Monday, January 1, 2007

First-footing! And What did People Wear in January in the Regency?


May all your first-footers (the first person over your doorstep after midnight on January 1st) be tall dark and handsome and carrying a lump of coal. For in Scotland and other regions in the North of Engand, where the ancient customes of New Years were more likely to be celebrated than they were in Regency London. A first-footer as described above would bring you all the luck you needed for the following year. On the other hand a first footer who was of ugly demeanor might bring you a whole year's worth of bad luck! It certainly brings to mind the possibility for an interesting meeting for a story. :) The picture is of Edinburgh, but from the dress, it is from the Victorian period. However, my guess is that it did not change much over the years.

What is in Store for the coming year.

I promised you some fashions. I have a Christmas gown I wanted to share with you, then I though I would focus on January fashions across the Regency. In fact, I will do fashions by month throughout the year. I will post a few here, blogging does not allow for more, and more on my website. Later in the week we will have January Flora and Fauna as usual and each week I thought I might post some interesting dates for the month - from the long Regency - or maybe even the Georgian era, there is just so much fascinating stuff during this period.
As you can tell, I have been making some new year's resolutions that involves this blog. Enjoy the result.

Fashion
Christmas 1818. Don't you just love the fur trim and those stripes! Note also the belling of the skirt as we move later into the regency. The dog now, I'm not sure about. Might be a pomeranian. I did take a workshop on dogs in the Regency and that is about as close as I can come. If you have a better idea..... Let me know.











Below is January 1805. Note the high waists and straight lines from early in the Regency, and the fur muff. Yes, dear I said muff. It is the big fluffy thing the first girl is holding. You put your hands inside to keep your fingers warm. I had one as a child and they still show up in the fashion mags from time to time. But you can guess why the meaning might have become salacious over time lol. Also remember that England is never really cold (or hot), and while Jack Frost might nip your fingers and toes, he would rarely give you frost bite. However, there was a mini ice age going on during this era and the Winter of 1813-1814 was cold enough to freeze the Thames as far down as London.









January 1818, A mourning outfit - a walking cloak in full morning and an evening dress that represents half mourning. It is actually quite stunning.


Here is a delightful cartoon from the era, not quite sure of the year, but you can imagine that she is replying to the Happy New Year of some passing gentleman. And look at the pattens on her feet, the little raised wooden slats that were tied on over shoes or boots to keep them out of the wet, mud and snow.



Regency Timelines
Dear Rambler, you will see that I select what appeals to me as a writer.
January 6 1804 - Twelfth-day: the bishop of London makes an offering of
frankincense, gold, and myrrh. at Chapel Royal, St. James's.

January 18 1804 - The Queen's birthday is honored. There is a gala at court at noon-- A Ball at St. James's where peers and their wives and daughters who had been presented to the queen were present and illuminations in public places and houses of royal tradesmen.

January 5, 1811: Two outside passengers on the Carlisle coach frozen to death.

Jan. 13, 1811: A Gallant Action took place in which the merchant ship Cumberland, Capt. Barratt, beat off four French privateers.

More next time. Until then - Happy New Year and Pleasant Rambles.
With all best wishes to you and your families.