Regency Travel

by Michele Ann Young

I thought I would chime in here with a bit more on carriages. This next picture is particularly useful if you would like something to go wrong with your carriage.

Or you want your hero or heroine to cling to something, or even jump out. It is a long way down my friends.

I fear you might need your quizzing glass or your lorgnette to read the darn thing, though!

This is a laundolet, a rather elegant affair. I noticed that most of these carriages were convertibles, apart from the travelling carriages or chariots as they ware also called.

There are likely a couple of reason for this. Firstly, it would be cheaper to built a soft top and secondly, these were see and be seen vehicles. Of course the extreme was the phaeton with no top at all. Though some did have them.

I wanted to include a travelling chariot. We saw a picture of one last day, but I thought this one much clearer that the one my colleague produced earlier in the week. So there!

What I liked about this is the insignia on the door, and the lamps on each of the front corners in particular.

I can't imagine traveling in the dark with nothing but those to see the way. It also clearly shows glass, so the passengers can see forwards.

There were bigger travelling carriages than this of course, this one looks like a speedy affair, but an old lady might own something that looked more like a mail coach.

If you are wondering where people kept their horses and carriages in Town, we will have some pictures of that next time.

Until then, Happy Rambles

Travel in the Regency

by Ann Lethbridge
Before we move on to our topic, we have to get our shameless self promotion out of the way.

Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress is now listed on the eharlequin site. Clicking on the link will take you to the book for purchase.

Now on to the interesting stuff.

We have talked about this topic before, but currently I have my hero and heroine needing to travel from where they are to somewhere else. I want the journey to take approximately a day. I want it to be far enough to make it seem like a trip, but not so far they need to stay over night.

It is winter. They are in Yorkshire.

Now the good thing about being an author is that I can place my imaginary destination, the hero's estate, anywhere in relation to the heroine's house.

But there are choices to be made, which add complications.

My hero travelled to the heroine's house in his own vehicle and Whatever he is driving, it would probably be the fastest of those pictured here and the least convenient, he won't want to leave his horses behind, it would be a bit like abandoning your Ferrari.

On the other hand, there are others traveling with them.

And, given their circumstances, as I have it plotted right now, they would need to travel in a closed carriage something like the one pictured below.

Since the average speed of a coach could vary between four miles and hour for a slow coach or up to twelve miles and hour for a fast one and even sixteen for our hero's racing vehicle, the distance that can be travelled in a day, is dependent on state of the roads, changing or not changing horses, and the type of vehicles.

In the end, I decided that thirty miles was far enough to seem like a distance, though today it would seem like a mere half hour jaunt, yet not so close one would simply set out on foot. Our couple are not going to change horses, and the pace is set by the travelling coach, which is not quite as modern or light as the one pictured here. It will take them all day.

Until next time, Happy rambles.

Regency Bath - Part VII

Bath is a very hilly city and the higher up the hill you lived the more you were in with the in crowd. Poor Jane Austen. Her family's fortunes slowly went downhill. When they first moved to Bath they lived in Syndney place, a relatively new house. After her father's death they moved down the hill to Gay Street and finally settled in Trim Street. Definitely coming down in the world.
This is Trim Street today. As you can see not one of the beautiful sweeping Terraces, like the Paragon Buildings where the Austens stayed with their relatives.

I thought you might enjoy this view of the colonade, since it includes the Regency gentleman from the Jane Austen center. He hands out leaflets down by the pump room and I couldn't resist taking a picture of him.

And this is a plan of Georgian Bath, as you can see it was much smaller then.

Members of the ton and lots of other people too traveled from London to Bath in this period to take the waters, so I imagine that the population swelled in the summer months.

For the cost of one pound one shilling, one could travel on Mountain's Bristol and Bath and London Post-Coach from the Greyhound (an inn), Market Place Bath to the Saracen's Head, Snow Hill in London. You would leave Bath at 4 pm in the afternoon and arrive at 8am the next morning, well guarded and lighted all the way. It was only fifteen shillings, if you traveled on the roof.

Finally, I wanted to remind you that Bath is a very old city. The wonderful buff-colored sandstone buildings were new in the Regency era. They were Georgian and they were classically styled as we discussed in the very first blog on this topic. However Bath was a Roman City and we saw a little of their baths, and a medieval city. And I was thrilled to find this reminder of that ancient time in the center of the town. The remains of the medieval wall. I could not help but run my hand over it and imagine knights in armor trotting past.

