Thursday, October 8, 2015

Regency Fashion ~ October 1815

Morning Dress October 1815
From Ackermann's Repository

1815 seems to be the year of the ruffle, as I look back over several of this year's fashion blogs.

This one looks more like a nightgown to me and the use of the word negligee in the description makes me realize why. Of course morning dresses were designed for wearing around the house while looking pretty. I always love it when they add furniture to the picture.

Here is the official description

A CAMBRIC muslin petticoat, ornamented at the feet with a double flounce of French work, appliqued with a narrow heading of the same; 

the body, from the shoulder to the neck, gathered full into narrow trimming, corresponding with the heading of the flounce; a military collar, frilled with the French work; 

short French negligĂ©e, open in the front, and trimmed entirely round to correspond; long loose sleeve, gathered into a narrow trimming at the wrist, with a ruffle of the same French work. A round cap, composed of white satin and quilled lace; a white satin rose in the front. 

Stockings, ribbed silk. 

Slippers, red morocco or black kid.

Until next time………..

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Regency Britain - Hever Castle

This castle is likely one of the most famous in Britain, having been home to two of Britain's Queens.  Ann Boleyn and Ann of Cleves.

It was built as a defensive castle in the 13th Century,
by William de Hever, Sheriff under Edward I.  Even though after going into disrepair for several decades, the defensive nature of it is easily seen.

One can imagine it firing the imagination of little Regency girls and boys playing knights and maidens in distress, or maiden going out to battle the invading armies.

And yes, that is a moat all around the outside. One passes over a bridge to get into the house.

It was in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that Hever Castle was owned by the Bullens, relatives of Ann Boleyn. By this time, the defensive nature was a thing of the past. It was a Tudor home.

These  photo's clearly illustrate that, but although it was Tudor in style during the Regency it was owned by Jane Waldo, the daughter of a knight of the realm, Sir Timothy Waldo, so it could easily be a back drop for a Regency story.

Next time, we go inside the house. Untill then.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Regency Fashion September 1815

As we move into Fall, this September dress makes a bit impression for sheer femininity. 

A Carriage Dress from Ackermans for September 1815. I love that she has a lorgnette in one hand and a lacy handkerchief in the other.  I can remember carrying real handkerchiefs about my person as a child.  I still have a gift box of embroidered ones given to me by my grandmother somewhere. Paper tissues just don't quite feel the same do they?  Although I do like the little packets with pretty designs on the wrapping that you keep in your purse.  I digress.

Ackermann's describes this dress as follows.

Carriage Dress September 1815

Cambric muslin, jaconet, or French cambric dress, of short walking length, ornamented round the skirt with four borders of embroidery laid on; long sleeve, the fullness at the wrist confined in a bracelet of corresponding embroidery let in. 

Plain handkerchief, front trimmed en suite. The back of the dress broad and plain, sloped low between the shoulders; the fullness of the petticoat extended round the waist; the sleeve worn considerably off the shoulder, and the waist very short. 

The Anglesea chip hat, decorated with a full cluster of ostrich feathers, drooping forward. Sandals, kid, of the Pomona green colour. Gloves, Limerick or York tan.

I think this is a very flattering style of hat and one can imagine a lady able to stride out in a dress of this shape. I think this is an outfit I would use in a story.

Until next time

Thursday, September 17, 2015

No Conventional Miss

Today we welcome debut author writing for Harlequin Historicals, Eleanor Webster, whose new book No Conventional Miss is out in October 2015.
She's always been different… Amaryllis Gibson is an unlikely debutante. She favors fact over fashion, cares not for "proper" conversation and is haunted by ghostly visions which could land  her in the madhouse! Marriage is definitely the last thing on Rilla's mind… But when she's caught in a compromising position with Viscount Wyburn, suddenly she finds herself betrothed! And worse, his powerful presence only increases her visions. By shedding light on the viscount's past, can Rilla gain his trust and win him round to her more…unconventional traits?

Welcome Eleanor, please tell us something about your journey to authorship and the research you undertook for this book.

I have always loved the Regency Period. Perhaps this developed from a youthful over- indulgence in Georgette Heyer but I think it is more than that. Regency society is one poised for change. The inventions of the Industrial Revolution are emerging, bringing with them the anticipation of societal transformation. Years ago, a friend got a summer job in Austria – we lived in Canada - by connecting his computer through the telephone lines. I was fascinated. It was a glimpse into the future and, although I could not anticipate its impact, I felt an emotional charge, an innate gut-level understanding that I was witnessing a game changer.

