elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
Maria Branwell was born in Penzance, Cornwall, on 15th April 1783. She was the eighth of eleven children (only six survived to adulthood though) of Thomas Branwell, a successful merchant, and his wife Anne Carne. The family owned many properties in the town and was involved in local politics (her brother Benjamin became the town’s
Emily, the fifth child of Reverend Patrick Bronte and his wife Maria, was born on July 30th 1818 at Thornton, Bradford in Yorkshire. Her mother died of cancer in 1824, shortly after the family had moved to Haworth. Her father, struggling to bring up his family, decided to send her, together with her sisters Maria,
I was reading the 1823 issue of The Rambler’s Magazine, as you do (yes I’m weird but I can’t be the only one who enjoys old mags more than modern ones, or am I? Mmmm), and came across a couple of nice little pieces in the Anecdotes section that made me smile and decided to
However beautiful or fashionably dressed a lady may be, she can never gain permanent hold upon society, without that peculiar talent for conversation, which is the well-known specialite of French women—and which depends more upon a variety of information, and a certain intuitive tact in the use of it, than in any specially developed accomplishment,
It’s been ages since I wrote one of these posts. High time to remedy that, I think! So, here are a few Regency words and expressions that may puzzle you if you come across them in an old book. Enjoy! Beau-nasty: finely dressed but dirty Canterbury Story: a long roundabout tale Cloud: tobacco Gallipot: a
Ilya Tolstoy remembers the creation of Anna Karenina: I Remember my father writing his alphabet and reading-book in 1871 and 1872, but I cannot at all remember his beginning “Anna Karenina.” I probably knew nothing about it at the time. What did it matter to a boy of seven what his father was writing? It
In anticipation of Queen Victoria’s marriage, the January 1840 edition of The Mirror Of Literature published a poem written by her fiancé, Prince Albert. It’s called Mein Lebewohl and talks about his love for his native country and the pain he feels in leaving it behind. MEIN LEBEWOHL Once more let me view thee,Dear Home
Laetitia Pilkington was a celebrated Anglo-Irish poet best known for her friendship with Jonathan Swift. Until he cut her off when she divorced her husband, Matthew Pilkington, a priest for the Anglican Church of Ireland. He didn’t want to be associated with a separated couple, although he was in a way responsible for the divorce.
I’ve already written several posts about slang and colloquial terms used during the Regency era, but I have barely scratched the surface. There are so many that I would still like to share with you. So, here are some taken from the 1811 Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue: Back Biter: someone who slanders another person
Martha Lloyd was a close friend of the Austen family. Cassandra, Jane’s mother, even contributed to the book of recipes she wrote at Chawthon. Here’s her entry: If the vicar you treat,You must give him to eat,A pudding to hit his affection;And to make his repast,By the canon of taste,Be the present receipt your direction.