Oh, and we did have supper at Sally Lunds, the home of the Bath bun. The dinner was excellent, I would highly recommend it, and the people were exceeding friendly and made us very welcome. Since it was the last time I went out for dinner with my mum it will always remain close to my heart.

And that is it. No more Bath from me, though I could have gone on for weeks I promise this is the last I will have to say about Bath for sometime to come. Next week will be March and we will begin with Flora and Fauna and Fashion and then move on to a new topic.

Until then, happy rambles.

Paris in the Spring after Waterloo

For my novel "No Regrets" I did a considerable amount of research on Paris after 1815---right after the battle of Waterloo.

There was a flood of visitors during the brief peace between England and France after the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Bonaparte was first consul at the time. It was then that English ladies and gentlemen realized that Paris fashions had left them behind. While their waistlines were natural and the men still wore the frock coats of the previous century, the ladies of Paris were wearing diaphanous high-waisted gowns and the men were in tight fitting pantaloons and high cut coats. The Parisiennes of the time definately looked down on them. The English rushed to catch up.
The English had also flocked to Paris when Napoleon was locked up on Elba. Wellington was appointed as Ambassador and his wife joined him. He did not prove a particularly popular Abassador with the French, his manners apparently were far too informal and brusque. It all came to a crashing halt when Bonaparte escaped for what proved to be one hundred days.

After Waterloo, June 1815, Paris was put under an army of occupation headed by Wellington. The city was as Bonaparte had left it and the Bourbonnes had returned. This is when my characters visit.

The mood is bitter. Everywhere there are soldiers in foreign uniforms, cossaks in brown baggy trousers, Austrians in embroidered white, and the British in red. One book describes the resentment of the populace. French soldiers fighting in the streets with allied troops over women or attempts of French soldiers to tear off allied soldiers victory medals and sprigs of oak leaves. They constantly challenged their occupying officers to duels.
A look of blasted glory, of withered pride and lurking revenge’ could be seen on the faces of French soldiers in Paris -Auguest de Staël.

Paris didn't look the way it does today, although it was the second largest city in the world after London. I'm guessing that it certainly didn't look any better than it does in this 1840 picture of the Notre Dame and the Seine. Unlike London, Paris had no street lights apart from the occasional lantern strung across the road. Off the main streets the alleys were twisty, narrow, dark and dangerous, and ran with ordure. That is waste of all descriptions, night slops horsemanure etc. The Palais Royal, however, standing in the midst of all this, was described as an island of light. It was lit with hundreds of lanterns. I imagine them to be like fairy lights today. There were elegant shops with an amazing array of goods from all over the Continent that the English had not seen for a long time, as well as restaurants for the well-to-do tourist and of course cafe's everywhere. The English at this time sent a great many artifacts home. The French were only too happy to sell them, because they were broke.

Apparently prostitutes lived in the attics of the Palais. It was in fact the center of all things Parisienne. The Englishman’s Mentor a guide book said they would take you to a room in the attics or a cellar or cabinet noir where there were scenes such as no Englishman can conceive of frightful and unimaginable sensuality. Hmm. Sounds like a good spot for a villain. bwahhaaa.
Licenced brothels called were called maisons de tolèrance and unlicenced ones were known as maisons clandestine. Prostitutes were required once a month to the Dispensiare de Salubrité in the Rue Croix des Petit Champs to get checked out for venereal desease. Paris and the French were a lot more liberal and much more organized than the English in that regard.

One of the most fashionable places to visit was Tortoni’s on the Boulevard des Italiens founded by a Neapolitan brought to France by Napoleon to provide Paris with good ices. Needless to say, this is one place my couple just had to visit. I can't help it, I love ice cream. According to a writer of the day Tortoni's were excellent. With his ice cream the patron received iced water in a neat carafe lined with a shell of ice. Sounds like something we could enjoy today.

This next view is of the Tuileries exactly how it looked when the English went to Paris to make their bows to the restored King and Queen. Apparently they really never did get the hang of just how it was done.

Of course I have 16 pages of notes on this stuff, and will provide some more later in the week, you'll get a little bit of politics, some characters of the day and a visit to the British Embassy, always a good location for a hero to visit, especially when you can be sure it was there at the time.
If you are interest in my source, the principle one I used was "Paris Between the Empires" – Phillip Mansell
Until next time, happy rambles in Paris in the Spring, or whereever you happen to be.