Monday, April 21, 2014

Regency Fashion April 1814

This Morning Dress pairs with the previous plate.

Also from Ackermann's Repository for April 1814

A petticoat and bodice of fine jaconot muslin, finished round the bottom in vandykes and small buttons.

 The Rochelle spencer is composed of the same material, appliqued with footing lace down the sleeve, and trimmed at the edge with a narrow but full border of muslin. Double fan frill of muslin round the neck, very full, continuing round the bottom of the waist, where it is gathered on a beading of needle-work.

Bourdeaux mob cap, composed of lace, with treble full borders, narrowed under the chin. A small flower placed backward, on the left side. Hair much divided in front, and in full waved curls on each side. Necklace of twisted gold and pearl, with pendent cross in the centre.

Spring Greek kid slippers; and gloves of the same.
The beautiful cloak given in our last Number, as well as both the dresses in this, are from Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, to whose taste and invention this work as well as the world of fashion are under continued obligation.

Until next time

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Return of the Prodigal Gilvry

In stores now. This is the last book in the Gilvrys of Dunross Series. Each book can be read alone but you may not want to miss each brothers story. I am sad to be saying goodbye to them, I must say.
The e-book will be able on May 1 and is available for preorder.

BEHIND THE HIGHLANDER'S SCARS… Reeling from betrayal, the once devastatingly handsome Andrew Gilvry has returned to Scottish shores to fulfill a promise made to a dying man. The widowed Rowena MacDonald has been entrusted to his care, and Drew must do all he can to protect her…. LIES A DARK PASSION! But Drew's honor is about to be tested—because there's something in Rowena's dove-gray eyes that awakens a flame long extinguished. And on a perilous journey across the Highlands, with only this alluring woman for company, how long can he deny his desires?

Don't forget to check my website to find out more. Until next time

Monday, April 14, 2014

Regency Fashion April 1814

The first of our fashion plates for this month is a Promenade Dress. It makes sense that we are starting to think about walking in Spring.

This is from Ackermann's for April and the description is as follows.

A fine cambric round robe, with high bodice and long sleeves, not so full as of late; embroidered stomacher front and high collar, trimmed with muslin or lace; a Tuscan border of needle-work at the feet.

 A Cossack mantle of pale ruby, or blossom-coloured velvet, lined with white sarsnet, and trimmed entirely round with a broad skin of light sable, ermine, seal, or the American squirrel; a short tippet of the same; the mantle confined at the throat with a rich correspondent silk cord and tassels, very long.

A mountain hat of velvet, the colour of the mantle, finished round the verge with a narrow Vandyke trimming: a small flower placed in the hair beneath, on the left side.

Half-boots the colour of the mantle; and gloves of primrose kid or pale tan.

I thought this quite pretty. And I was interested in the term, mountain hat and the use of American squirrel.

Until next time.....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Montacute House III

Our next part of the visit is to the Parlour.  Oddly, I wrote this blog before, but the text and pictures disappeared. The great mystery of the age.  Onward.

Luckily for us this room while it has had several purposes, it has retained its chief features. In Georgian times it was used as a dining room.

The fireplace is something to behold, but of course one need to ignore the hot water radiator placed in the middle of it. It is made of Ham Hill stone. The upper register is decorative plaster over strapwork.

This gilt over walnut furniture dates from George I which along with the screen you will see later are embroidered in gros and petit point. As a stitcher I one can  imagine the hours of work that went into them.

The tapestry is a c 1731 Gobelins of the Hunter.

The wainscoting is thought to be original and certainly in the room in 1667.

This is a George II gilt sidetable with cabriole legs.

Lots more to see, next time

Monday, April 7, 2014

Give Away ~ Return of the Prodigal Gilvry

Return of the Prodigal Gilvry

My last book in the Gilvrys of Dunross Series is currently being offered as a goodreads give away. You can sign up through the widget in the sidebar.

Reeling from betrayal, the once devastatingly handsome Andrew Gilvry has returned to Scottish shores to fulfill a promise made to a dying man. The widowed Rowena MacDonald has been entrusted to his care, and Drew must do all he can to protect her….


