WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Bub

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Bub

It’s drinking month! With recipes!

“I had once determined to go with Frank to-morrow and take my chance, &c., but they dissuaded me from so rash a step, as I really think on consideration it would have been; for if the Pearsons were not at home, I should inevitably fall a sacrifice to the arts of some fat woman who would make me drunk with small beer.”
~Jane Austen to Cassandra, 1796

Bub

Strong beer.

The Ale-House Door by Henry Singleton, circa 1790, Yale University Press.

This week’s recipe comes courtesy 19th century Yorkshire handyman Thomas Denton, who was through paying outrageous pub prices for his pints and came up with his own less expensive home brew. This recipe produces 72 pints, so clean out your cupboards or make this around the holidays to share as gifts. But Mr. Denton was correct about his savings; his total cost was three shillings three pence (about £8.05 total/11p a pint today). Not too shabby.

Recipe for Cheap Beer

Put one peck of barley or of oats into an oven just after baking, or into a frying pan first to steam off the moisture, and dry it well, but on no account to burn the grain then grind or bruise it roughly.

Boil two gallons of water and pour it into a tub and when it has stood 10 minutes (say a heat of 175 degrees, or so hot as to pain the finger sharply) put in the grain; mash it well, and let it stand three hours: then drain it off.

Boil two gallons more water, which power [pour] on the grains, rather hotter than before but not boiling, say 196 degrees, and mash them well and let it stand two hours and draw it off. Mash the grains again well with two gallons more water, and in 1 1/2 hours draw it off. The three worts will be about five gallons.

Then mix 7lbs of treacle in five gallons of water, and boil the whole 10 gallons with 4oz of Hopes for 1 1/2 hours, taking care to stir it so long as the Hops float off the top.

Let it cool and when about milk warm take a good teacupful of yeast; and stir it well together beginning with about a gallon of the wort at a time.

Let it ferment for 18 Hours in a tub covered with a sack: put it into a nine gallon cask and keep it well filled: bung it up in three days, and in 14 days it will be good sound fine beer equal to London Porter.

The nine gallons of beer thus brewed will cost as follows –

1 Peck of Barley 1s 3d
7lbs of Treacle 1s 9d
4oz of Hops 3d

Cost 3s 3d

If you cannot get Treacle take 5lbs of the cheapest and darkest sugar you can get; this is better for your purpose than finer

Mix 14lbs of Treacle and 11 gallons of water well together, and boil them for two hours with 6oz of hops.

When quite cool; add a teacupful of yeast and stir it well, by a gallon or two at a time;

Let it ferment for 16 hours in a tub covered with a sack: then put it into a nine gallon cask, and keep it well filled up.

Bung it down in two days – and in seven days it will be fit to drink; and will be stronger beer than London Porter.

This is the simplest as it requires no skill: a washing copper or tea kettle are the only requisites: and nine gallons of beer can be obtained at the following cost –

14lb of Treacle 3s 6d
6oz of Hopes 4d

Cost 3s 10d

Recipe for Cheap Beer by Thomas Denton, circa 1825, courtesy Daily Mail.

Recipe for Cheap Beer Recipe by Thomas Denton, circa 1825, courtesy Daily Mail.

Descriptions of Battles by Sea and Land, attributed to Robert Dighton, circa 1801, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

 

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WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Fallalls

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Fallalls

One of my favorite scenes in my not-so-favorite Pride and Prejudice adaptation of 2005, is where Mrs. Bennet admonishes everyone to “behave naturally” as she shoos them about the room in a mad cleaning session before Mr. Bingley (and the pompous one, Mr. Darcy) return to Longbourn.

Almost one minute in, we hear Jane beseech Mary to toss her “the ribbons, the ribbons, the ribbons.” And then we see a giant ball of fabric pieces fly across the room to be hidden behind the sofa.

Fallalls

Ornaments, chiefly women’s, such as ribands, necklaces, etc.

