on handkerchiefs, decorative pillows, embroidery on slippers, would be the privilege and pride of a lady, who would sew while her hero read to her, or a sibling did so, or while merely sitting chatting of an afternoon or evening. She would consider it her work, her contribution to her home.
Not only am I offering leap year special at BookGoodies.com, but I have an extra day to post February fashions for 1816.
Promenade Dress - Ackermann's Februrary 1816
A morning dress, composed of the finest dark mulberry ladies’ cloth, finished at the bottom of the skirt with a new-invented trimming, which has an uncommonly light and pretty effect.
A plain high body, over which is worn a spencer made of velvet one shade darker than the dress and ornamented with white satin; the half-sleeve, which is composed of white satin, and finished with white silk ornaments, is particularly novel and tasteful.
Head-dress, improved French bonnet, lined, edged, and trimmed with white satin, and ornamented with white feathers. Pointed lace ruffs. Mulberry kid sandals and gloves.
The Roxburgh muff worn with this dress is composed of white satin and swansdown, and lined with white satin. This muff, which we may venture to recommend to our fair readers as a very elegant novelty, is just introduced by Mrs. Griffin, and is, from the beauty and delicacy of its materials, calculated only for the first style of promenade or carriage dress.
We are indebted to the taste and invention of Mrs. Griffin, of Rider-street, St. James’s, for both our prints this month.
Valentine's Day is always a special day in the world of Romance, no what genre or era. In the Regency Valentine's Day was marked with not cards and chocolates as it is so often today. I love those little heart shaped boxes of chocolates. I always bought them for my daughters. I digress.
Valentine's Day was more of a "home made" affair, with posies and poems from secret admirers. I would be looking for a posy of snowdrops in February in England. A sign that spring was just around the corner and that the dude (sorry, gentleman) had gone to some trouble to seek them out.
Which would be the flower to win your heart?
Talking of winning hearts, I have joined in with several other romance authors to give away St Valentine's Day goodies. If you want to know more about the contests, check out my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnLethbridgeAuthor Here is a graphic taste of what we are up to.
Wishing you all a happy day with your significant other, chocolate, a book, a movie, or whatever else floats your romance boat
Given that the Season has hardly started, we begin with a very elegant gown. Perhaps an invitation to a country estate came your way. If so, this would be apropos.
EVENING DRESS Ackermann's February 1816
White crape, or lace frock, over a white satin slip; the body and sleeves are formed of a very elegant fancy material, which has just been introduced.
The body is extremely novel and elegant: we refer our readers for its form to our plate: the sleeve is very short, and, as well as the body, trimmed with blond, which is set on full.
The skirt is made a walking length, and is trimmed in a most tasteful style; but the slight view which we had of the dress will not permit us to describe it: our readers, will, however, be able to form a very correct idea of it from our plate.
Head-dress, the toque a la Rubens, composed of white lace, and ornamented with feathers and precious stones. Necklace, ear-rings, and locket, of diamonds.
White satin slippers trimmed en suite, and made, as all dress shoes now are, to come very high over the foot.
White kid gloves trimmed with tull. A French scarf, superbly embroidered at the ends, and thrown carelessly over the arm.
This dress, we understand, was invented by Mrs. Griffin for a lady of distinction; and it is certainly extremely novel and elegant.
The lack of specificity in this description is very odd. The fancy new material introduced. The body novel, but then refers the reader to a plate in which it is difficult to see because the model is turned sideways on.
A white crape frock over a satin slip; the frock is superbly ornamented with French Lama work in silver; the dress is cut very low all round the bosom, and the crape fronts are open at each side, so as to display the white satin one underneath.
The sleeve is an intermixture of white satin and crape; the latter full, the former tastefully ornamented with silver, to correspond with the bottom of the dress.
Head-dress, a white crape turban, ornamented with silver and a long white feather.
Necklace and ear-rings of pearl. White kid gloves, drawn nearly to the elbow, and finished at the top by a quilling of tull. White satin slippers.
This frock is also in high estimation for a ball-dress, with the hair full-dressed and pearl ornaments, or a comb composed of pearl and coloured gems.
We are indebted to the tasteful fancy of Mrs. Bean of Albemarle-street for both our dresses this month.
If you enjoy Regency romances, look out for my next book. Details about where when and what
Until next time...........................................
St Nicholas of Myra is an absolute treasure. It dates from the fourteenth century, though there has been a church in Brighthelstone since Saxon times. The main source of income for villagers was mackerel fishing and therefor the church is appropriately dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen and children.
The fact that this is the church where my mother in law was married makes it special to our family, but as a regency buff it is also special because of its association with those members of Regency society who would have attended church here during the summer months.
Here are some of the fascinating things about St Nicholas of interest to Regency aficionados. The Duke of Wellington attended the school "The Academy for Young Gentlemen" run by the vicar of St Nicholas. It was common practice for vicars to supplement their income by teaching the boys of local gentlemen at that time.
