Regency Advertisements

La Belle Assemblee is a positive mine of information about what our Regency Ladies and Gentlemen might be interested in purchasing.  I thought it might be interesting to add these to my posts from time to time. Here is one for what we would call instant coffee.

Coffee Made in One Minute

Hawkins and Dunn's

Sold at their Manufactory, No. 79 Great Titchfield Streed, Mary-le-Bone, London and by various Grocers, Druggists, etc. in Town and Country in half pint bottles
  • Turkey.....5s 0d
  • Bourbon...3s 6d
  • Plantation...2s 6d
                                                                             (including the bottle)

To make a cup of coffee no other trouble is required than merely to put about a teaspoon full of the Essence into a coffee cup, with the usual quantity of milk and sugar, and fill it with hot water.

The Essence is sold without sugar when wanted for immediate use; the half pint bottle containing one pound three ounces of coffee.

The Essence is also sold mixed with sugar for Hot Climates and for long keeping; the half pint bottle in that case containing one pound of coffee and six ounces of sugar at the same prices as above.

As good coffee cannot be made without pure water, Hawkins and Dunn have provided filtering vessels at four shillings and upwards.

Well I for one was surprised.

And I enjoyed this little Gem under the heading


Lately at sea, Mr W. Clark, Captain of the Rebeca, privateer, of Folkstone, who, by frequent practice, had acquired the art of throwing the lead with his teeth father than almost any man could do with his hands; and in his last attempt, from having lost his balance, he fell a sacrifice to his dexterity.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Regency Fashion

December 1813

The second offering for December, is quite glamerous IMHO

It is named a Kutusoff Mantle

Kutusoff was a Russian Prince and a great general for his country who died earlier in 1813.

The mantle is described as follows;

Pink or scarlet cloth mantle, trimmed with a broad velvet ribband to correspond, a spenser of the same materials, on sleeve of which is concealed by the folds of the mantle; the collar, which is high and puckered, fastens at the throat with a broach; and a long lappel [sic], which ends in a point, falls considerably over the left shoulder.  A Kutusoff hat of pink or scarlet cloth, turned up in front, with a little corner to the right side, ties under the chin, and is finished with aa pink or scarlet feather; a full puffing of lace or net is seen underneath. Plain cambric high dress, and pink or scarlet leather half boots.  Its effect upon a tall and graceful figure is amazingly striking and it is for the carriage costume, decidedly the most elegant cloak that we have seen for some seasons back, and does the greatest credit to the tasteful fancy of its inventress, Miss Powell, successor to Mrs Franklin, Piccadilly.

And so we are offered a couple of interesting tidbits, in particular, the name and location of one of the seamstresses to the ton  in addition to what I agree is a stunning ensemble.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Regency Fashion

December 1813

It wouldn't be fair to let a month go by, without a peek at the fashions since I was fortunate enough to purchase La Belle Assemblee for 1813, I have been posting pictures from exactly 200 years ago.

Our Fashionista has this to say in general terms:
The winter has now completely set in, and our elegantes cannot, as formerly, be charged with a want of sufficient clothing: no bare elbows or thin muslin dresses are now seen in the out-door costume; on the contrary, our very fashionable belles are apt to run into an opposite extreme, and we have observed some winter habiliments which would be very suitable to the Russian climate. 
A bit of sarcasm, perhaps?

This gown is an Opera Pelisse.

Described as follows:

Made of the richest orange or amber twilled sarsnet, lined with ermine, the collar, cape and cuffs are also of ermine.  In the form of this dress there is nothing peculiarly novel, but its general effect is strikingly elegant and highly appropriate to the season.  The waist is very short, and the sleeves not quite so loose as they have been worn. Small turn-up hat of the same materials as the pelisse, superbly ornamented with white ostrich feathers and tied under the chin with a ribband to correspond. White kid shoes and gloves.

