Category Archives: History

Chinoiserie ~ A Visual Art

Chinoiserie ~ A Visual Art

In visual art, the term Chinoiserie is from “chinois”, the French word for Chinese. The artistic style was a fanciful European interpretation of art and designs seen in countries all over East Asia, including China, Korea and Japan.   The beginnings arose in the 13th century when trade routes opened between Europe and China. Marco Polo (1254-1324) was the… Continue Reading

Exploring Derbyshire

Exploring Derbyshire

“Ten thousand a year and he owns half of Derbyshire!”  So said Charlotte Lucas to Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. To be fair, this statement is not in the original novel by Jane Austen, nor do the descriptions of Pemberley give any details of the estates acreage. No question the… Continue Reading

British Titles of Nobility

British Titles of Nobility

Titles of nobility are one of those areas Americans have particular trouble wrapping our minds around. It doesn’t help that the rules and application of British titles are extremely complex, and have changed in multiple ways over the centuries. In some respects, reading the various titles or hearing them uttered in a movie is akin to hearing a word or phrase in… Continue Reading

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” ~Luke 2:8 Unlike most Christmas carols, the origins of Silent Night are rooted in well-established facts AND steeped in dramatized legend. The Facts: Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), a young priest in the parish church at Oberndorf (a village on the… Continue Reading

Christmas Menu for 1660

Christmas Menu for 1660

The earliest published Christmas menu dates from 1660, the year of Charles II’s restoration to the throne. The Accomplisht Cook was written by Robert May, an English chef who trained in France and cooked for nobility throughout his life. This remarkable document includes a section titled “A bill of fare for Christmas Day and how to set… Continue Reading