I wonder if people observing Richard Trevithick's first steam-driven railway journey in 1804 felt a similar charge. Or those brave passengers who boarded his ‘Catch-me-who-can’ locomotive  in London. Granted, many would have scoffed. Trevithick’s locomotives  had a habit of breaking the rails and falling over but I still think there would have been an atmosphere – a feeling – at least, for those with imagination and the spirit of innovation

My heroine, Amaryllis (Rilla) Gibson in the October Harlequin Historical release, No Conventional Miss, has exactly this spirit. Rilla is keenly interested in force, momentum and any number of ‘unladylike’ activities. She is working on an automated butter churn and has an eager enthusiasm for all things scientific.

As I began my research, I wondered whether any ‘real-life’ Regency woman might be similar to Rilla or were such accomplishments destined to remain in the fictional realm. Then I found Sarah Guppy (1770-1852). Sarah was born in Birmingham and patented numerous designs. Indeed, she achieved considerable financial success, earning a contract from the British Navy worth £40,000 for a device to prevent the growth of barnacles on ships. And then there is my personal favorite; her invention of a tea or coffee urn which also cooked eggs and warmed toast.

Needless to say, the number of female Regency inventors is limited – at least those publicly acknowledged. Indeed, women were not even permitted to become fellows of Britain foremost scientific institution, the  Royal Society of London, until 1945.

However, current historians are starting to rediscover people like Sarah and recognize female scientific accomplishments during the 18th and 19th century. Richard Holmes in the The Age of Wonder argues that women contributed to a far greater extent than is commonly acknowledged. Moreover, he states that they saw science in the context of a wider world, raising questions about its duties and moral responsibilities.

As for me, the Regency Period will always fascinate and I will continue to write about those women, both real and imagined, who had a zest for living, an imagination and the spirit of innovation.
Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder won the Royal Society's Science Books Prize for 2009; its sequel, The Lost Women of Victorian Science, will be published by HarperCollins and Pantheon USA

Eleanor loves high-heels and sun, which is ironic as she lives in northern Canada, the land of snowhills and unflattering footwear. Various crafting experiences, including a nasty glue-gun episode,  have proven that her creative soul is best expressed through the written word. Eleanor is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology and holds an undergraduate degree in history and creative writing. She loves to use her writing to explore her fascination with the past.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Regency Fashion September 1815

As we move into the cooler weather for autumn we see it reflected in this Dinner Dress from Ackermann's for September 1815
The magazine describes this gown as follows

A WHITE satin slip, worn under a dress made in primrose-coloured French gauze, terminating at the feet with a full flounce of blond lace, headed with a double border of the same, gathered in full, and confined with folds of satin, of corresponding colour to the dress; 

handkerchief-front trimmed with white satin, and a falling collar of blond lace; long sleeve of white satin, the fullness upon the shoulder confined under an epaulet of the French gauze, trimmed with white satin;

the sleeve drawn alternatingly across the arm with the evening primrose-coloured satin ribbon. Long sash of white satin, tied in front. 

The ends of the hind hair brought forward, to fall in ringlets over the temple, confined with a plain white satin ribbon, and ornamented with a tiara of pearl. 

Necklace to correspond. Gloves, French kid. Slippers, white satin.

Well, to me, primrose is a yellow colour and the artist made this blue. I almost want to get my colouring pencils out and fix it.  Perhaps yellow did not work well in print to show the difference between the blond lace etc. and the French gauze. Not that I don't really like the blue, it just doesn't say primrose to me.


Until next time, when we will be meeting Eleanor Webster and her debut book, No Conventional Miss…….

For more information about Ann Lethbridge and her books, visit

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Regency Fashions August 1815

Books being what they are we are playing catchup. I wanted you to have this August dress before I started on September's offerings.

This is a summer Promenade Dress from Ackermann's Repository and this is the extracted description:

High dress, with plain body, buttoned or laced behind, composed of a rich satin-striped sarsnet, of celestial blue and white colour, trimmed at the feet with white satin;

long loose sleeve, confined at the wrist with a fulling of tull, edged with white satin;

a deep full ruff, of the French work, round the neck; a short sash of white satin ribbon, tied behind.

A French bonnet, composed of tull fulled in, and alternate folds of white satin; a roll of white satin, laced with tull, ornaments the edge of the bonnet; satin strings, tied under the ear.

Necklace of Oriental-gold.

Stockings elastic or ribbed silk.

Sandals crossed high up the ankle with blue ribbon. Gloves Limerick or blue kid. Parasol of shaded silk.

i thought this looked particularly elegant though I am not a fan of ruffs.

Until next time…..