We have another December fashion plate to share next time. Until then, Happy Rambles

Regency Library - Saltram

Saltram's Library is one of those amazing places in a house where you would like to be invited to spend an afternoon. Especially at this time of year.  While it isn't a small space, it has a very warm feel about it.

This first view gives a sense of its size and shape. Originally it was two rooms, the wall being where the columns are now with one are being the dining room. The guidebook says that at the end of the nineteenth century new book presses were set into the walls.  This was the first time I have seen them called book presses and I have been unable to locate a source for this description.  A description from the period describes them as bookcases.

The current arrangements date from 1819, so during the Regency.

The next pictures  shows the door which is open. When it is closed it would appear to look like any of the walls  of shelves. The books all date from the first Earl of Morley's time and contain a large collection of prints and original drawings. Note that the cornices and pediments to the book cases were added in the 20th century
Here are some more views you may enjoy. It is thought that the fireplaces and  over-mantel mirrors were purchased during the family's trip to France in 1818.
Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Contest Winner

And the winner is Debbie Mccreary.  Debbie, I am looking forward to hearing from you. Go to my website for my contact email.  Regrets to all the other entrants, I wanted each one of you to win.  I will be entering all of your names in the drawing for the grand prize and am keeping my fingers crossed for all of you.

Weapons - Eighteenth Century

I thought these weapons were really interesting.  The large one is described as a muzzle loading carbine for domestic defense or for use on horseback.

It is dated from 1762. It was made by Henry Hadley and the siversmith was Jeremiah Ashley. 

The other two is a pair of dueling pistols.

Next time we visit Saltram's Library.

Contest - Harlequin Historical Authors Advent Calendar

Today is my day for this contest.  To find get all the details go to my website. You can comment here, like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @annlethbridge to be entered for my prize, and to be entered  for the grand prize. The more days you enter on, the more chances you will have to win the grand prize, a fancy dancy Kindle.  Please make sure you read the rules.  Good luck to all. And Happy holidays. You will also find me hanging out on the ROMNA Blog today so if you fancy a chat, drop by and say hi..

Harlequin Historical Holiday Giveaway is that time of year again when the Harlequin Historical authors get together to have a fun month of prizes every day and one grand prize at the end. 

Look for this calendar on the participating authors websites and blogs.  You will find links by date to each author's page where they tell you how to win and what prizes they are offering.  The more times you enter the more chance you have of winning in the grand prize drawer at the end.   Find the interactive Calendar on my page, here. 

You must enter each author's contest on their day of the month. My day is December 3.

Good luck, enjoy the fun and have a wonderful holiday season.

Regency Houses ~ Saltram

Since no one guessed about the hole in the windowsill a couple of posts ago, I can tell you that it was a place to tip out the water used for bathing.

There was also a servants area upstairs, a room they used while working in the bedrooms to store linens and undertake other tasks out of sight. Known as the Service Room, some remedial cleaning would have also taken place here, shoes and boots. Perhaps the odd bit of mending.

Here are two storage areas, one inside the small room and one just outside on the landing.  These would have been full of linens, sheets, pillowslips etc. all waiting for someone to freshen up beds

 Some more tools of the trade of the upstairs maid. A bowl and a water can.  A drying rack or clothes horse. this one holds a carpet and since there was also a carpet beater hanging on the wall, see below, perhaps rugs were beaten in here also? maybe when it was raining.

And of course the delightful tin bath ready to be carried into to the bedroom of a guest or the master or mistress at a moments notice.

The table would have come in handy for the odd bit of polishing of a candlestick, and perhaps the housekeeper might have sat here while she inventoried her linens and noted what had to be repaired.
As promised here is our trusty carpet beater made out of cane.

Finally the view down into the courtyard. I suspect the master and mistress wouldn't want their servants day dreaming about the splendid vistas to be seen from other rooms in the house.\

Until next time happy rambles.

Falling For the Highland Rogue ~ Regency Romance

Falling for the Highland Rogue in stores today!

