Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain - April

One thing it does in England in April, it snows. It snowed over Easter at the end of March and again on the day we left in April. So that is one thing to keep in mind, while the grass is green and the fruit trees were in blossom, they were covered in snow.

The Naturist from 1817 has this to say about April.

Many and lovely are the flowers which are showered, in profusion, from
the lap of April which adorn our fields, at this time:Among them are the checquered daffodil (fritillaria meleagris); the primrose; the cowslip (primula veris); the cuckoo flower (cardamine pratrensis); and the hare-bell
(hyacinthus non scriptus). The yellow star of Bethlehem (ornithogatum
luteum) in woods; the vernal squill (scilla verna) among maritime
rocks; and the wood sorrel (oxalis acetosella), are now in full flower.

I certainly saw primroses on all the banks. They are a protected flower. I also saw cowslips and daffodils aplenty.

Indeed the first picture through the window, is of daffodils in the snow. And the second a bank on the roadside covered in primroses. I realize as I type this, that both of these flowers are yellow.

So to complete the picture for April, I will show you a cowslip. Now it is an odd name for a wild flower, but it is a pretty flower and a countrified name. Perhaps more importantly are its herbal qualities. It is used medicinally as a diuretic, an expectorant, and an antispasmodic, as well as for the treatment of headaches, whooping cough, tremors, and other conditions. However it can have irritant effects in people who are allergic to it. It was also made into wine.

Willow trees start to show their green leaves, as do birch trees at the beginning of the month. The larger trees come into leaf by the end of April when wild violets also appear.

And that is it for this week, except to show you what Toronto looked like when we left for England. Teaser was not impressed when he tried to go for a walk.

Until next time, when I will be sharing some of the sights I visited on this last trip, Happy Rambles.

Regency Fashions for April

I had a wonderful time in England and Wales searching for signs of Regency England, to share. I will be at Romantic Times next week. I will sign No Regrets. I do hope you will drop by. Now we need to take a peek at what our Regency lady would be wearing in April. By the way, we had snow in the south of England! Yes, and enough for the folks to drag out their toboggans. Not that they got more than a slide or two before they hit mud. Anyway, more of that later.

Regency Fashions for April

I chose this image because it not only has a lady, but it also has men. We do not often get fashion plates of our Regency gentlemen. Unfortunately, I do not have a description, I only have the year, which is 1809. Just a little before the actual Regency, but noteworthy are the frill on the shirt of the man on the left. Also note, he is wearing a chapeau bras, literally "hat arm", a hat he could flatten and tuck under his arm when indoors. He is very much dressed for the morning call. The other gentleman looks as if he is dressed for riding, with his boots and buskin breeches and of course that wonderful plaid waistcoat peeking out from his coat. Note the pin in his cravat and the fobs hanging from their pockets. The brushed forward hairstyle is typical of this era.

And what of the lady, you might ask. Well I would say, this is an afternoon dress. she is wearing the classic high-waisted white muslin, with just the smallest amount of embroidery around the hem, but the train suggests to me that it would not do well for walking, especially not in rain and wind and snow, although the coat, which is quite short is quite lovely and certainly would get her from the carriage to the house. Her bonnet is very plain, almost more like a cap to be worn under a bonnet. I could certainly see using this as a gown one of my heroines might wear.

These are from 1812 and again we are missing the magazine descriptions, but they are so lush I wanted to show them. This is an afternoon gown and and morning gown. The latter is clearly intended for walking given the length. The heavy shawl and closely buttoned spencer with its warm looking trim indicate that cool weather is to be expected.

The afternoon gown is blatant in its classical origins, right down to the bracelet around her upper arm. The cap sleeves with inserts of lace which make the drape are quite delightful, in my opinion. I do wonder about the hair ornament though. It is supposed to represent a crescent moon, but I think it might poke out an eye if one bowed ones head at just the wrong moment.

That is all from me for this time. We are going to have some flora and Fauna, next Thursday and then we will be back on track and I will start posting my the pictures from my Travel. Until next time, happy rambles.