Sunday, November 29, 2009

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain

by Michele Ann Young

The streams and rivers of Scotland team with Atlantic Salmon. The reason I have chosen to talk about this in November is that it is in late November when the female lays her eggs.

Up until then, salmon fishing is a prevalent in Scotland. As is it is in many countries with coast lines on the Atlantic.

Various forms of salmon preservation was used in the 18th century and salmon was transported to London in boats called smacks. If the weather was cold and the ship fast, then they might even be shipped fresh.

In 1786, and enterprising supplier sent salmon to London packed in ice from the Spey. This proved to be an instant success.

Ice houses were built to store ice all over the place.

Now those of you have followed some of my nonsense know I collect ice houses. So here is another one to add to my collection.

This one is situated at Tentsmuir Point near Tayport.

In the 1800's and before, highlanders in the Glens speared Salmon. At that time it was a legal form of fishing.

Here is a picture of spearing at night. They called it burning. When they speared in the day, they called it sunning.

Commercial fishing took place in the estuaries with various forms of nets and small boats called cobles or stake nets set in the ground.

Fly fishing or angling was a fairly new way of catching fish at the beginning of the 1800's, but soon caught on amongst the gentlemen around our period.

Much of the salmon these days is farmed, but if you are like me and love salmon in its many forms from sushi to smoked, then I think you know why it has always been popular.

That's it from me. Until next time. Happy rambles.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Normans Are Coming

by Ann Lethbridge

Love History? Then this is one is for you. Not Regency, but as I never grow tired of saying, what went before is all part of the tapestry that makes up Britain. You might find yourself watching more than once to pick up new things each time.

Until the current story is finished, my rambles are very much restricted, but by the end of the week, I should be back on the hoof.

Until then enjoy this ramble through a very interesting time in our past.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fashion For November

by Michele Ann Young

The last of the leaves are sitting in brown bags at the curb and I must say I now really feel as if winter is just around the corner. I can remember Novembers in England as a child, the nights drawing in, the smell of coal fires in the fog. In fact, it was more than a smell, it was a taste on your tongue. And chilblains. And chapped knees that would only get worse as winter went on, since girls never wore pants. We were not allowed to wear trousers, even in the depths of winter, even right through high school. I used to wear pantyhose and socks over the top, and that was a no no, too.

Ah, those were the days.

I think I would have done anything for a nice long frock like the ones pictured here.

Aren't they glam?

These are from the Lady's Monthly Museum for November 1806

The first is a Walking Dress

"Nankeen Pelisse, border of White Lace; Straw Gipsy Hat ornamented with a Wreath of white Flowers, and Bow of Ribbons on one side; Swansdown Tippet."

Interesting the use of Nankeen for a pellisse. We often see it as little boy's trousers, or for working men. It was a durable fabric originally loomed by hand in China from natural cotton having a yellowish color.

The second gown is of course the one we all want to wear, provided we have a sylph-like figure. Sigh - those were the days.

Full Dress

Round dress of pink or brown Silk Gauze, fastened up on one side with white Silk cord; Turban sleeves, lined and trimmed up with white Silk; Head fashionably dressed with a Plume of small Feathers, fastened with a sprig of Pearls; White tied Gloves, and Swansdown Muff.

Very pretty. A round gown refers to the construction of the dress. It simply means the gown does not open at the front and show the petticoat, as was common earlier in the previous century.

That is is from me, until next time, Happy Rambles

Friday, November 13, 2009

Writer's Corner

Fashion for the month will be here in the next post but here are a couple of fun links for those of you who are writers.

Ever wondered about all the technical terminology a writer needs to know, in addition to needing to write a book. Tom's Glossary explains them all.

A couple of for examples right from the top

ADVANCE: A secret code signalling to the marketing department whether or not to promote a title.

ADVANCE COPY: A bound book that when opened by an editor will instantly expose an embarrassing mistake.

AUTHOR: A large class of individuals (approximately three times as numerous as readers) serving a promotional function in book marketing or providing make-work for editorial interns.

AUTHOR TOUR: A hazing ritual intended to make authors compliant to their publishers.

And just in case you are not having fun yet, I think this link all about copyediting Shakespeare will make you smile. I hasten to add that I have never ever run into anything like this with my editor, so it is easier for me to laugh about this one.

Have a great weekend and until next time, Happy Rambles.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Georgian Theatre Royal ~ Richmond, Yorkshire

by Michele Ann Young

I stumbled across a pdf today on the renovation of the Georgian Theatre Royal, in Richmond, Yorkshire. I was looking for something completely different. Trying to find out if a retracting roof might be a possibility. As it happens, I did find one in Venice for our period. Decided against it in the end.

Anyway I don't have permission to post the pdf here, but this theatre is so typically and beautifully Georgian and was open during the Regency, all I can do is suggest you visit the link and enjoy. If you click the picture it will take you to the theatre's official website.

My other bit of excitement was the unexpected arrival of copies the next Ann Lethbridge book,
Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress. These are hardback copies primarily for the UK library market, but since it was the first time I got a peek at the cover, it was a thrill. I did manage to scan it in for you to see, but I now see it is up on Amazon too.


I like it. Actually, crazy fool that I am, I got goose bumps. It clearly doesn't take a great deal to make me happy.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.