During the Regency, their were galleries in the church for local fisherman, charity pensioners and Charity-school children, while the more affluent worshiped in the box pews at ground level. These galleries were removed during a major renovation in 1853.
The Church acquired a new organ in 1813, instrument built by H.C.Lincoln and pipes by Bevington.
If you have an interest in seeing the church before the restoration I have a picture showing the pews which hints at the galleries above, but the quality is such that I cannot include it here.
What does remain is the fifteenth century screen which is absolutely beautiful. It is thought to have come from East Anglia. Parts of it were destroyed when the Cromwellians had a go at it, it was restored in the late 19th century.
While the stone pillars and arches were also there, the Galleries aforementioned were on a level with the festoons of the screen, making the church a much smaller and more crowded place.
The Font, pictured here is from the 12th Century.
Made from a solid block of Caen Stone it is known as the finest piece of Norman carving in Sussex.
Of course my big question was, did all those Regency notables worship here at the only church in what became Brighton. The local history says it was too far up the hill.
A chapel was therefore built nearer to the Pavillion. The Prince Regent rented one of the pews at 13 guineas a year.
However the Vicar at the time, preached a sermon about King David seducing Bathsheba and sending Prinny off from there in high dudgeon, never to return.
At the time of the Regency, the bell tower sported 8 bells and was known for marathon peals, ringing as many as 11,088 changes over six hours in 1779. It became the first 10 bell tower in 1818.
I do hope you all enjoyed your celebration of the new year as we move into 1816 -- oops, earth to Ann, it is really 2016. How quickly time flies.
However, we will go back in time and take a peek at what the ladies were wearing back then. December 1815 gave us a walking dress, Ackermann's in January puts us in a carriage, surprisingly however, the colour is the same.
CARRIAGE DRESS. High dress, composed of the finest dark blue ladies’ cloth; it is made up to the throat, but without a collar, has a slight fullness in the back, and falls very much off the shoulder; the front is tight to the shape, and the waist very short. The trimming is dark blue satin, to correspond; it is cut byas, laid on double and very full: long plain sleeve, finished at the wrist with satin; French ruff of very rich lace. Head-dress a la mode de Paris; it is a cap composed of white lace, and ornamented with two rolls of ribbon to correspond: the form of this cap is in the highest degree original. Gloves white kid. Sandals blue kid.
I find the shape of the dress very attractive, though to me it seems more like a "coat-dress" something I really liked wearing back in the day (my day).
The cap reminds me of a Spanish comb (peineta).
I think it preferable to December's offering, but it is all about taste.
Not my favourite by a long way, despite the glowing recommendation at the end of the description. As always it gives us a voyeuristic sense of the time.
The description is from the Ackermann's December 1815 edition.
Pelisse, of walking length, composed of blue twilled sarsnet, fastened down the front with large bows of white satin ribbon, and ornamented at the feet with a border of leaves formed of the same sarsnet, edged with white satin: the bottom of the pelisse, trimmed with white satin, is drawn into small festoons; sleeve ornamented at the shoulder and the hand to correspond; a French embroidered ruff. A French hat composed of the blue twilled sarsnet, trimmed with white satin edged with blue, and decorated with a large plume of ostrich feathers. An Indian shawl of crimson silk, richly embroidered in shaded silks. The pocket-handkerchief French cambric, embroidered at the corners. Shoes, blue morocco, tied with bows high upon the instep. Stockings with embroidered clocks. Gloves, York tan. The silver-striped French gauze is a novel and elegant article, which, fashioned by the ever-varying and approved taste of Mrs. Bean, requires to be viewed, before a just idea can be received of its fascinating effects; it is allowed to be the lightest and most splendid costume ever yet presented by the amateur to the votaries of fashion.
I do hope you all had a very happy Christmas tide, if it is something you celebrate.
I am looking forward to embarking with you on a new year of fashion, travel and books.
A CRIMSON satin slip, underneath a frock of three-quarters length made of the silver-striped French gauze; the slip ornamented at the feet with clusters of flowers, and a narrow border of white satin edged with crimson ribbon: the frock has a border of white satin, edged to correspond, and is drawn up in the Eastern style, confined by a cluster of flowers. The body of the dress has open fronts, with a stomacher, which are severally trimmed en suite; short open sleeve, to correspond with a quilling of tull round the arm. Head-dress a la Chinoise, composed of pearl; the hair braided, and ornamented with a wreath of flowers. Ear-rings and drops, pearl; necklace, the French negligée.—Gloves, French kid, worn below the elbow, and trimmed with a quilling of tull. Sandals, white kid.
What a pretty dress to wear for a Christmas party, don't you think?
The main purpose of this trip was to revisit Brighton as the place where my mother-in-law, Kit, grew up. So after wandering along marine parade and looking at the sea, we headed up Great East Street, avoiding the lure of The Lanes, and along North Street which has always been an important shopping area. It was here that we come to No. 1 Wykeham (said Wickham like in Pride and Prejudice) Terrace.
This gothic looking entrance is quite novel is it not. The terrace is not accessible by road at the front, but merely by this set of steps leading off the path or sidewalk as we call it in North America.