Disgraced lady Charity West lives in the dark world of the city's seedy underbelly. She's used and abused, yearning for freedom, and her distrust of men runs deep…until she meets Highland rogue Logan Gilvry.

Whisky runner Logan lives outside the law and is used to looking danger in the eye. Charity may just prove to be his most dangerous challenge yet. Her beauty is unrivaled, but it's her fire that lures Logan. He'll do anything to save Charity—even face her inevitable betrayal…. The Gilvrys of Dunross

Find it at:
Barnes and Noble

If you prefer an e-bok, it will be out  on December 1

 Prefer an e-book - it will be there on December 1

Night Out With Authors

On Monday I will be reading at the second Night Out With Authors from my latest novel, Falling For the Highland Rogue.

I am very honoured to be reading on the same night as Kelley Armstrong a New York Times best selling author located in the Toronto area. Click on the link if you want to know more about Night Out With Authors.

This is a new venture for me and three other authors, Margaret Moore, Mary Sullivan and Kate Bridges as we bring local authors and readers together from a variety of different genres for a night to talk about books and read from our works in a casual atmosphere.

Regency Fashion ~ November 1813

Two gowns are pictured together for this month.

The Morning Dress is described as follows:

 round dress, of jacconet muslin made up to the throat and buttoned down the back, which is still broader than they were worn last month; the waist is also a little, but it is a very little shorter than they were then. Long sleeve, which falls much off the shoulder; it is very large and loose and fastens tightly at the wrists by a letting in of lace; the sleeve descends almost to the fingers and is edged with lace The trimming of this dress is extremely elegant a very broad flounce of the same materials as the dress, is surmounted by a richly embroidery in coloured silks, and a sligh border, the pattern a wave, goes round it at bottom.  Treble ruff of pointed lace.  Hair cropped behind, and dressed in loose full curls in front.  Ear-rings of dead gold in shape of a heart; they are very small.  Slippers of slate-coloured kid made much higher round the instep than they have been worn for some time, and trimmed with a ribband to correspond.

The Dinner Dress is a frock of Devonshire brown crape, made to display the back, bosom, and shoulders as much as possible.  This exquisitely simple and becoming dress leaves us little to describe: in the form of the frock there is nothing new, but the trimming, which is of white satin is very novel and tasteful.  It is laid on in folds, which are separated into small compartments by strings of real pearls. The sleeve, which is of white satin corresponds with the flounce.  Hair partly twisted up behind, partly descending in loose ringlets on the back of the neck; the forehead shaded by a few loose and beautiful ringlets; a wreath of half-blown roses is put on rather to one side, and the whole air of the head is as youthful as possible. Pearl necklace, earrings and bracelets. White kid slippers with silver rosettes. A rich scarf of lemon colour shot with lilac is occasionally thrown over the shoulders; and a ridicule with silver clasps and tassels, finishes the dress.

We often have questions about the fastenings of gowns. Laces or buttons. The morning gown is buttoned down the back, so there we have it at least for this particular year.   I can't say I'm a fan of brown for a dinner dress, or of the novel trimming, but I was interested to see that it is shown as above the ankle.

Until next time

Regency Houses - Saltram Continued

Here is another look at the inner workings of the English Country House. This time it is upstairs, but not the upstairs of the family or guests.

Hmm. I wonder what this is, says husband.

Don't touch it, say I nervously.

Does he listen?

Of course not.

And this is what we found inside.

Now this little trapdoor is in the windowsill at the top of the servants stairs leading up to the first floor (or the 2nd Floor as we say in North America.

Any guesses?

Or are you one of those clever people who already know what this is.

Clue.  It is something to make the servants' lives easier, so we have to like it. The answers and more next time.

I know I'm a tease. So I will offer a prize this time. A draw from all those who comment for a book of your choice from the Gilvry Series-  books 1 or 2.

Until next time Happy Rambles.