But Drew's honor is about to be tested—because there's something in Rowena's dove-gray eyes that awakens a flame long extinguished. And on a perilous journey across the Highlands, with only this alluring woman for company, how long can he deny his desires?

I must say, knowing this is the last time I will visit the characters in these books is very sad.  I have grown fond of them. And yet... there are lots of other stories floating around in the mish mash of my brain. Stories I have been wanting to write for ages.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Regency Murder and Mayhem

A new series of articles to appear from time to time for your edification.  These are Taken from the Belle Assemblee February 1814

Lighting Strike

The lightning on Tuesday, February 9, slightly struck Richardson's hotel in Covent Garden, passing between a crowd of people who were standing up for shelter there, but providentially without doing injury to any one. It broke two panes of glass in the kitchen window, but did not other mischief.

Shocking Accident

As General Darican, so well known in Paris, when he commanded sections against Bonaparte, and who resides in the Polygon, at Somers Town, was riding along Union-street, his horse took fright, and galloped off with him.  The animal on reaching the end of Union-street, plunged into a hole about twenty feet deep, and threw his rider, who received a severe concussion of the brain.  He was immediately conveyed to the house of a respectable surgeon in that neighbourhood, but he is not expected to recover. The horse was afterwards tken up dead from the effect of the fall.

I was unable to determine if he did indeed succumb to his injuries.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Regency Fashion March 1814

This is an evening dress designed to be worn during a period of mourning.

The description from La Belle Assemblee for March 1814 is as follows;

Half dress of French grey crape, over a white satin slip, which is slightly embroidered round the bottom with grey chenille. The half dress is sloped so as to be about a quarter of a yard longer behind than in front, and is richly embroidered in white silk round the bottom, which has a very elegant effect; the body a-la-chemise, is made with a little fullness, and drawn in to the waist by a white satin sash. 

An embroidery to correspond with the bottom goes round the bosom, which is cut very low, and the back of the neck. The sleeves are extremely tasteful; they are composed of grey crape on white satin, and are gauged at a distance of about two inches all down; each gauging is finished with a row of pearl, and two rows of pearl at about two inches distance finish the sleeve at bottom. 

Bonnet of French grey crape, turned up on one side and slouched on the other, ornamented with a very long white feather. White crape fan. Bracelets, necklace, and earrings of pearl. White kid gloves and shoes.

Until next time

Regency Fashion - March 1816

Opera or Walking From La Belle Assemblee

The plate says opera, but the description says walking. I will let you decide, but I'm thinking, well its spring, let us walk to the opera.

Here is the official description:

Round dress of jaconet muslin, made high to the throat, and rather longer in the waist than last month. Long sleeves gauged about the wrists about an inch; the sleeve is left about two inches in length from the gauging, and is edged with a very fine narrow lace. The collar, which is made tight to the neck, is also edged with a lace to correspond. A very rich embroidery goes round the bottom of the dress. 

The Huntley bonnet and scarf, for which we refer our readers to the Plate, have a very elegant effect; they are composed of rich twilled plaid sarsnet; the scarf is three yards in length, it is a straight piece, and is disposed according to the taste of the wearer.

A beautiful Prince's plume ornaments the bonnet. Very pale tan slippers and gloves.

I like the dress, but not so much the plaid, but it would be good for walking.

Until next time

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Montacute House II

Here is the front door which says

Through this wide op'ning Gate
None come too Early none Return too Late

This is a quote from Alexander Pope's Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace, Paraphrased  and come from a speech of an upper class ne'er do well, thought to have been added in the nineteenth century to the East frontdoor of this 17th century house

The cat of arms above the porch into the door are those of the house's builder, Sir Edward Phelips 1560- 1614 and dated 1601.
The door opens into the screens passage at one end of the Great Hall.

In this picture you can see the open door, and the passage behind the screen. This passage divides the great hall from the dining room.

And of course the screen itself.

It really is beautiful. It is a single story screen.

By this time, great halls were where the lord met his guests and took them up to the first floor private dining room.  At one time, the floor was tiled.  I am sure it was used similarly in our time.
The fireplace and paneling on this wall are original.

The stained glass in the windows is heraldic with the coats of arms of Elizabeth the first and Sir Edward Phelips and his brothers.