It’s not difficult to find examples of the myriad ribbons ladies used to decorate their dresses and trim their bonnets. My post last week illustrated one year in the life of hats and embellishments. So this week I’d rather look at period jewelry. To wear too much was to be vulgar, but there were still plenty of beautiful pieces to be treasured and admired.

In terms of jewelry classification, it’s all Georgian. The Georgian Era is defined as the time covered during the reigns of all the Georges in England – the First, beginning in 1714 and the Fourth, ending in 1830. Some include the reign of William IV from 1830-1837, as he was the third son of the third George. This period also overlaps with the long eighteenth century (which began with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and ended with the Battle of Waterloo).

Now that we’re all inundated with somewhat superfluous data for this discussion, let’s talk Georgian jewelry.

Because a lot happened in England (and around the world) during the Georgian Era, and the four Georges were, after all, four distinctly different men, jewelry of this time period enjoys some variety. While the French had their Louis kings and then the Empire style of Napoleon, the Georgian aesthetic traveled the world. After all, the sun never set on the British Empire.

Antique Jewelry University posits that when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and caused the Huguenots to flee France, they fled to Germany, Holland, and England – the three countries responsible for the bloodlines of the Glorious Revolution(aries) and the Hanoverian Georges. The most interesting fact of this emigration is that a large percentage of the Huguenot emigrés were artisans and designers. Jewelry designers.

Merci, Sun King.

Georgian Era gold was 18K or higher and completely handcrafted (however, as noted below in the examples I found, much seemed to also be 9K). Iron and steel were also popular and valued metals, and were heavily utilized during this period. World exploration, as well as English mineral deposits, yielded an abundance of materials for jewelry design. Pieces featured a myriad of stones: garnets, topaz, emeralds, rubies, diamonds, corals, amber, ivory, pearls, turquoise, agates, and carnelian. Items were designed as strands of beads, parures, demi-parures, mourning pieces, cameos, and intaglios. Wedgewood even got into the jewelry-making game with their popular Jasperware.

And because thievery was also a profitable occupation during this period, imitation jewelry likewise enjoyed popularity. You were just as apt to see a lady wearing diamonds or emeralds as you were paste, faux pearls, opaline glass, Vauxhall glass, or tassies.

But enough with the history. Let’s get to the looking. Some of these are men’s pieces, so not technically fallalls, but I simply couldn’t pass them.

Cross pendant, gold with closed back set with central pearl surrounded by garnet, emerald, sapphire, zircon, ruby, chrysoberyl cat’s eye, and amethyst. Circa 1800, British Museum

Georgian Emerald Paste Parure, ca 1810, of 9K gold in rivière setting, seen in portrait of Madame Recamier painted by Jean-Louis David.

Fan comb, ca 1810-1820, private collection of N. Garbett.

Turquoise Cannitille Drop Earrings, ca 1820, with torquoise beads in the cannitille manner, supported by an open work design drop consisting of a lace-like gold, The Three Graces.

Lovers Eye Brooch ca 1840, miniature painting in oval frame of 10k yellow gold with heart motif and ribbon border, with glass covered locket and braided sprig of blonde-brown hair on reverse, The Three Graces.

Gold demi-parure of brooch and earrings set with turquoise and small diamonds set as forget-me-not sprays, ca 1840, British Museum.

Wedgewood Plaque Jasperware with Birmingham Cut Steel Border, ca 1790, British Museum.

Pair of tiny gold studs of pointed oval shape with bright-cut borders, with monogram WA with fronds, all in hair under glass and set onto a short post. Backplates engraved ‘FP 1788’, British Museum.

Mourning Ring, ca 1800, courtesy Dickensian Dandy.

Gold comb of leafy oak twig entwined with wreath of forget-me-nots surmounted by bird with ruby eye and ring in beak, on trembler spring. The branch is set with gemstones whose initials spell ‘dearest’ from diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and turquoise. There is a hair compartment in the reverse of the bird. Circa 1830, British Museum.