When you see the individual houses in the terrace I think you might have trouble seeing it as a holiday boarding house. I know I did.
To me it looks more like a small town house. Here we are looking down the row. These are not large places. The doors are only two windows apart though there are four floors, one you can see within the area, as sort of basement and another up in the eaves with dormer windows in addition to the two main floors. On our right is number 1 in a sort of tower. This made it somewhat bigger that those in the flat part of the row.
I took these views for my children to have a sense of what their Grannie was talking about when she talked about her life growing up.
She lived here until she was married. She always talked about deciding whether to get a tattoo of a blue bird on her right breast, or to get married (she was known as a bit of a lad as a girl) and I think the decision had something to do with the cost, tattoos being expensive. Well Sammy, my father-in-law must have talked her out of the tattoo, because later in life she always joked that given her increased girth after seven children, the tattoo would have gone from being a bluebird to a "bloody great eagle".
Personally I think she still regretted that tatto.
As you can see from the shared garden, this terrace is on quite a hill. No, it is not me having had too much to drink, this was taken before lunch. lol.
When Kit talked about walking up the hill to the church on her wedding day, I never imagined this.
By the time we had taken these photos the heavens opened and so we decided to follow in Kit's footsteps. In the photo on the right to the right of the picture is the fence between us and Wykeham Terrace and to the left the is North Street, which eventually took off to London.
So, on her wedding day, September 26, 1931, my mother-in-law walked up this hill in her wedding dress to get married. fortunately it wasn't raining on that day.
But what on earth has this got to do with the Regency, you ask, after my trip down memory lane?
Just wait until you see the church. Next time......
Oddly enough, the Brighton Pavilion and Prinny's antics made little impression on my m-i-l. The highlight of her youth were her friends, the beach and swimming in the sea. She regularly swam from the Palace Pier (now the only remaining pier) to the West Pier. The swim between the two piers was 1500 meters or roughly a mile and there was an annual race, which was likely her impetus for swimming there and back. Neither of these piers were in situ during the Regency.
However, there was a pier (designed by Captain Samuel Brown, RN) built in 1823 in Brighton, during the reign of George IV. This is John Constable's rendition of Brighton beach, with the Royal Suspension Chain pier in the background.
I love this picture of the beach, the wind and waves, the people walking, the fisherman in the foreground. It is easy to imagine what Brighton was like in the time we are interested in.
This is Stein Street (as against old Stein). A tricky corner if ever there was one. We can imagine a Regency Hero trying to navigate this in his curricle with all the widows and young ladies looking on.
And in case you are imagining golden sands, here is the beach. It is in fact golden pebbles.
The Royal Pavilion at Brighton stands out as an icon in the world of Regency fiction. Brighton became the place for the haute ton in the summer with its libraries, Assembly Rooms, sea bathing and promenading all under the eye of the Prince of Wales. If you were in with the in crowd, then you would also be invited to a ball a the Pavilion.
It was here that Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold spent time together before Prinny gave his assent to their engagement. Some of that story, you can find in my short story, Princess Charlotte's Choice.
But that is not the only reason Brighton means a great deal to me. My very dear mother-in-law, while not born here, grew up here. Later my husband spent many happy childhood holidays on Brighton Beach while staying at his grandmother's boarding house.
So this particular visit to Brighton was not only a visit to one of the hearts of Regency England, it was also a walk down memory lane. And typical of memory lane, the weather was also typically wet all day. It drizzled on and off for the first part of our day, and as you can see the minarets of the Pavilion barely stood out against the grey of the sky.
By the way, not everyone holds George IV as he later became, in contempt.
This is a statue of him erected by public subscription in 1828. He was, of course, instrumental in changing Brighton from a small fishing village known as Brighthelmstone. The town itself adored our Prinny for the wealth he brought to their City.
Walking south from the Pavilion you come to Old Stein, where our characters can promenade and strut their stuff in the fashionable quarter of Prinny's Brighton.
The Old Stein was originally an open green with a stream running through it to the east of the village used by fishermen for the drying of their nets and of course ended at the beach. During our period it was enclosed and became much smaller than when Brighton had been simply Brighhelmston.
We had a lovely time wandering around the area and I will share more about this next time.....
A round pelisse made of the Moreno blue striped satin; long loose sleeve, trimmed over the hand with plain satin; a full ruff composed of the finest French cambric, richly ornamented with French work. A small French shawl of shaded silks thrown carelessly over the shoulders. A bonnet composed of orange-coloured satin, gipsied with a handkerchief of the same, edged and tied under the chin with Moreno blue satin ribbon; the handkerchief and the rim of the bonnet trimmed with blond lace, and a cluster of wild flowers ornamenting the crown. Sandals, red or blue morocco. Gloves, York tan.
The shawl looks rather carefully placed to me, but the description makes it sound enchanting, doesn't it?
I love seeing the reticule and although it is not described although it is not described, the colour makes it stand out beautifully, don't you think?