At the other end of the hall is a plaster frieze that  shows a story of what might happen to a man who strikes his wife with a shoe.

Until next time


Monday, March 10, 2014

Regency News and Adverts

La Belle Assemblee 1813, March

Here are a couple of  pieces you might find interesting


At Warrington: Mr. William Leather, breadmaker, to Miss Nanny7 Holland, confectioner, after a tedious courtship of thirty-six years.

Do you think the marriage was less "tedious". Do you think combination of baker and confectioner was all about business?


The Hon. Harriet Pryse, Lady of Pryse Pryse, Esq. of Gogerddan. This afflicting event was occasioned by the following accident:

As Mrs Pryse was preparing to go to bed, between two and three o'clock, on the morning fo New Year's day, her night-dress came in contacts with a rushlight that was burning in the room, and was instantly in a blaze.

While this last is not happy topic it contains some useful gems from speech at the time. I was interested in the use of a rush light give that this woman is clearly not of lower orders. But candles were expensive.


Rowland's Essence of Tyre;
Or Imperial Dye,

A Chemical peparation of wonderful metamorphosing powers,. for emmediately and effectually change the Hair when Red or Grey, to a beautiful Black, Brown, or Auburn. Price 7s 6d. per bottle.

Clear evidence that red hair is worse than grey?  What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed this mornings offerings. Please comment so that I can continue this blog.

Until next time, if there is a next time.......

Monday, March 3, 2014

Montacute House I

Moving on from Devon, we find ourselves in Somerset.

 At Montacute House.

A house built in the late fifteen hundreds. by Sir Edward Phelips.

The warm stone came from nearby Ham Hill and has been described as "the most beautiful Elizabethan House in England".

It must be noted that little of the original furnishings remain from any of the eras in which we might be interested, but the building and the decoration is original and would have been so during the Regency.

 These external views show an extraordinary house.

 This is a view of the east front, the principal front of Montacute. and is designed in the typical "E" formation from this period.  It also follows the height of Elizabethan fashion with its extensive areas of glittering glass. A hugely expensive proposition at this time.

Between each window on the top, third, story, and on the gable of the central bay are statues of the nine worthies - Joshua, David, Judas Maccabaeus, Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon.

The house is topped of with Flemish-type gables, whose curves were a fashion imported in the late 1570s

This is a pavillion, one of a pair each side of the forecourt at the east front were built and used as extra bedrooms.

There will be much more to come about this lovely house.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Monday, February 24, 2014

Regency Fashion February 1814

I am squeaking this one in before we hit the end of the month. You may have noticed the pattern. I am trying to give you dresses exactly 200 years old. I have another couple for this month so I am going to put them in later this week, so you have them all. Back to regular scheduling for March.

While the title on the plate says "Dinner Dress"  The description calls it a Carriage Pelisse. I assume the two are not incompatible, and it is a carriage dress one could wear to dinner. It is certainly gorgeous enough to go anywhere and the detail says that each of those little tassels is a tie. Heaven help the poor maid having to do that one up and clearly one wouldn't be removing it when one arrived for dinner.  I love the elegant lines of this gown despite the fussiness of the trim.

Here is the description for your delectation  and delight from La Bell Assemblee January 1814 issue, February Fashions.

Orange Boven Carriage Pelisse

    A pelisse of the most delicate fawn colour Irish poplin, the skirt an easy fullness, the body tight to the shape, very short in the waist, and broad in the back. 

The front, as our readers will see by the Plate, is very elegantly ornamented with white satin points put on at each side of the front; a beautiful white silk trimming edges each point, and white silk tassels of the lightest and most beautiful texture tie the pelisse all down the front.

The sleeve is ornamented in a similar manner on a smaller scale, but without the tassels: the bottom of the pelisse and the cuffs are also ornamented with white satin points, edged with silk trimming to correspond, and on each hip is a very novel and tasteful ornament, about the size of a large Spanish button; it is composed of floss silk, in the form of a shell. 

A ruff of white satin cut in points, encircles the throat; it is supported, we believe, by ribband wire, or something of that sort, as it stands up round the throat, it is edged with a very fine narrow white lace. Head-dress a small Spanish cap of white satin, or fawn coloured velvet, tastefully ornamented with points edged with pearl, and a superb white ostrich feather, which falls to the left side. Fawn colour slippers and gloves. We have no hesitation in saying that this dress is the most elegant and novel that has appeared in the carriage costume for a considerable time.