Double cravat pin of gold, enamel, and tourquoise, with first pin featuring Prince of Wales three feathers design, in torquoise and enamel, which is linked by a detachable torquoise-set chain to the companion pin headed in a raspberry design. Such double pins were very fashionable in the first half of the 19th century. Circa 1800-1820. Museum of London

And from the Royal Collection Trust, from Rundell Bridge & Rundell, official jeweler of the Prince Regent, later George IV:

Brooch with an intaglio of George IV. Siberian amethyst, diamonds; gold collet mount, framed by open scroll-shaped mounts in silver set with smaller brilliants, interspersed with eight larger cushion-cut diamonds, silver-gilt open back and brooch pin. Circa 1820-30, Royal Collection Trust.

Brooch with a cameo of the four Georges Cameo: 1820; Brooch: 1820 with later additions, Royal Collection Trust. Sardonyx: white on brown; diamonds, wreath of laurel and palm leaves set with rose-cut diamonds in silver mounts on a matted yellow-gold ground, surmounted by a diamond-set crown. The reverse with later open mount of red gold with brooch pin and slide loops.

Cast of George IV’s crown 1821, Royal Collection Trust. Gilt bronze, velvet, ermine.

 

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Steenkirk

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Steenkirk

Readers of Regency Romance may think only heroines can be found in dishabille. Au contraire!

Steenkirk

A muslin neckcloth carelessly put on, from the manner in which the French officers wore their cravats when they returned from the battle of Steenkirk [sic].

19th century wood engraving of a gentleman wearing a Steinkirk cravat, Probert Encyclopedia.

Apparently, those Frenchies were in such a rush to get to the fight, they had no time to properly tie their cravats. The Battle of Steenkerque was a fight from 1692, during the Nine Years’ War, where the French forces took on a joint English-Scot-Dutch-German army commanded by William of Orange. The French won, messy cravats and all.

Map and Overview of the Battle of Steenkerke, 3 August 1692.

Voltaire explained the Steinkirk neckcloth phenomenon in his 1751 tome, Age of Louis XIV:

The men at that time wore lace-cravats, which took up some time and pains to adjust. The princes having dressed themsevles in a hurry, threw these cravats negligently about their necks. The ladies wore handkerchiefs made in this fashion, which they called Steinkirks. Every new toy was a Steinkirk.

Steinkirk cravats consisted of a long, narrow, plainly trimmed neckcloth wrapped once about the neck in a loose knot. The ends were then twisted together and tucked out of the way into a button-hole, either of the coat or the waistcoat. This tyle was popular with men and women until the 1720s.

I personally think the Mailcoach and Waterfall styles of the Regency have their origins in the Steinkirk.

Portrait of J.B. Belley, Deputy for Saint-Domingue by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, 1797, Palace of Versailles.

Mr. Tilney seems to sport a bit of a Steenkirk.

JJ Feild as Henry Tilney, 2007, Northanger Abbey.

As well as Mr. Darcy himself, of a fashion.

Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy, 1995, Pride and Prejudice.

Go ahead. Just yank that annoying, slap-dash cloth off.

Colin Firth as Fitzwilliam Darcy, shedding that silly old Steenkirk.

Cravats are delicious things.

The only question I’m left with is exactly how many different ways are there to spell Steinkirk? I discovered Steenkirk, Steenkerque, and Steenkerke.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cove (from the archives)

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cove (from the archives)

May looks to be a hectic month, what with the end of the school year melding into the beginning of summer activities, combined with me under deadline for my contribution to the upcoming Regency Legends Series (follow our Twitter handle now to catch all the updates – A Legend to Love).

So with all that busyness in mind, I’m dipping into the archives and freshening up some of my very first WOW posts.

Cove

Fellow, chap; can be used in speaking of any third-person whose name you are either ignorant of or don’t wish to mention; slang from at least 1560s, said to be from Romany (Gypsy) cova, “that man.”

Regency Era Men’s Morning.Coat Dress, 1807, courtesy Victoriana com.