Falling For the Highland Rogue Goodreads Giveaway

It's always fun to have a book coming out, it means I can do a Goodreads Giveaway. You have to enter if you want to win, so click on the link. And good luck.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Falling For The Highland Rogue by Ann Lethbridge

Falling For The Highland Rogue

by Ann Lethbridge

Giveaway ends November 18, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Until next time, Happy Rambles

Regency Houses - Saltram's Jane Austen Connection

The link to Jane Austen.

One of the interesting things on display at Saltram are
of course the pictures which often show ladies and gentlemen of our Regency era.
And here we have a Regency gown on display.This one is identified as c1800 and the train was added later.

At Salram I was also fascinated to discover a connect between The Countess of Morely, Frances Talbot and Jane Austen.  On December 27, 1815 the countess writes to Jane Austen telling her " I have been anxiously awaiting "Emma" and am infinitely obliged to your for your kind recollection of me.

I assume this means that Jane sent her a copy.

She goes on to say that "I am already become intimate with the Woodhouse family and feel they will not amuse me or interest me less than the Bennets, Bertrams and Norrises and all their admirable predecessors. I can give them no higher praise."

Clearly a fan.

There is also a transcript of Jane's reply. "Accept my thanks for the honour of your note and your kind dispostion in favour of Emma. In my present state of doubt as to her reception in the world it is particularly gratifying to me to receive so early an assurance of your Ladyship's approbation."

It seems that a writer's self doubt afflicts us all, even the great Jane Austen.

There are a few more things to see of interest at Saltram, so until next time, Happy Rambles.


Regency Fashion ~ October 1813

This is the second gown for October, and also a Vauxhall Vittoria Fete Dress.

I can only assume that these were dresses which where worn or ordered for the event, but of course only available in the magazine after the fact. Sadly we do not know who it was who wore the dress.

This second gown is not so very different from the first, which you would have found in my post earlier this month.  It is described as follows:

A plain white lace frock over a white sarsnet petticoat; the sleeve, which is halfway down the arm, is also composed of lace, and the form of it is extremely novel.  The top is very full and drawn in by a string of pearls, the bottom part is composed of three rows of narrow letting-in, each row edged with pearl. Hair curled in loose and luxuriant ringlets in front, turned up behind a-la-Grecque as tightly as possible. Head-dress, diamonds and the Prince's plume of ostrich feathers. Diamond necklace, bracelets and ear-rings. A slight gold chain of elegant workmanship, to which an eye-glass is suspended, is put round the neck and brought to one side.  White kid gloves and white satin sandals and a small ivory fan.  A white lace veil is occasionally thrown carelessly over the head and forms a drapery which is at once simple, elegant, and becoming.
I see that we have a nod to the Prince of Wales in this gown as we had to his wife in the last one. I wonder what one did if one did not have luxuriant ringlets. My hair never would hold a curl for more than an hour.

 In this same issue of La Belle Assemblee we are told that the weather has been of uncommon fineness, prolonging the summer fashions longer than they were recollected lasting for some years. Recall though that this was written for the September issue.

We can now look forward to more of our visit to Saltram and other houses, and November fashions.

Regency Events

Vauxhall Vittoria Fete

After I discovered the gowns named for the fete I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit about the event itself, and there was far more to know than I could possibly describe here. I just wish I had some pictures.
the Vittoria Fete was held in Vauxhall Gardens. This Grand Military Festival in honour of the Battle of Vittoria, won by the Marquis of Wellington (he became a duke later) on 21 June, was held under the chairmanship of the Duke of York, the commander-in-chief of the army.

A grand dinner of a thousand gentlemen at two guineas per head which began at nine in the evening. The Duke's royal party sat in a semi circle in the rotunda with gold plate displayed behind them along with a bust of Wellington, who was far too busy fighting the war to attend himself, the standard of the 100th French Regiment taken in the battle and the baton of Marshal Jourdan. Among the guests were, in addition to the Prince of Wales and members of the Royal family including the Royal Dukes, were the Prince of Orange, the Prince of Conde, the Dukes of Bourbon and Berri and the Duke of Brunswick.

