Category Archives: People

Dashing David Lyon

Dashing David Lyon

I love this portrait of David Lyon. Isn’t he dashing? Possibly a bit Darcy-esque? He has the refined air, proud stance, slender musculature, and elegant, chiseled face we all imagine when envisioning Mr. Darcy. His richly nuanced clothes, from the fur lining his coat to the slim cane and dandyish handkerchief, the gentleman in this portrait screams high position and… Continue Reading

Hardwick Hall: An Elizabethan Masterpiece

Hardwick 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

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

Tipu Sultan’s Tiger

Tipu Sultan’s Tiger

For those who have read my novel The Passions of Dr. Darcy, you likely recall an encounter Dr. George Darcy and his mentor Dr. Kshitij Ullas had with Tipu Sultan, the infamous ruler of the Indian Kingdom of Mysore. My two characters are the product of imagination. Tipu Sultan, however, was real… and a very scary… Continue Reading

Vocabulary Rocks! Eponyms

Vocabulary Rocks! Eponyms

A true eponym is an ordinary common noun derived from the name of a person or place. The important, defining property is that the word does not refer exclusively to the person or place named by the proper noun, as does Marxism or Christian, but is used to refer to a general category. Even if you don’t… Continue Reading

Quoting Shakespeare

Quoting Shakespeare

April 23rd is generally considered to be a good day to celebrate the birth of England’s greatest poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. This is partly because there are no records of his birth—although he was baptized on April 26—and partly because he died on April 23, so there is a pleasing, almost poetic symmetry about… Continue Reading

Anne Seymour Damer

Anne Seymour Damer

Born the only daughter of Field-Marshall Henry Seymour Conway and Lady Caroline Campbell daughter of the 4th Duke of Argyll, Anne Conway spent much of her childhood at Park Place, Remenham near Henley-on-Thames. Her parents being abroad for much of the time, her cousin Horace Walpole assumed some responsibility for her care as guardian. Walpole was very… Continue Reading

Underappreciated Poets

Underappreciated Poets

John Clare 1793–1864 John Clare was born into a peasant family in Helpston, England. Although he was the son of illiterate parents, Clare received some formal schooling, but it ended when he was eleven years old. This child of the ‘unwearying eye’ had a thirst for knowledge and became a model example of the self-taught… Continue Reading

Wellingtons: the Man AND the Boots

Wellingtons: the Man AND the Boots

Military uniforms, fame and fashion have always been closely linked. Regimental dress uniforms were designed to stand out and impress young men into joining up – with the added bonus of attracting the opposite sex in the process. LOL! When the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1792–1815) brought much of Europe into battle, it is hardly… Continue Reading

Mary Darby Robinson

Mary Darby Robinson

Mary Darby was born on November 27, 1758, the third of five children born to John Darby and his wife Hester Seys. Her father deserted the family when Mary was seven, uncertain finances causing the struggling family to relocate frequently and Mary’s formal education to suffer. Eventually Mrs Darby starting her own school for young girls, and… Continue Reading

Scary Movie: Regency Style

Scary Movie: Regency Style

Imagine it is 1817. You are in a theatre usually reserved for opera performances and ballets. It is pitch black with eerie music rising from the orchestra pit. You are clutching onto the armrests, or your companion, while witnessing a marvel never seen before. Ghostly visions mysteriously projected from hidden spaces under the stage float… Continue Reading

Fortnum and Mason Candlemakers

Fortnum and Mason Candlemakers

How does a used-candle seller establish one of the most successful and prestigious businesses in British history? Well, if your name is William Fortnum and the candles in question belonged to the royal family, you are well on your way to business success. It all came about like this. William Fortnum became a footman in the… Continue Reading

Victorian Women Enjoyed Sex!

Are you shocked? This fascinating article came through the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA a couple of years ago. I shared it then, but figured it is interesting enough to dust off and repost. The long, very detailed article in the April 2010 edition of Stanford Magazine (as in Stanford University, CA) is totally worth the… Continue Reading