But there’s more than one way to describe a cove. When you add the right adjective, they get interesting:

bang-up cove (well-dressed gentleman)

bene-cove (a good fellow; also a staunch-cove)

Men’s Clothing from 1812, with hat, courtesy Victoriana.com.

cross-cove (a person who lives by stealing, or in a dishonest manner)

dimber-cove (a pretty fellow)

Regency Era Men’s Morning Coat, 1807, courtesy Victoriana.com.

downy-cove (clever rogue; sly dog)

gentry-cove (a gentleman)

Regency Men’s Clothing, 1811, courtesy Victoriana.com.

kinchin cove (a little man)

leary-cove (vigilant, suspicious gentleman)

square cove (an upright, honest man)

Men’s Clothing from 1812, courtesy Victoriana.com.

 

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Pug

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Pug

If you’re a Regency era aficionado, the mere mention of this week’s word evokes an immediate image.

Lady Bertram and Pug, from Mansfield Park, 1999, starring Lindsay Duncan.

To the education of her daughters Lady Bertram paid not the smallest attention. She had not time for such cares. She was a woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children, but very indulgent to the latter when it did not put herself to inconvenience, guided in everything important by Sir Thomas, and in smaller concerns by her sister.
~Mansfield Park, Chapter 2

Pug

A Dutch pug; a kind of lap-dog, formerly much in vogue.

Yelena and Alexandra Kourakine by Vladimir Borovikovsky, 1802, The Louvre.

I admit that most Pugs I have ever encountered were overweight and overindulged in every sense of the world, with owners very much like Lady Bertram (and not all of them female, mind you). As with those I know with Pugs, Lady Bertram is never far from her beloved. When her husband, Sir Thomas, returns from his trip to the Caribbean, she is excited to see him. Although she moves Pug a bit, he is not displaced by much.

By not one of the circle was he listened to with such unbroken, unalloyed enjoyment as by his wife, who was really extremely happy to see him, and whose feelings were so warmed by his sudden arrival as to place her nearer agitation than she had been for the last twenty years. She had been almost fluttered for a few minutes, and still remained so sensibly animated as to put away her work, move Pug from her side, and give all her attention and all the rest of her sofa to her husband.
~Mansfield Park, Chapter 19

Portrait of Sylvie de la Rue by François van der Donckt, 1806, Groeninge Museum, Bruges.

Mary Wollstonecraft has one of the best quotes about little dogs – and for my purposes I am going to assume she is speaking of Pugs – that I have ever come across in her book, In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). Although her statement says more about the owner than the dog. She groused:

I have been desired to observe the pretty tricks of a lap-dog, that my perverse fate forced me to travel with. Is it surprising that such a tasteless being should rather caress this dog than her children? Or, that she should prefer the rant of flattery to the simple accents of sincerity?
~Chapter 12

Princess Ekaterina Dmitrievna Golitsyna by Louis-Michel van Loo, 1759, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.

The Pug is considered one of the oldest breeds in the world, documented by none other than Confucius (known as Lo-Sze in Chinese) in 551 BC. According to Georgian England’s Top Dogs, they were valued for their “small size, short coat, and their Prince Mark – three wrinkles on the forehead and a vertical bar form a marking that repeats the Chinese character for Prince.” By the early 16th century, direct trade to China brought notice of the noble Pug to Europe; they were said to have arrived in England via the Glorious Revolution of William and Mary in 1688. Unfortunately, they became the indolent discriminating discerning lady’s accessory du jour, along with an African American page boy.  As such, the popularity of the Pug as fashion statement slowly declined as the 19th century, hopefully as sensibility progressed.

The Drumplier Pugs by Gourlay Steell, circa 1867, via Wellcome Images.

But never fear! The Pug was down but not out. Queen Victoria is credited with bringing back the popularity of the breed: she kept thirty-six over the course of her reign. The first Pugs arrived in America by the end of the Civil War, and were one of the fifteen recognized breeds of the American Kennel Club in 1885. Not bad for a dog that essentially warmed laps, tickled toes, and “photo” bombed paintings of ladies.

