Monday, January 12, 2009

The London of the Ton - Part II


By Ann Lethbridge.
News!

The Rake's Intimate Encounter at eharlequin.com is selling like hotcakes.It has hit the top ten several times over the past nine days. Can you tell I am thrilled. And while I realize the gown is not exactly right, I do love this cover. Thanks to all of you who have indulged in my first offering for Harlequin.

Now back to earth.

I promised some interesting views of London and dear reader, as always I will keep my promise.



This first picture is acutally a cartoon of the times entitled "Advantages of Oil Over Gas."

I think the title is a bit tongue in cheek because having oil tipped on your head is hardly an advantage. London was very advanced for its time, with its lamps throughout the better neighborhoods in the city. There was nothing even close in Paris at this time. And the new gas lamps were superior to the old oil lanterns. I will share the opposite = picture next time. But what I really like about this one is not just the commentary, reminding us that things were changing, but the scene itself. The flagstone walkway, the wrought iron railings around the town house, the knocker and the steps up to the front door.

There is also the difference in dress between the gentleman, who is very Regency looking in his pantaloons and the breechclad lamplighter. All great scene setters for writers.

Five o'clock was always the fashionable driving hour in Hyde Park, and this picture gives us a rare glimpse of what it was like.

Three things occured to me as I looked at this picture. Firstly the dearth of women. I can see one clearly, though I believe there may be others in the back ground. Secondly, how crowded it is. Worse that a shopping mall on Christmas Ever. If they were riding or driving it was definitely going slowly. Lastly, how high those phaetons are. Terrifying. It is amazing to think that these were the sports cars of the day and driven with great skill by these young men.

Well, that is all for today. Hope you enjoyed rambling around London with me.