Friday, July 30, 2010

RWA News

Cool news! My novel, The Rake's Inherited Courtesan won one of the prestigious Daphne's here at the RWA conference in Orlando.

Here you see me with two other nominees from Harlequin Historicals, Julia Justiss and my chapter mate Kate Bridges, and the two harlequin editors, Joanne Grant and Linda Fildew. Needless to say we were all very happy.

Thank you Kiss of Death!

What an exciting evening.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Searching for Regency London

by Michele Ann Young

Another week gone already? Oh no. I want summer to last forever.

After Horse Guards I wandered back to my hotel. Refreshed, the next day I had one very particular spot on my mind. St. George's, Hanover Square, because Ann had just written a wedding scene there for "The Gamekeeper's Lady", due out in Hardcover in December. Anyway, my luck wasn't in. The Church is closed for renovations. They need lots of donations and I am providing you with a link to the official site. Dame Judi Dench is their Patron. However, I did take some pictures, as we were interested in the steps and the access.

One thing you need to know, the Church is not in Hanover Square, but on St George's Street to the south of the square.  You will see this quite clearly on Google if you wish, and probably in the A to Z of Regency London.

Here you can see along the street, with Hanover Square behind on the left.  There are several very nice Georgian buildings remaining in this street.On the right is a picture taken looking up towards the square, where the trees are. Again, more Georgian buildings.

These are views of buildings from the steps.  I thought it particularly interesting that one of the shops, the one with the bow front was a bespoke taylors which now incorporates Hicks and Sons, established in 1797.  Hicks and sons would have been most likely located in Saville Row, but the building they occupy now might well have been around at the time.

And below are the steps up which the hero's brother dashed just in time!

Since I had walked to Hanover Square, in search of my church, we ought to pay it a visit too.

Hanover Square was the first square built in London. Started in 1717, it was originally surrounded by fields. This picture shows it around 1754 looking north.

Included in the surrounding buildings in our time were the Hanover Square rooms built in 1774-75 in place of the original Number 4. They were built by the Swiss-Italian dancing master to the royal family, Sir John Gallini. Bach was a shareholder in the rooms and gave concerts there from 1775-1782, as did Hayden between 1791 to 1794.  The musical connection continued well past the Regency until 1874.

Number 21 was occupied by the French Ambassador, Prince Tallyrand, but after our period.

Today, there are a great many more trees, a whole lot more traffic of a very different sort, and it is fenced in with iron railings.

That is all I have time for tonight, I hope you enjoyed this visit. Lots more to come, until then, Happy Rambles.

What I am reading right now.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Monday, July 19, 2010

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

Horse Guards.

When I visited they were preparing for the trooping of the color, and there were bleachers up against the walls, so I am using this picture from Wikipedia for the wide angle shot.

The present day building was finished in 1753 and was built on the site of the stable yard for the old Whitehall palace. The Duke of Wellington was based here when he was commander in chief of the British Army.

Here we see the clock with the royal arms of George II beneath.

And this is the chick sentry, so called because a soldier called to account for being asleep on duty indicated he was supposed to be guarding the sergeant's chickens when in fact he is guarding the stables. At the time of the Regency there was stabling for 62 horses.

The basement also included a cockfighting pit and a raised viewing area. Something to keep those "Hyde Park soldiers" entertained.

The sentries, mounted and dismounted, still guard the Whitehall side of Horseguards.

As an army brat, I tend not to bug soldiers at their duty and so only took this one picture from a distance of the mounted sentries, but you can find them all over the web.

I was glad to have this opportunity to wander around Horse Guards, since two as yet published books have scenes set in this location and being there really helps make the scenes authentic. I took a great many more pictures for myself, but these give the flavor of what existed during the regency.

We will be searching for more of regency London next time. Until then, Happy Rambles.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flora and Fauna of Regency England ~ July

by Michele Ann Young
I can't quite believe that this is my third July post on this topic.

Our naturalist tells us that the Fringed Buckbean (I honestly find this a very odd name for a form of water lily) is found in slow flowing rivers in July including the Thames in little recesses.

He also bemoan the lack of sounds from the birds and the hot weather.

He also mentions enchantress nightshade and gypsywort which I thought had such great sounding names, I would include them for your viewing pleasure.

July is also a time of ripening fruits and one of my favourites is the gooseberry.

Gooseberries are native to Britain, but they have been cultivated for many years. They are primarily used in desserts.   It was always my job to top and tail. They have this bit of stalk at one end and a bit of left over flower at the other and we used to cut these off with a pair of scissors. Took forever. But the result, gooseberry crumble, was well worth it.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

Still on my first afternoon in London, I walked past the British Museum an few steps past my hotel and wandered along Greek Street. While the buildings date back to the 18th century, most of the facades were added in the early 1900's.

Here we see the The Seven Pillars of Hurcules Pub with its 1733 structure and updated front. Dickens referred to this pub and a couple of other buildings in this street in his Tale of Two Cities.

The story of course is set during the the Rein of Terror in France, which is something that interests me as a writer.

The buildings beside the pub were also from the 1730's but were updated during the early 1800's.

This building, numbers 12-13 the largest in Greek Street was originally named Portland House.

From 1794 until 1797 Josiah Wedgewood displayed his wares here.
The rooms mentioned on the ground floor were a 'Hall', 'Counting house' and 'Shop' and on the first floor a 'Great room', another room, a 'Flowerpot room' and a 'Gallery'. Outside, mention is made of 'Painting Shops, Stable, damaged ware room, Scowering room, retort room, Pearl ware room, Laboratory, Printing and Pattern rooms' and of a 'Chapel-Building with Packing and unpacking House'

The firm then moved to 8 St James Square.

My destination is Horse Guards. But I realize I have used up the time set aside for this blog and since I took quite a few pictures, I will save them for next time we go rambling in London.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Regency Fashion for July

by Michele Ann Young
Fashion. My favorite post of the month.
I could not resist this one, since it is so different from most of the gowns we see for the Regency.

This is, of course, a court dress. It is from 1808 from La Belle Assemblee.

One can imagine how awkward moving around in such a gown might be. It seems to be a polonaise style and this lady is lucky because she does not have a train to manage when she backs up, though doorways might be a problem.

As you can see, this next plate is from the Lady's Magazine from July 1810.

The Ball Dress is a pink gossamer satin slip, with Grecian frock of white Persian gauze, united up the front and round the bottom with silver filligree, buttons and chain; the bottom trimmed with a deep vandyke lace; Spanish slash sleeves, confined with silver filligree buttons and cord; hair à-la-Greque, with Persian roses; pearl necklace, bracelets, and ear-rings; shoes of white satin, spotted with pink foil; gloves of French Kid;  and a white crape fan.

The Promenade Dress is a Spanish pelisse of white and lilac shot sarsenet, trimmed with Chinese scalloped binding, ornamented up the front with the same, and fastened with correspondent buttons; a woodland hat with lemon-colored chip and a curled ostrich feather of lilac and white; complimented by lemon-colored slippers and kid gloves; gold neck-chain and broach; her ridicule is of painted velvet.

 I love the sound of a woodland hat. It is pretty and certainly reminds one of summer weather.

The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance

Until next time, Happy Rambles