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Regency Inns

 Pubs hold a very special place in Britain as they did in the Regency.  Here are a couple in the small village of Thruxton, Hampshire where we stayed overnight.   Both inns were built well before the Regency.

The George Inn is a 17th century coaching inn which a character in a book might well have stopped at en route by stage or perhaps postchaise.

The White Horse Inn, dating back to the fourteenth century, however, is very different.  It is located in the village near "Mullenspond" and in 1761 a turnpike gate was set up opposite it for the turnpike road between Amesbury and Andover.

The two views of the front and back of the inn provide a sense of its charm and a wonderful setting for a trip during Regency times.

Until next time

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Regency Fashion August 1815

Such a pretty summer evening dress 
for August 1815 from Ackermann's Repository.

A WHITE satin petticoat, ornamented at the feet with a broad border of tull and satin; a frock-body, tied behind, composed of tull and satin, with a quilling of tull terminating at each end point of the shoulder-strap; a short sleeve, richly ornamented with frilled tull, corresponding to the bottom of the dress; short sash of white satin, tied in full bows behind. 
        Cap composed of white satin and gathered tull, decorated in the front with a full wreath formed of tull edged with satin. Stockings plain silk. Slippers white kid or ribbed sarsnet. Gloves French kid, drawn over the elbow.
       The waists of both morning and full dress continue extremely short, and the backs in full dress are generally brought very low, and frequently to the bottom of the waist. The fronts of both high and low bodies continued without alteration; and are made plain, to fit the shape. 
      In morning and promenade dress the sleeve is universally long, and this month worn of the same material as the dress. The short full sleeve is equally prevalent in evening costume. The length of the walking petticoat continues to meet the top of the sandal, which appears in more estimation than the boot. The most prevailing colours for the present month are, Pomona green, primrose, apple-blossom, and the celestial blue.

I love that we get the names of the popular colours for the month don't you?
Ann Lethbridge

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Regency Fashion July 1815

I hope you are having a wonderful summer.  I have been enjoying the good weather, but do not want to say goodbye to July without our second fashion feature, which I am inputting sitting on my deck with a warm breeze blowing.
I really like this gown, and love that it uses pomona green satin in stripes.  Clearly our young lady is of a musical bent, at least I am seeing this as a song book, what do you think?

Evening Gown - July 1815 from Ackermann's Repository

A white satin slip, worn under a dress formed of tull, with folds of satin of Pomona green and white alternately let in, terminating at the feet with a rich flounce of blond lace, headed with a broad border of white roses, appliqued with lilies of the valley.

A frock front, tastefully varied with tull and satin ribbon; the back brought to a point, reaching the bottom of the waist, and trimmed from the points of the stomacher in front with quilling of blond lace.

Short fancy sleeve of tull and satin ribbon, corresponding with the front of the dress. Short sash of net edged with green satin, tied in bows behind.

Head-dress, a plume of ostrich feathers; necklace, pearl; ear-drops and bracelets to correspond; slippers, white satin; gloves of French kid, drawn over the elbow.

The dresses of this month, as well as those of the last, are furnished by Mrs. Bean, of Albemarle-street, a lady to whose taste and invention the fashionable world is under considerable obligations.

And for those who prefer to sit indoors and embroider, a pattern you can try from the same issue.
One of these days I am going to give one of these a go.  Until next time……..

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Travelling Through Regency England

It wasn't all grand houses, you know.  So as I travel I take pictures of places my heroes and heroines might pass or visit on their way through the English countryside.

Here are a couple from around Lulworth.

 This Church abuts the castle and would have served the protestant congregation in counterpoint the to Roman Catholic Church inside the grounds.

A view I could not resist as we departed Lulworth

One cannot go far without finding a village in.  This is the Weld Arms, Weld being the family name of those who owned Lulworth Castle you will recall from earlier posts.  I though I would mention it just in case you did not.

This in dates from the 17th century and with a bit of imagination it can be used as a stopping place along the road of any Regency journey

Part of the back of the inn in case it might be needed for a quick escape.

Here we have a shot of the interior. Something tells me this is a combining of two floors.  I would re-imagine that upper window as looking out over the road from a private parlour.

 This interior with its low ceiling looks far more how I would imaging the lower floor of this inn.  But of course it to has been updated.

Below we have the sign with the Weld family Arms.

And so we leave Dorset and move on to Hampshire.  More next time

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Great Offer for Canadian Readers

As a writer, I thought this one was too good not to promote to my Canadian #readers in case they did not see it:

This weekend only

Buy a Kobo and get a $10 Kobo Gift Card for FREE Online Only at!