Elegant and novel. I would have to agree.  Until next time, Happy Rambles

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fashion for February 1814

This is an evening gown from Ackerman's Repository for February 1814, described as an Evening or Dancing

The length clearly allows for some jigging about in those very energetic country dances.

A white crape petticoat, worn over gossamer satin, ornamented at the feet with rows of puckered net, with a centre border of blue satin or velvet, in puffs. 

A bodice of blue satin, with short full sleeves, and cuffs to correspond with the bottom of the dress. A full puckered border of net, or crape round the bosom. 

Stomacher and belt of white satin, with pearl or diamond clasp. 

Hair in disheveled curls, divided in front of the forehead, and ornamented with clusters of small variegated flowers; a large transparent Mechlin veil, thrown occasionally over the head, shading the bosom in front, and falling in graceful drapery beneath. 

Ear-rings, necklace and bracelets of Oriental pearl, or white cornelian.

 Slippers of white satin, with blue rosettes. White kid gloves; and fan of spangled crape and blue foil.

I like the idea of disheveled curls, don't you? 

Until next time......

Monday, February 17, 2014

Coming Soon

Here is your official Sneak Peek at my next cover and a little bit about the book.

Return of the Prodigal Gilvry will be out in May 2014 (April 15 in print) and is available for preorder.  Click here to order from Amazon


Reeling from betrayal, the once devastatingly handsome Andrew Gilvry has returned to Scottish shores to fulfill a promise made to a dying man. The widowed Rowena MacDonald has been entrusted to his care, and Drew must do all he can to protect her….


But Drew's honor is about to be tested—because there's something in Rowena's dove-gray eyes that awakens a flame long extinguished. And on a perilous journey across the Highlands, with only this alluring woman for company, how long can he deny his desires?

This is the last of the Gilvrys of Dunross series (boy, I am going to miss the Scottish Highlands), The series was a spin off from Captured for the Captain's Pleasure and  I am wondering if I should write Jaimie's story. He plays a much a very small part in several of these book. I suppose it will depend on popular demand.

Until next time .... well you know the drill.....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fashion for January 2014

Today's offering is a Morning Carriage Dress from the December edition of La Belle Assemblee.

It think this outfit would have been perfect for February too. The description is as follows.

 Pelisse of the fashionable blue cloth, fastened down the front with small flaps, edged with silk trimming to correspond, in a manner that is perfectly novel, and that has a very singular effect; the cuff is also ornamented to correspond. 

A very small cottage bonnet, composed of white satin, and of a most becoming and novel shape; the front, which is very small, displays a rich quilling of lace to correspond with the triple lace ruff.

 The bonnet on the front is ornamented with a white satin ribband, which is so disposed as to have the appearance of a small wreath of white flowers; a white soft ribband ties it in a very full bow under the chin. Cloth half-boots to correspond with the dress. York tan gloves, and a seal-skin muff and tippet, finishes this dress.

Our modern day preferences would no doubt have us omitting the fur accoutrements, but since this is history, we include them.

Until Next time, Happy Rambles.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Gentlemen's Clothing

On the issue of a gentleman's pockets.

There has been some discussion among those who undertake research on the Regency about the issue of where a gentleman might "put stuff on his person and quite often asserting that men did not have pockets in their pants (as we call them today). 

I just read the following in La Belle Assemblee for January 1813, a description of an altercation regarding payment of his bill, between a Navy lieutenant and his host at a Tavern , namely the Horse and Groom Tavern, near the Asylum, London.

             "...a waiter was directed to follow him and saw him, whilst in his room, put a dagger into the pocket of his pantaloons; some further altercation ensued and he drew the dagger, and pointed it at the plaintiff."

So clearly pockets large enough for a dagger of polished steel with a broad keen blade some six inches long were included in the construction of men's pantaloons.  If I come across more detail, I shall be sure to add it to this snippet.

