Archive for the ‘Regency’ Category

Greetings 1

Hello is ubiquitous and has become a common greeting in many countries in the world. Even in Germany, it’s become an excepted greeting when meeting another person. However, the more traditional greetings are still expected when meeting someone for the first time or when entering a small place of business or a restaurant. It was not, however, used as greeting during the Regency. I researched all of Jane Austen’s books, did a search on Google Advanced Book Search and found no reference to it at all. Then looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary OED).

According to the OED, hello as a term to get someone’s attention or register surprise has been used since around the 1820’s in North America. There are no British references.

Hello as a greeting was first recorded in the US in the US Yankee Clipper in 1853.

It does not appear to have been in common use in Britain until around the 1920’s. The first recorded usage was by P. G. Wodehouse’s Money for Nothing iv. 76   ‘Hello, sweetie-pie,’ said Miss Molloy in 1928. Wodehouse, as some of you might know, was a widely read contemporary English writer. We generally believe that spoken usage preceded written usage by about ten years. That still does not take us back to the Regency.

So what did they say? They would have used the greetings we all used before “hello” wiggled it’s way into almost universal parlance. Good morning, good afternoon, good day, good evening. When meeting by chance, “well met” is fine.

Let me know what other greetings you think of.

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During the Regency towels were either linen, cotton, or flannel. The weaving technique was first developed in France in 1841. This video shows how terry cloth was first woven: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d5gwvUzAlI At the time it was used for clothing.

The technique was used on cotton in 1848, and in 1850 an industrial method for weaving terry cloth was developed. Once terry cloth was machine made, it began to be sold to be sold in lengths as toweling, and as pre-made towels. The industrial process made terry cloths affordable.

I haven’t been able to find anything concerning when fluffy towels were first made. From my own memory, I think it was sometime in the later part of the 20th century.

My thanks to Doreen for this idea.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalFiction #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance

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During the Regency as well as today the words university and college are not interchangeable. In England college comes before university. For example, Eton College is the equivalent of US and Canadian high school. A university a place of higher education such as Oxford and Cambridge. This is true in Europe as well.

Although it’s customary now for students at university to graduate with degrees, during the Regency that was not necessarily the case. In only a few areas, legal studies (to be a barrister) and studies for the clergy required that one completed a course of study. Most young gentlemen went to university to make contacts and have fun.

The first two images are of Eton. The second two are of Oxford.


EtonEton 2


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The Lords
I’ve gotten to a part in the book I’m writing (The Most Eligible Bride in London) where I needed to know whether the Lords has assigned seating. Well, I never did find the answer on Google, but I did find this which I thought might interest you.

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No matter what you think about homosexuality, most of us know how draconian the laws were during the Regency. So, imagine not only my amazement, but those of others, to find a journal written by a farmer (a gentleman farmer perhaps) concerning his thoughts on homosexuality. It gives us reason to believe that it was not as universally condemned as we had thought. Or at least not in all circles. Around the same time a Navy physical was caught engaging in sex with a man and was hung.
#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegecyRomance

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During the Regency, toast was a breakfast staple. It was originally a device to make stale bread more palatable, but quickly became a favorite food item.
Toast was made by spearing buttered, stale bread and toasting it over a fire. Unsurprisingly, special toasting forks were involved. Some of them were telescoping. If a servant was making the toast, he or she would would place the finished product in a toast rack to be served.
telescopic toasting forkToast rack
#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Al Fresco

Much to my dismay, picnics as we know them did not seem to exist until the middle part of the 19th century. In fact, a picnic during the Regency was what we would call a pot-luck, where everyone contributes food. That does not mean they didn’t go outside, sit on a blanket, and eat. But it was called al fresco dining which could mean anything from an elaborate table set up to a blanket on the ground.

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Biscuits and tea
In the UK, and many other countries, a biscuit is and has always been the equivalent of a US (may Canadian) cookie. Biscuits as we in the US know them, made with flour, milk, eggs, and a leavening were not around until the mid-19th century when baking powder and baking soda were invented.
Biscuits 1biscuits 2
#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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Despite the name, gentlemen farmers were not gentry and, thus, not gentlemen. The difference lies in how the land is used. Although, their holdings could be quite large, they were men who farmed their own land. Whereas, the gentry had tenants who, via leases, farmed the land for them. Gentlemen farmers had the same status as merchants, what we would call the middle-class no matter how wealthy they became.


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This was not really as difficult as some might think. Any lady whose father is a viscount or lower is called “miss”. However, each lady is part of an order. Let’s take the case of Viscount Featherton and his three daughters. The first daughter, Meg, is properly called Miss Featherton. Now, what if Miss Featherton doesn’t take her first Season, or just doesn’t like any of her options, and her sister, Adeline, comes out. When they are introduced they are Miss Featherton and Miss Adeline Featherton. Adeline is properly called Miss Adeline, but never Miss Featherton. But once Meg is married Adeline becomes Miss Featherton. It’s the same when the third daughter, Miss Sarah Featherton comes out. If all three ladies are out at the same time they are Miss Featherton, Miss Adeline, and Miss Sarah.

sisters 2

#RegencyTrivia #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance

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