Friday, February 26, 2010

Stourhead ~ Continued

by Ann Lethbridge,

This is the longest walk known to regency enthusiast. We have been on the road together for months and months, but then it is all about the journey and not the destination.

Enough philosophy. Where were we?

Ah yes. The Stables.

How about this for a fancy horse dwelling? Yes this really did accommodate horses. There a some still in residence.

The stables are in a square formation and entered through a gate in a wall. I love the stonework, and you can clearly see how it has been altered over the years, arches removed, windows added.

You can see from the next picture that not only horses would have been kept here but their carriages too. And I have also added yet another stable. You can see that the horses in both of these went through a door into an sort of alleyway with three or four stalls rather that eight or nine stalls I would have expected.

Very pampered horses I would say.

The carriage and stable yard are thought to stand on the site of the original Stourton House which was around in the time of King Alfred the Great, i.e prior to 899.

There is a drawing of that family's fortified house drawn in 1685, but by our time it seems the stables had replaced it. To me a sad loss, but I am sure the new buildings were far more comfortable.

The guests of our time would not have stopped at the stables of course. They would have been driven up to the front door.

This is the view they would have been presented with.

Next time we will go inside. Until then, happy rambles.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Flora and Fauna - February

By Michele Ann Young

I am sorry to have been missing for a week. A couple of deadlines caught me up. Today we have a regular monthly feature.
The flower pictured is a snowdrop. I did mention it in a previous blog, but I thought this picture was worth a thousand words. And snowdrops are just so February.

Our naturist as this to say about February weatherwise:

The thermometer is often down below the freezing point, but is generally found at noon between 36 and 46 degrees; towards the end of the month it sometimes rises to 50 degrees or even 52 or 54 degrees. The severe weather, generally breaks up with a sudden thaw, accompanied by wind and rain; torrents of water pour from the hills, and the snow is completely dissolved.

Rivers swell and inundate the surrounding country, often carrying away bridges, cattle, mills, gates etc.

It seems to me this would make an interesting bit of drama in a book, so I will keep track of it, in hopes I can make use of it one day.

And the reason for our picture is this little snippet.

Many plants appear above ground in February, but few flowers, except the snowdrop, are to be found. This ‘icicle changed into a flower’ is sometimes fully opened from the beginning of the month.

My choice for the fauna is this magnificent hunter. A hen harrier. They are also found in North America. They are very much endangered in Britain. In winter found on fields and rough pasture, particularly coastal areas, marshes and often roosts communally in favoured reedbeds. The males are found in the Outer Hebrides and further south in the winter. Whereas in summer they are found in the uplands.

I hope you enjoyed this foray into the natural world.
Until next time, Happy rambles.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Am I Reading?

Drop by the Pink Heart Society Blog, to find me today. I would so love to see you there.

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Regency Fashion February

by Michele Ann Young

Here is a little bit of something fun for a cold February day!. Although if you are one of my Australian readers I gather you are having some pretty hot hot weather right now.

Head-dresses for February 1805 from the Lady's Magazine.

Here is how this plate is described.

HEAD-dresses in hair and turbans are still in undiminished vogue for full dress. In undress, next to the hats of black velvet, or of the same colour with the great coat now generally worn, a capote of rose-coloured satin, trimmed with a wide tulle, is most fashionable. The velvet hats are usually ornamented with feathers and flowers, and some are lined with a different colour: Cassimere [also called kerseymere] hats, of the same colour with the great coats, are edged with black velvet.

The dress represented in the annexed plate is now much worn. --a great coat of blue cassimere with a black velvet collar, and a velvet edging of the same colour. (This great coat comes down to the shoes and is trimmed in the same manner at the bottom)--Colerette à la Medicis--Coral necklace and ear-rings--the head-dress of hair raised on the top of the head, and fastened with a gold comb.

The cloth great coats have always large collars with folds.The taffety douillettes, which are pretty numerous, have likewise large collars of black velvet: they are usually of a bright nut- brown. The number of shawls continually diminishes: Palantines, both white and striped, begin to make their appearance.

We don't see the coat in the annexed plate, but I thought the description worth including. I also notice the use of the word "great coat". I have heard this used for men, but not for women, so I was interested to see this here.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Monday, February 1, 2010


by Ann Lethbridge

The excitement of a book coming out, never dwindles.

I am also really lucky, I get to celebrate new releases twice.

Once when they come out in the UK, and again when they come out in North America.

Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress, is now out in the UK, probably on shelves around February 4, so if you live in the Britain, this is lots of notice that you can find my book there later this week. and to make sure you can recognize it, here is the cover (again).

Bear with me, I am excited.

For those of you in North America, you have to wait until May for this book. But I have posted the cover below just as a teaser, to whet your appetites.

Such a different take on the cover, but I find I like them both very much.

Oh, and by the way a little bird told me that Captured for the Captain's Pleasure will be out in North America in June!

Oh be still my fast beating heart!

and then it will be almost time for Michele's next book!

Watch out for my next newsletter, coming soon. As usual there will be a prize!

Regency Fashion for February, coming up next time here on Regency Rambles

Until then, Happy Rambles.