Thursday, October 11, 2007

Regency Life and Living


I thought we might have a bit of fun today, as I used to say to my girls before they got too growed up to have fun. I thought you might be interested in what we regency authors worry about when we are writing our books.

I know that readers also think about this things because I had a wonderful e-mail from a reader in Australia and I know I won’t be in her bad books if I quote just a little bit of her note:

I find many of the stories marred by poor research. Such things such as referring to foil wrapped confection. I must say I have to agree.

My Regency chapter, The Beaumonde, recently had a long discussion about the wearing of gloves at dinner. It was hard to find evidence, and sometimes you try to find portraits from the day as a clue, but generally agreed that ladies would remove their gloves while eating and while playing the piano and doing needlework, etc, but for everything else, including dancing, they would wear their gloves.

My intro picture shows two ladies shopping in Ackerman's Art Gallery in 1812, in their gloves. How hampering that would have been. This next one shows them dancing. One way of avoiding those male sweaty palms, I should think. But then when you finally did get to touch a male hand, skin on skin, it must have been quite an erotic experience. Remember that touch in the most recent version of Pride and Predjudice? Shivers down the spine, ladies.


The next pictures are of things where a lady would need some finger dexterity and therefore, as you can see gloves were not worn. I do wonder what they did with the darn things. They must have been forever getting lost, particularly those that were white or York tan, because they must all have looked the same.



Another interesting question arose about whether a man would wear his Hessian boots to a ball. We thought not, and indeed it was certainly expressly forbidden by Nash at the pump rooms in Bath, which probably meant that they would have if it had been allowed. Although a soldier in full dress uniform might, as seen here at the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball before Waterloo. Note however, that some of the soldiers in uniform are wearing dress shoes.



Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing into a writer's exciting life, lol.

Until next time, Happy rambles.