After dinner there was a concert of vocal and instrumental music attended by some twelve thousand people, including the wives of those gentlemen.  Tickets to the event were sold at Carlton House and other venues and were quite expensive. All through the gardens, symbols of British victory and glory were displayed, such as the names of battles where the British had been victorious along with the names of victorious generals. Fireworks were let off displaying emblematic devices at intervals under the direction of Colonel Congreve. The party continued all night until daylight the next morning.

One young lady who attended spoke of the hours that she waited trying to approach the gardens by carriage. And having failed to do so because of the traffic, her party then took a ferry. She was most indignant that the waterman who handed her into the boat put a dirty fingerprints on her white gown. She also describes having her gown cut by a pickpocket and her hair falling in disarray about her face. They did go into the ballroom, but because of the crowds were unable to dance more than a quarter of a half a dance and went home thoroughly disgruntled.

In fact it was something we might well describe these days as a bun fight.  Certainly George Cruikshank was not impressed. He thought the money would have been better spent caring for the widows and orphans of the men who fell in battle. 

But many of those who attended thought it was a splendid recognition of Wellington's achievement, and certainly Britain needed something to celebrate after so long a war.

Until next time Happy Rambles

Regency Fashion ~ October 1813

The Battle of Vittoria was one of Wellington’s great victories and much celebrated on the home front in 1813. The Prince of Wales arranged for a grand fete to be held in Vauxhall Gardens. This took place in July 1813. However it seems that the modistas of the day decided to name ballroom gowns after the fact, so one can assume the celebrations continued.

This gown appeared in La Belle Assemblee’s September edition as fashion for October entitled

Vauxhall Vittoria Fete Dress.

It is described as follows:

A short dress of crape over a very slight white satin petticoat, made more scanty in the skirt than  we have seen them for some time. The skirt is ornamented round the bottom with a trimming composed of crape and small pearl beads in the form of laurel leaves, each of which is edged with those beautiful imitations of pearls and a row also goes up the middle of each leaf, which has a novel and very elegant effect.  Over this dress is a Princess Charlotte of Wales’ body of pink crape; for the front of this body we refer our readers to the Plate; the back is made uncommonly broad, and extremely low both behind and before.  The sleeves are crape over white satin, fancifully ornamented with beads to correspond with the trimming round the bottom. A similar, but much smaller, trimming goes round the bosom and back of the neck. A small white crape jacket finishes this dress. The hair cropped behind, and disposed in loose ringlets in front; a superb white lace veil falls from the back of the head and is taken carelessly on the arm as a drapery. A fancy half wreath is placed to the side. White kid gloves and slippers; emerald necklace, ear-rings and bracelets.
I find the reference to the Princess Charlotte of Wales body interesting. It looks a bit like a bustier doesn't it, and rather daring, don't you think?  It seems to be a gown that leaves very little to the imagination.
I will bring you the second gown a little later this month. Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Regency Houses ~ Saltram Bedrooms

It's always fun to peek into other people's bedrooms. Not that these rooms were always used as such, but that is how they are arranged at this point in time.

This one is fascinating because of the wallpaper.  It is silk painted with people hard at work growing curing and packing tea. It is a very expensive wallpaper from the eighteenth century
The bed is around 1760, the needle worked hagings are from earlier and the chairs are Chinese Chippendale style with pagoda-shaped cresting rails.
I must say, the new bed we have could use a set of these steps. Why is it we are going in for high beds again now?

The chimneypiece is mid-eighteenth century and carved with bears and bees.

There is more to see, so until next time, Happy Rambles.

Regency Houses ~ Saltram

 Again the difference between upstairs and downstairs in this great house of Saltram. Here we have the North stairs the family would have used and those used by servants going up from the kitchens.

I wonder if the old adage about not passing on the stairs being unlucky might have come from some poor maid hustling down with a chamberpot bumping into some broad shouldered footman hurrying to answer a bell?

Until next time, Happy Rambles.