Portrait of a Lady with her Pug Dog, Mid 19th Century German School in the style of the 16th Century, Bridgeman Images.

In my family we have a silly saying: if you can kill the dog by stepping on it, it’s not the pet for us. This likely says more about us than the appropriateness of tiny dogs. William Hogarth would no doubt reprimand our temerity, as well as stoutly disagree that Pugs were only for the ladies. He was the proud owner of several, likened their blunt faces and mannerisms to his own, and, according to Rivaat Zarlif of Sartle, had “the little gargoyles show up in lots of paintings as satirical jabs at pompous characters in his paintings.”

Self-Portrait with Pug Dog by William Hogarth, 1745, Tate Gallery, London.

 

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ To Wiredraw

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ To Wiredraw

There’s not too much to explain about this week’s word, which is rather fitting, given its definition. It’s a fine line we authors of historical romance walk. Include too little history, and it’s a modern-day romance dressed in costume and flowery language. Include too much of history, and the story gets mired down in information dumps and endless sentences. Like the medical television drama where the doctor calls for a CBC only to have the nurse counter, “A Complete Blood Count, doctor?” My kingdom for the doctor to break the fourth wall and give the camera an eye roll.

And the importance of having a good editor is never more evident than when a story would be improved by chopping tens to hundreds of pages.

Dr. Maura Isles, portrayed by actor Sasha Alexander, Rizzoli and Isles, TNT.

Filler is the enemy. Strikethroughs and editing are our friends.

To Wiredraw

To lengthen out or extend any book, letter, or discourse.

And that’s all I have.

Short.
Sweet.
To the point.

Excerpt from Persuasion by Jane Austen, Chapter 10, 8 July, courtesy Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts.

 

Keep Calm and Read This: A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder

Keep Calm and Read This: A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder

It’s a holiday week here in the US, and that means it’s time to find a comfortable chair, a favorite beverage, and curl up with a good book or three. If you’re like me and love to read and reread about the Bennets, Darcys, and Bingleys (or at least one of the Bingleys), I have just the recommendation for your reading pleasure: A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder. This is a laugh out loud farcical comedy starring my favorite characters, but with a twist.

Elizabeth Bennet’s life is uncomplicated until she meets a quartet of new men: the haughty but handsome Mr. Darcy, the pert-with-a-pout Mr. Bingley, the confident and captivating Mr. Wickham—and then there is her father’s cousin, the happy man towards whom almost every female eye has turned.

Mr. Collins is HOT—well, incredibly handsome in Regency-speak—beautiful of face, fine of figure, elegant of air, his perfect clothing and hair matching his Greek god-like form. Unfortunately, when he opens his mouth, Elizabeth wishes he were mute. With affected servility and prideful self-conceit, he capitalizes upon his exquisite appearance and fixes on Jane Bennet as his bride.

Can Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy form an alliance to stop Jane’s suitors from issuing challenges—and will Elizabeth coax a smile from Mr. Darcy?

Here’s a sneak peek at a snippet of Chapter One from A Most Handsome Gentleman:

Bestselling Regency romance author Suzan Lauder delivers a hilarious Austenesque romance suitable for all readers of Pride and Prejudice. Grab your copy for a Thanksgiving reading treat!

 

 

A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, cycling, yoga, blogging, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder is seldom idle.

Her first effort at a comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman is the fourth time Lauder has been published by Meryton Press. Her earlier works include a mature Regency romance with a mystery twist, Alias Thomas Bennet; a modern short romance Delivery Boy in the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter, and the dramatic tension filled Regency romance Letter from Ramsgate.

She and Mr. Suze split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish sea and a 150 year old Spanish colonial home near the sea in Mexico.

Suzan’s lively prose is also available to her readers on her blog, road trips with the redhead.

You can also find Suzan on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

 

And remember to always #ReadARegency!