One of the most debated topics amongst Regency romance authors is the wedding announcement. I’ve read
arguments discussions where some stated no extant examples of announcements exist while others insisted it was the most socially important part of the wedding (with neither side supporting their argument beyond stating it matter-of-factly).
When in doubt, I consult the Oracle.
“The latter writes me word that Miss Blackford is married, but I have never seen it in the papers, and one may as well be single if the wedding is not to be in print.” ~Jane Austen, in a letter to Anna Austen-Knight, 1814
Thus I have always considered the marriage announcement a fact, and proof only yet to be discovered (once I could get my hands on a subscription to The Times archives).
Hawker of newspapers, trials, and dying speeches.
Imagine my delight when I opened an email from the blog “Two Teens in the Time of Austen” entitled Marriage of Lord Compton, 1787. The blog itself is a treasure trove of historical tidbits and on dits. This time, the researchers discovered a marriage announcement in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine, Or, Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge.
I had my own little “M&M” moment.
“I suppose you have heard of it; indeed, you must have seen it in the papers. It was in the Times and the Courier, I know; though it was not put in as it ought to be. It was only said, ‘Lately, George Wickham Esq., to Miss Lydia Bennet,’ without there being a syllable said of her father, or the place where she lived, or anything. It was my brother Gardiner’s drawing up too, and I wonder how he came to make such an awkward business of it. Did you see it?” ~Mrs. Bennett, on the subject of Lydia’s marriage announcement, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.