I should add the the officer offered the dagger to the judge as a gift, who took it and then told the lieutenant he must still find bail money to answer to the charge of an assault of an aggravated nature at Sessions, desipte the officer explaining that there was no altercation, he simply intended to show his friends the dagger.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Regency Houses - Saltram Continued

I could not leave the library without a picture of this desk and several other items that are evocative of the Regency.

Family tradition says this desk was given to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough who gave it to her granddaughter who gave it to Lady Catherine Parker. Made of beechwood inlaid with brass and shell it is thought to be by Boulle (1642 - 1732), but it was restored badly in the nineteenth century when the red leather insert was added.

Even so, it really is a beautiful and extraordinary piece of furniture. On top is a silver gilt inkstand.

Naturally, since we are in the Regency, we have to feature other forms of entertainment. This is a rosewood games-table from the Regency era. Its cross over legs are painted to look like bronze and was made by the London firm J. McLane & Son (1770 to 1815)  The middle section of the top is reversible and is fitted with a backgammon board. Here we see it set for draughts.

I would love a table like this.

Another must have are library steps.

I lightened the picture because this corner was dark so the colour if off a bit.

These steps fold up to form a sabre-leg arm chair and is considered to be the Patent Metamorphic Library Chair by Morgan and Sanders pictured by Ackerman in 1811.

 I have no information of this gaming table, but just loved it enough to include it, because of the scoops for money or chips.  And the chairs.

 And so concludes our truncated tour of Saltram. There was much more to see and many more photos that I took, but I would encourage you to see it for yourself if you ever have the chance.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Monday, January 27, 2014

Regency Fashion

January 2014

This is our second fashion plate for the month from Ackerman's Repository.

Morning Dress

A round robe of plain jaconot muslin, with spencer bodice, and rounded falling collar, edged with lace or needle-work; the same ornamenting the bottom of the dress. 

A loose robe pelisse of Indian muslin, thrown quite open in front, trimmed entirely round with a full gathered border of muslin or lace; the back confined at the bottom with a lemon-coloured ribband, brought round the waist, and tied in bows and ends in front. 

The Flushing mop cap, composed entirely of lace, ornamented with lemon-coloured ribband, which also confines it under the chin. A small rosary and cross of amber, twisted round the wrist, and a broach of the same confining the dress at the throat. Slippers and gloves of lemon-coloured kid.

Such a pretty Dress don't you think, and I like the stool and cushion she is perched on. It looks like summer more than winter to me. And a Flushing mob cap. Flushing is the English name for a harbour in the Netherlands, called Vlissingen. In case you wanted to know. Why there is a mob cap named after it, I do not profess to know. But it is very sweet.

That's it until next time, Happy Rambles.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Regency Fashion - January 2014

We are now well into the Regency of George Prince of Wales period and of course in the depths of the English winter.  Nothing like the kind of winter we have the northern parts of North America, still warm clothing is a wise thing.

This Promenade costume from an Ackerman plate looks toasty.

A Plain cambric robe, with long gathered sleeve and high arched collar, trimmed with net lace or muslin. A Spanish lapelled coat of fine orange Merino cloth; full epaulette ornaments on the shoulders: the whole lined throughout with white sarsnet, and trimmed with a raised border of white velvet or swansdown. 

A small, provincial bonnet of the same material as the coat, ornamented with full curled ostrich feather. White spotted ermine or Chinchilli muff. Gloves grey or light blue kid. Half-boots of orange-coloured jean or velvet.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebrations and wish you all the best for 2014.

I must say Christmas 2013 will be one that stays long in my memory and with a cocktail of emotions, both good and bad.  We were hit by the ice storm on the Sunday before Christmas and it was almost Boxing Day morning, Dec 26, before power returned and even longer before we could honestly say we were back to normal, which is why I have been so slow posting this blog.

Really, we cannot complain. A great many people were hit a lot harder and for longer than we were. And we managed to get together with family and friends more or less as usual. Lots of laughter about do I use the generator to curl my hair, or keep the heat on the house?  Scarcrow hair is the new in-thing, right?

 Mostly, I am heartsick about the damage to the old trees in my neighbourhood. But we survived. And the trees will come back in their own good time.  I hope you also survived whatever came your way, and are looking forward to the coming year.

Lots of plans for 2014 and lots of fun information coming your way.