Monday, November 21, 2011


As my Regency intrigue novella, LOVE AND WAR is now priced at 0.99c on, I thought I’d share some of the romance of the Regency.
The Fashions
Regency gowns were influenced by the Napoleonic era, and were Classical in style. By 1816 waists were at their highest under the bust, gradually dropping until the 1830s, when they took on the style of the Victorian era, as sleeves and skirts became fuller.
Opposite: Early 19th Century silk spencers. 1820s  Dress of white silk striped with blue having a chiné effect. A velvet dress of soft violet. 1830s dress of red moire.

The Houses 
Grovelands Prior, Southgate, North London was built in 1797-8 by John Nash who drew inspiration from the Palladian style of Classical architecture in the Renaissance era. 
During the 16th Century, Venetian architect, Andrea Palladio was most influenced by the Ancient Greek and Roman’s classical temple architecture. In 17th Century Europe, Palladio's interpretation of this classical architecture was adapted as the style known as Palladianism. It continued to develop until the end of the 18th century. The style influenced many of the great houses of Britain. Its Doric columns, pediments, symmetry and proportions are clearly evident in the design of many modern buildings today.

Inigo Jones was the designer of the Queen’s House, Greenwich, begun in 1616, the first English Palladian house.
The Food
The dinner was as well dressed as any I ever saw. The venison was roasted to a turn--and everybody said they never saw so fat a haunch. The soup was fifty times better than what we had at the Lucases' last week; and even Mr Darcy acknowledged, that the partridges were remarkably well done; and I suppose he has two or three French cooks at least. And, my dear Jane, I never saw you look in greater beauty. Mrs Long said so too, for I asked her whether you did not. -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Regency Etiquette
The Mirror of Graces (1811) By A Lady of Distinction
The remedy for Tooth-ache
In two drachms of recified spirits of wine dissolve one drachm of camphire, five grains of prepared opium, and ten drops of oil of box; mix them well, and keep it well corked for use. Four or five drops on cotton to be put into the tooth; or six or seven drops to be put into the ear. Should the patient not feel easier in a quarter of an hour, the same may be repeated. It has never failed on the second application.
On Deportment
‘The awkward, reserved air of the early part of the last century has given way, not to grace and frankness, but to an unblushing impudence, which is the very assassin of female virtue and connubial behavior.’
Carriage and Demeanour
‘…her manners must bear due affinity with her figure, and her deportment with her rank. The youthful and delicate shaped girl is allowed a gaiety of air which would ill-become a woman of mature years and larger proportions; but at all times of life; when the figure is slender, with a swanlike neck, and the motions are naturally swaying for that girl or that woman to affect what is called a majestic air, would be as unavailing as absurd.’
Some sage advice for surviving crowded balls and soirées.
The person, when overheated, should always be allowed to cool gradually, and of itself, without any more violent assistant than perhaps the gentle undulation of the neighbouring air by a fan. Streams of wind from opened doors and windows or what is called a thorough air, are all bad and highly dangerous applications. Excessive heat, as well as excessive cold, is apt to cause distempers of the skin.

Maggi Andersen
Selena couldn't accuse him of paying her Spanish coin! Gyles Devereux made it clear he had no wish to marry at all but was constrained by his circumstances. She could not be expected to keep refusing Lord Devereux, she thought crossly. She was only flesh and blood after all. What woman on earth could resist the pleas of a man such as Devereux?  
Masterpieces of Women’s Costume of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Dover Publications Inc.
Georgian House Style Ingrid Cranfield David & Charles Ltd. 1997
Louis Hellman Architecture for Beginners 1986.
The Mirror of Graces (1811) By A Lady of Distinction
Images from Wikipedia


Beth Elliott said...

An interesting pot-pourri of facts. I loved the snippets about deportment.

Maggi Andersen said...

Amusing aren't they. Thanks for dropping by, Beth.

Allison Butler said...

Hi Maggi,

What a great assortment of fascinating information. Thanks so much for sharing. I especially love how one was expected to cool down, gradually, of course:) Fabulous!

Maggi Andersen said...

Thanks Allison, glad you enjoyed it!

Cassandra Samuels said...

Hi Maggi

Well, aren't you a little font of information? Thank you for a lovely collection of Regency revelations. Loved it!

Cheryl Leigh said...

What great tidbits, Maggi! Loved the one about overheating at balls.

Elle Fynllay said...

Hi Maggie, Great snippets of information. Jane Austen's dinner description was interesting..'The venison was roasted to a turn...the partridges were remarkably well done.' Having had to cook venison twice recently, I know it is a very lean meat and is supposed to be served quite pink (rare) as it dries out very rapidly. I'm thinking that Jane's venison and partridges were cooked beyond redemption. I'm thinking that is why the french sauces were so important; to make the food palatable. Am I being harsh? What do you think?

Elle Fynllay said...

By the way, I feel a tooth ache coming on...

Anonymous said...

Great post, Maggi!
Love the Regency period. Started to write them because of the empire style gown. *G*
Tam :D

Anonymous said...

I too love everything about the Regency Period, although I do not specifically write during that time only!

I especially love the stately homes. The interior and exterior. The artwork on the walls calls to me especially.
I spent hours and hours just marveling at some of the home's fantastic portraiture. How lucky were they if your family was rich enough to have an artist paint the family. Or afford to hang a beautiful painting.
Thanks Maggi.

Anonymous said...

As a historical writer I love the time of the Regency, although I do not write strictly to the period.

Maggi, you have touched on many interesting topics of the past ... :) I also love the grand homes and designs that came into play during Britain's glorious Eras.

On a visit to the UK (first time ever), I was taken away to a time just by the art work that still graces the walls of these majestic homes.
Love the portrait you posted--a prime example of amazing artwork.

Thank goodness for the books, drawings and artwork that lets us see into a world now long gone...

Maggi Andersen said...

Glad you enjoyed it Cassandra.
Thanks for stopping by Cheryl.
Elle, I suspect they were. I've never tried venison.
Thanks, Tamara.
The homes and the artworks are a particular love of mine too, Maryde.
I have a wonderful book titled England's Lost Houses from the archives of Country Life by Giles Worsley. I can recommend it, it's wonderful, if a bit sad to see all those homes gone, many by fire.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Maggi,
when my first post did not appear I rewrote another the next day. LOL I see I doubled up!!
Thanks for the tip about the houses. I shall look it up. Painting old houses and buildings is one of my fav topics.

I agree with you, it is so sad when you learn some of the history and find out so many have disappeared and we shall never see.
Thinking of earlier history, it is amazing that so much in Rome is still there today.
I do hope they preserve it as best they can, but I know the cost in keeping the old estates and castles is extraordinary high.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Maggi,
sorry I seemed to have doubled up when 1 post did not present I sent another!!

I shall look into that book , it sounds interesting! I enjoy paint old homes and buildings.
Sad to think that so many have gone now that we shall never see.

Danielle Lisle said...

Loved the post Maggie! Learned lots! :)

Maggi Andersen said...

Yes it is sad, Maryde, since 1970 the British government has worked to preserve these mansions, but many today have been turned into apartments.

Thanks Danielle.