Monday, April 26, 2010

Excitment is Building

by Ann Lethbridge
There is never any doubt that the days before a book comes out are full of excitment and trepidation

Of course they are also full of the current projects too.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be blogging at other sites and will post the links here.

Today you can find me at Miss Bluestocking If you have a moment I would love to see you there.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Friday, April 23, 2010

Regency Travel

by Michele Ann Young

I thought I would chime in here with a bit more on carriages. This next picture is particularly useful if you would like something to go wrong with your carriage.

Or you want your hero or heroine to cling to something, or even jump out. It is a long way down my friends.

I fear you might need your quizzing glass or your lorgnette to read the darn thing, though!

This is a laundolet, a rather elegant affair. I noticed that most of these carriages were convertibles, apart from the travelling carriages or chariots as they ware also called.

There are likely a couple of reason for this. Firstly, it would be cheaper to built a soft top and secondly, these were see and be seen vehicles. Of course the extreme was the phaeton with no top at all. Though some did have them.

I wanted to include a travelling chariot. We saw a picture of one last day, but I thought this one much clearer that the one my colleague produced earlier in the week. So there!

What I liked about this is the insignia on the door, and the lamps on each of the front corners in particular.

I can't imagine traveling in the dark with nothing but those to see the way. It also clearly shows glass, so the passengers can see forwards.

There were bigger travelling carriages than this of course, this one looks like a speedy affair, but an old lady might own something that looked more like a mail coach.

If you are wondering where people kept their horses and carriages in Town, we will have some pictures of that next time.

Until then, Happy Rambles

Monday, April 19, 2010

Travel in the Regency

by Ann Lethbridge
Before we move on to our topic, we have to get our shameless self promotion out of the way.

Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress is now listed on the eharlequin site. Clicking on the link will take you to the book for purchase.

Now on to the interesting stuff.

We have talked about this topic before, but currently I have my hero and heroine needing to travel from where they are to somewhere else. I want the journey to take approximately a day. I want it to be far enough to make it seem like a trip, but not so far they need to stay over night.

It is winter. They are in Yorkshire.

Now the good thing about being an author is that I can place my imaginary destination, the hero's estate, anywhere in relation to the heroine's house.

But there are choices to be made, which add complications.

My hero travelled to the heroine's house in his own vehicle and Whatever he is driving, it would probably be the fastest of those pictured here and the least convenient, he won't want to leave his horses behind, it would be a bit like abandoning your Ferrari.

On the other hand, there are others traveling with them.

And, given their circumstances, as I have it plotted right now, they would need to travel in a closed carriage something like the one pictured below.

Since the average speed of a coach could vary between four miles and hour for a slow coach or up to twelve miles and hour for a fast one and even sixteen for our hero's racing vehicle, the distance that can be travelled in a day, is dependent on state of the roads, changing or not changing horses, and the type of vehicles.

In the end, I decided that thirty miles was far enough to seem like a distance, though today it would seem like a mere half hour jaunt, yet not so close one would simply set out on foot. Our couple are not going to change horses, and the pace is set by the travelling coach, which is not quite as modern or light as the one pictured here. It will take them all day.

Until next time, Happy rambles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flora and Fauna of Regency England

by Michele Ann Young

Our Naturist kindly tells us that rosemary blooms in April. Rosemary is a hardy evergreen plant and will live for up to twenty years, growing to a height of around three feet. It is a decorative herb originating from the Mediterranean and bears small, blue or white flowers in late spring. So this herb would be commonly found in kitchen gardens. My mum had a huge one. We had to fight with it to get the car door open in the drive. I loved the scent when you crush the leaves.

The nice thing about this is of course that we are very familiar with it today. I am going to pop it under food too.

April is the time for spring bulbs, tulips among them as reported by Robert Furber in his 1730 Twelve Month's of Flowers which could well have been a resource for an enthusiastic gardner in the Regency.

Tulips came from Turkey to Europe. Between 1634 and 1637, the early enthusiasm for the new flowers triggered a speculative frenzy now known as the tulip mania and tulip bulbs were then considered a form of currency.

This is a picture of an "old English Tulip" or a flamed tulip. The flaming or feathering apparently caused by a virus, and never the same two years in a row, if I understand my reading correctly. It is a variety which has almost died out, but this is what tulips would have looked like in the Regency. If you are interested in Old English Tulips, The Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society established in 1836 might be the place to start.

This bird exists and nests out on the heaths of England. It is a Stonechat. It is called a stone chat because its breeding and alarm call sounds like two pebbles being clinked together. Want to hear it? Go here. Isn't technology wonderful? This bird likes to nest in bushy shrubs like gorse in the early spring.

Well that is it from me. I have some writing to get done today. Almost at the end of this book, so I am hoping to finish it today. Always exciting. But then comes the editing.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Regency Fashion For April

by Ann Lethbridge
I hope you all had a Happy Easter. We had a very nice family time, as well as some amazingly warm weather.

From the Lady's Magazine

Our first gown is a full dress: Of white satin; headdress of the same; white kid gloves and shoes.

The second is a walking dress, of pale blue silk mantle embroidered with gold bonnet and shoes to correspond.

The classical style is very much in evidence in these two gowns, along with the furniture upon which one of the ladies reclines. This is right before the real Regency began, but it is often this kind of style that is most associated with the period.

While not as nice as some of our pictures, hopefully the description will help with the image. As always it is nice to have a male in the picture.

This is from Le Beau Monde 1807

For the lady: a morning walking dress, a manteline a la Castilliane; This is described as: a short mantle of orange and purple velvet, made to fasten on the right shoulder, and, crossing the bosom, is confined with rich cords and tassels under the left arm; rounded gradually so the bottom of the right side is a regular point; a body of the same, with sleeves and high full collar; the back and skirt are cut in one, with only one arm hole; the whole trimmed entirely round with spotted leopard fur. A train petticoat of clear India muslin, made full and quite plain, without any ornament of work whatever, is worn with this dress; white kid gloves, and shoes of the same colour as the mantle.

For the gentleman: A half-full dress is described as: a light olive double breasted coat, buttoned close up, with covered buttons of the same cloth as the coat; yellow striped toilinette waistcoat; light brown Angola pantaloons, and half boots; the hair cropped a la Titus.

That is it for April, Until next time, Happy Rambles.