After all, but what is summer all about.  Reading Reading Reading.

For the rest of the world ~ you know where to find your books, hopefully you will find an equally good promotion.

Until next time…..

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Regency Fashion July 1815

 Bikini in the Regency? Not so much. But you can see her ankles. This is what you wore on the beach two hundred years ago. Mind you I have spent some chilly days on an English beach in July as a kid, as well as some lovely warm ones.

WALKING DRESS - from Ackermann's Repository for July 1815

                A HIGH dress, of short walking length, made of French cambric or jaconot muslin, trimmed at the feet with treble flounces of French work, gathered into a rich bead-heading, and laid upon the dress, at a suitable distance, one above the other; 

the body made with open fronts, worn with a full ruff of the French work, corresponding to the trimming at the feet; a long sleeve, drawn alternately across the arm, terminates with a broad wristband, worn plain over the hand.

French bonnet of white satin, edged and tied under the chin with satin ribbon of celestial blue; ornamented with a rich plume of white feathers, edged to correspond. 

French mangle of the twilled silk en suite, richly embroidered at the ends in shaded silks, composing roses or lilies of the valley. Patent silk stockings. Slippers, or half-boots, of blue kid, or primrose colour. Gloves to correspond.
 Additional note regarding general fashions for the month

 The bodies of the morning and promenade costume continue to be worn with cross or handkerchief fronts, and are generally trimmed, agreeably to the texture of the dress, with quilled tull or ribbon. The quilled ribbon is also predominate in single rows at the feet of all dresses composed of silk, bombazeen, or fancy prints. The prevailing colours are primrose, celestial blue, and evening primrose; the waist short, and the fullness of the petticoat carried to the back. Ruffs of French work are universally worn, except in full dress. The length of the petticoat continues not to exceed meeting the top of the boot; and the colour of the latter corresponds with the glove, mantle, and trimming of the bonnet.

I love the sound of celestial blue, don't you?  Until next time.....

Monday, June 29, 2015

Regency Fashion June 1815

 What better way to end June than with this lovely carriage dress from Ackermann's repository.

Here is the description

White satin pelisse, richly ornamented at the feet with clusters of leaves made in white twilled sarsnet, headed with tull; open fronts, trimmed to the bottom of the waist with a superb shell trimming of white satin ribbon and tull; loose unconfined sleeve, with corresponding trimmings at the hand. 

Hat composed of white satin and tull, with a plume of feathers of the Pomona green. 

Half-boots of similar colour. Gloves en suite.

I have the feeling that this lady has been waiting quite some time to be collected for her carriage ride. Or did she just hear a knock at the door? Either way, it is very pretty.

And in case you are feeling energetic, here is some needlework from the same edition you might like to have a go a in your spare time.

Until next month.....

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last Day for the Goodreads Giveaway

Click here for the link.

Until next time…………..

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Giveaway on Goodreads

I love having a new book out, and to celebrate I am giving away two copies of The Duke's Daring Debutante on Goodreads.

The action-packed, sexy offshoot of Lethbridge's Beresford Abbey series begins when the grown-up Minette arrives at Duke Freddy's gaming hall with a dangerous proposition…. Lethbridge makes Minette and Freddy's journey to love a must-read. ~ 4 Stars ~ Romantic Times 


Disgraced by His Grace!

Frederick, Duke of Falconwood, has vowed never to marry, instead dedicating himself to protecting his country. But when he's caught in a very compromising position with a coquettish debutante, Freddy does the only thing that will salvage her reputation—he proposes marriage! 

Even though Minette Rideau craves the stoic duke's touch, she knows she can't become his wife. For giving in to her desires will reveal a shameful secret, putting much more than her virtue in jeopardy…

The Duke's Daring Debutante is book three in the Beresford Abbey Trilogy.

The previous books are:

Haunted by the Earl's Touch (Book One) Published February 2013
Captured Countess (Book Two) Published December 2014

Follow the link in the sidebar, or check out my website for more information.

Until next time………...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Regency Fashion - June 1815

Two Hundred years ago today, what might the ladies have worn to the Duchess of Richmond's ball a few nights before the battle of Waterloo?

This seems to be the perfect gown, doesn't it?

From gowns for June 1815 by way of  Ackermann's the description is as follows:

A FROCK of French figured gauze, worn over a slip of white satin; the frock trimmed at the feet with a deep flounce of blond lace, and decorated with wreaths of lilac; 
the fronts of the body ornamented with a cope of blond lace; short full sleeve, trimmed to correspond. 
Stockings of elastic silk. Slippers white silk or kid. 
Gloves French kid, drawn over the elbow. 
Hair in irregular curls, blended with a wreath of lilac.

