It’s confirmed: Bookworms Live Longer!

It’s confirmed: Bookworms Live Longer!

An August 8, 2016 article by Erin Blakemore on Smithosonian.com I just stumbled across is so fascinating I have to share. Below is the whole article, but to read on the website, here is the link: Bookworms, Rejoice: You May Live Longer   Bookworms, Rejoice: You May Live Longer Let’s face it: People who love to… Continue Reading

A Tribute to Gene Wilder

A Tribute to Gene Wilder

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Gene Wilder. Granted, he hasn’t been in anything recently, and indeed his wealth of classic movies will endure forever, yet it is always a shame when someone so supremely talented passes on. Rest in peace, Mr. Wilder, hopefully in the company of your beloved wife… Continue Reading

Harwick Hall: An Elizabethan Masterpiece

Harwick Hall: An Elizabethan Masterpiece

Hardwick Hall, which is located in Derbyshire, is the former home of Elizabeth Shrewsbury, also known as Bess of Hardwick. It was built between 1590 and 1597 and designed by architect Robert Smythson. Of humble origins, Bess of Hardwick married four times, gaining power and wealth with each marriage, and eventually became one of the… Continue Reading

2 Romantic Movies with a Medieval Twist

2 Romantic Movies with a Medieval Twist

Today I am sharing two of my favorite happily-ever-after romance movies, both set in an indeterminate past with a Medieval flavor. One is clearly fantasy laced, while the other is a well-known fairytale given a rational explanation. Each have humor, fantastic supporting characters, a fair amount of suspense, and the oh-so-necessary celebratory kiss. Both are “must-see”… Continue Reading

Floriography ~ F and G flowers

Floriography ~ F and G flowers

Continuing on with a study in Floriography  —  the cryptological communication through flower use or arrangement. For the first post covering A and B flowers, as well as a short history on the “language of flowers”, click HERE. For C and D flowers, click THIS LINK. I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,… Continue Reading

Vocabulary Rocks! H is for…

Vocabulary Rocks! H is for…

Bringing y’all some more strange words with their etymology or origin stories. I love language! Today is the time for H. For previous entries on this topic, a blog category search for “vocabulary” will bring up the archived posts. Enjoy! Hackney and Hack Hackney comes from the Old French haquenée, meaning a gentle, riding horse, an ambling horse.… Continue Reading

Miser’s Purse

Miser’s Purse

Miser’s purses are known by many names: Misers, miser bags, ring or string purses, stocking purses, and finger purses to name a few. They originated in the late eighteenth century and were popular into the early 1900’s. These purses were used by both men and women and usually were long, almost stocking looking. Some scholars believe… Continue Reading

Lord Nelson’s Love Letter

Lord Nelson’s Love Letter

The notorious love affair between military hero Horatio Nelson and already married Lady Emma Hamilton was the scandal of the 18th century. They met for the first time in September of 1793. Horatio Nelson was a 35-year-old captain and Lady Hamilton was the 28-year-old wife of Sir William Hamilton, the 62-year-old British Envoy to Naples. A noted… Continue Reading

Isabella Mary Beeton

Isabella Mary Beeton

Isabella Mary Mayson is best known by her married name: Mrs. Beeton. She was born in Cheapside, London on March 12, 1836. Her father, Benjamin Mayson, died when she was four, leaving her mother Elizabeth pregnant and with four young children. Three years later Elizabeth married Henry Dorling, a widower with four children of his own. The blended family, which… Continue Reading

Domestic Staff at a Country Estate

Domestic Staff at a Country Estate

Several years ago I wrote a series on servants, both inside and outside, at a grand country estate. Recently on Austen Authors I dusted the series off, did a ton of fresh research, and rewrote everything for a ten-part blog series entitled “Regency Servants”. I’ve decided to cross-post here on my blog, and admit that… Continue Reading

Negus and Ratafia

Negus and Ratafia

Negus is the name of a drink made of wine, most commonly port, mixed with hot water, spiced and sugared. This mulled wine, created by Colonel Francis Negus (d.1732), was served at the balls in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and The Watsons, and noted in other classic literature such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Negus comes… Continue Reading

Floriography ~ C and D flowers

Floriography ~ C and D flowers

Continuing on with a study in Floriography  —  the cryptological communication through flower use or arrangement. For the first post covering A and B flowers, as well as a short history on the “language of flowers”, click HERE.   There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue for you; and here’s some for me: we… Continue Reading

Marriage Advice, Georgian-Style

Marriage Advice, Georgian-Style

Today’s humorous tidbit comes from “The Five Strange Wonders of the World” printed and sold in Bow-Church-Yard, London, between 1750 and 1785. Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library. Five Things a Man don’t like in a Wife A Woman who will cuckold her Husband She who carries false Tales from one to another She who… Continue Reading