Yes, I can see the ladies of the day in this, flirting with the young officers about to meet Napoleon. The glitter of jewelry, the scarlet and blue of uniforms and the dazzle of gold braid and among them all, Wellington as cool as a cucumber.

By the way, don't miss my Goodreads Giveaway for the Duke's Daring Debutante.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Duke's Daring Debutante by Ann Lethbridge

The Duke's Daring Debutante

by Ann Lethbridge

Giveaway ends June 25, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to Win

Until next time…..

Monday, June 1, 2015

Celebrating a Coronation in the Regency

Or at least, the coronation that ended the Regency.  I found this little gem in Totnes in Devon, England.  If you have never heard of Totnes, it is a town with a long history, more of which we will be hearing about later.  This however was an unexpected glimpse into Regency life.

Bear with me. This is not a great photo but circumstances were difficult.  These are the regulations to celebrate George IV's coronation and to summarize,

The Committee and the local folk were to assemble at 10 am and preceded by a band process to Mayoralty House were they would pick up the Corporation (town corporation or Council)  and from thence attend a religious service.

After which they would process back to the Bowling-green, where the Stewards would take their stations at tables set out where "Oh the Roast Beef of Old England" would be heard and I assume served and be said stewards would "joined by their neighbours in the attack on the solid fair provided for the occasion."

It advises that "Every person must provide himself with a Plate, Knife and Fork and Cup and take his station with his family specified in is ticket".

At five O'clock tables will be cleared and tea provided for females and children under the supervision of LADIES.  So the Ladies are the gentry one assumes are laying this on for the general populace.

After this the Festivities are to conclude with Music and Dancing on the Bowling-green.

So in the Regency, that is how a Coronation was celebrated in a very small town in Devon.

Until next time…..

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Regency Fashion May 1815

Here we have another of our advertisements, this one from the May edition of Ackermann's Repository. 

The numbers refer to the numbers in the picture and the description gives us some insight to assorted fabrics, some of which are new to me along with places where they may be bought.

Seven hundred and eighty guineas for a shawl is something that boggles the mind.


1. A green striped French kluteen, designed for the spring spencer or pelisse; but is equally appropriate for evening dress; it admits of fancy trimming of the same nature, or those of quilled net or thread lace. It is furnished us by Messrs. Layton and Shears, Henrietta-street, Covent-Garden.

2 and 3 are the new Japanese Bettilla muslins brought out and sold by the house of Millard in the city. They are an excellent specimen of the ingenuity of the British manufacturer, and since the interchange with Parisian fashions and the rage for colours have taken place, they are become the leading article of the day. The Japanese dress, when made, in the present style, very full, with a variety of flounces, forms an admirable dress for the morning promenade and intermediate house costume. The designs in lace and other articles for evening dress, brought forward by this house, are admirable; and the collection of superb India shawls and other India productions, afford a rich treat to that class of society which is in the habit of using those costly articles; hence the proprietor has rightly styled this extensive establishment the East India Warehouse. At this house was seen that admirable production of Eastern manufacture and grandeur, the beautiful and magnificent Golconda shawl, valued at 780 guineas, of which no one can form a just conception without seeing it, or having been at the palaces of the Great Mogul.

4. A pink and blue printed muslin, of extremely delicate appearance, equally calculated for domestic wear, or the spring bonnet and pelisse. It is sold by J. and T. Smith, Tavistock-street, Covent-Garden.

I hope you have enjoyed this particular ad and our third wander into Regency fashion this month. until next time…...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Regency Fashion May 1815

Evening Gown

This is pretty, though garnet yewer is not something I am familiar with.

Pink satin frock, richly ornamented round the bottom with a deep border of garnet yewer, headed with festoons of flowers; 
the body and sleeves trimmed with double rows of white satin; a small border of flowers let in on the shoulder; a full plaiting of blond lace round the neck. Gloves white kid; shoes to correspond. 

The hair crossed, with full curls on the forehead and in the neck.

Until next time….

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Regency Flora and Fauna

It has been a while since I posted anything on this topic, but I thought these pictures might entertain as well as inform.

A wild bramble or blackberry bush in flower in a hedgerow. The stems are extremely prickly.  The fruit forms over the summer and is picked late August September. I can recall going blackberry picking out in the woods and fields with my dad so mum could make blackberry and apple pies to her heart's content. And blackberry and apple jam. I can taste it even as I think about it.

And here is a dear little bunny who just happened to catch my eye. Watership Down, anyone?