LADY DAY

Annunciation, approx. 1628, Peter Paul Rubens

On the Church of England’s calendar (as well as in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and other liturgical church calendars), Annunciation Day was the holiday (“holy day”) which celebrated the announcement by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she was to bear a son called Jesus who would be the son of God (Luke 1:26-38). It was traditionally celebrated on March 25, nine months before Christmas.

By regency times, Annunciation Day, which was also called Lady Day (the “lady” being the Virgin Mary), occurring around the Vernal Equinox, also was one of the “Quarter Days,” which divided the year into fiscal quarters. Since the spring quarter day had also marked the older New Year, it was the time when landowners and tenants ended and began new contracts, either moving farms or plowing new fields.

The Annunciation, 1610, Hans von Aachen

In the Book of Common Prayers in the Anglican Church, the Scripture readings for Annunciation Day were Psalm 89 for Morning Prayer (service), and Psalms 131, 132 and 138 for Evening Prayer (service).

Psalm 89, a joyful paean foretelling of a savior, is quite appropriate to this church holy day:

The Annunciation, 1489-90, Sandro Botticelli

1I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 2For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

3I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah….

I read a lot of the more modern Bible translations, but to me nothing improves on the King James’ English for the Psalms. How about you?

 

 

 

 

Special Visit from Julie Klassen

Julie KlassenKristi here with special guest Julie Klassen!

Julie is the author five fabulous historical Regency  novels. Two of them have been awarded the prestigious Christy award for Inpirational fiction. She has also been a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. We’re honored to have her stopping by Regency Reflections today!

KAH: Why did you choose to write stories in the Regency time period? 

JK: I’ve long been enamored with British literature in general, having read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre at a young age. But it wasn’t until later, when I had seen the Pride & Prejudice mini-series and read all of Jane Austen’s books, that I chose the Regency era in particular for the setting of my first historical novel. I jokingly say it’s all Mr. Darcy’s fault!

KAH: I think many of us blame Mr. Darcy! What is your favorite thing about the Regency?

JK: I love the chivalry of the Regency era, the men in tall boots and ladies in beautiful gowns, the balls and manners and restrained attraction. It was a romantic time–at least if you had money! And, compared to some other time periods, I think it can be a little easier and more natural to include Christian content in a Regency novel, when things like prayers, attending services, and having the vicar over to dine were commonplace. (Remember, Jane Austen herself was a clergyman’s daughter. :))

KAH: Which of your books was the most fun to write?

JK: For me, writing books is a lot of hard work. The fun doesn’t come later until when the book is finally finished and people are enjoying it. The icing on the cake? Listening to the audio version. The audio book publishers usually hire talented British actors who perform the characters so distinctly and really bring the book to life. I dream up places to drive just to listen further! I will say The Apothecary’s Daughter and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall were probably the most fun to research–since I was able to travel to England to do so.

 

KAH: What is the most interesting historical factoid you’ve come across when researching your novels?

JK: It’s not so much any single big discovery, but more the dozens of little historical details I find to bring the stories to life. For me, the most exciting research takes place when I’ve actually been able to travel to England and see the settings I plan to use in my books. For example, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is about a young lady who finds herself working in service. To research this novel, I read many books about servant life–the sources of most of the epigraphs (quotes) at the beginning of each chapter. My husband and I also had the privilege of touring several old country estates and town houses in England when we traveled there last May. There’s something about walking down those dim stairs and entering the “belowstairs” world (massive kitchens, the servants’ hall, huge water cans that had to be carried up many flights of stairs, the footman’s livery, butler’s pantry, housekeeper’s parlor, sculleries, etc.) that really helped me envision my characters in the scenes I was writing. Hopefully, this allows readers to visualize the scenes as well. I’ve posted several photos of this research trip on my web site if you would like to see them (www.julieklassen.com).

KAH: What is your favorite Regency set book? movie?

JK: I have enjoyed all of Jane Austen’s books (which were published in the Regency era, though written somewhat earlier) as well as the movies based on them. Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice are probably my favorites. One of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen was Bright Star, both in terms of Regency costumes and the beauty of the film itself.

KAH: Tell us about your most recent release.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

JK: I’ve been looking forward to writing a book like this for some time, first, because my novels are set in the Regency era when live-in servants were common. And second, because I’ve really enjoy programs like Upstairs-Downstairs, and more recently, Downton Abbey, which portray the life of servants as well as the people they serve. So, I’m very happy to have written my own “belowstairs” novel and am thrilled so many people seem to be enjoying it.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is about a well-born lady, Margaret Macy, who disguises herself as a housemaid to avoid marriage to a dishonorable man. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of two former suitors! As Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life, she is soon entangled in intrigues both belowstairs and above.

I hope you will enjoy the book. Thanks for having me here!

KAH: Thanks for coming!

You can find Julie at her website, www.julieklassen.com. Her books are available from Bethany House,  Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books A MillionChristian Book Distributors, and your local bookstore!

Easter’s On Its Way!

Easter is right around the corner.  In just over a week, women will don their finest dresses, girls will wear Easter bonnets, and children will color and hunt Easter eggs.  It is a special time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with family and friends.

During the regency period, the time from Easter Sunday to Ascension Sunday was known as the Easter Season (or sometimes the Easter Holiday).  During these weeks, it was common for people to travel to visit with family.  Many of the traditions they participated in we still enjoy today.

EASTER BONNETS AND DRESSES

Easter has long been considered the unofficial start to spring.  After the dark, heavy winter fabrics and reverent clothes worn during Lent, Regency ladies welcomed in the Easter Season with light colored gowns and spring bonnets decorated with ribbons, bows, and flowers. Since the Roman times, wearing something new for Easter had been considered good luck.

HOT CROSS BUNS

Eating hot cross buns on Good Friday is a longstanding English tradition.  A hot cross bun is made from yeast dough and contains sugar, milk, flour, butter, eggs, and a variety of spices. Today, icing is often used to create the cross on hot cross buns, but during the regency it was most likely formed with a knife. The idea of consuming and bread in as a religious ceremony is well known, and some even say that the tradition is tied to the blessing that Jesus gave a woman who offered him bread while he was carrying the cross to Calvary. During the days leading up to Good Friday, the streets would be alive with vendors selling hot cross buns. In fact, this practice is the basis for the nursery rhyme:

Hot cross buns!
 Hot cross buns!

One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny, Hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons

One ha’ penny,
two ha’ penny, Hot Cross Buns! 

According to legend, Good Friday hot cross buns never molded, and it was considered good luck to hang a bun in your home.  Sometimes, these buns were kept until the following Easter as a trinket.

DYED EGGS

During Lent, it was common for Christians to abstain from eating eggs.  In order to preserve them and not let them go to waste, the eggs would be boiled, which would make them last until Lent was over. Onion skins were used to dye the eggs red in remembrance of the blood Christ shed on the cross.
Happy Easter!

 

“Welcome, dear feast of Lent”

Most Regency gentlemen and ladies were members of the Church of England, so most of them would – in some form, at least – have celebrated Lent, the forty days of fasting and repentance that are traditionally observed before Easter.

I love Lent. I rarely enjoy Lent. But I do love it. It is such a good tool in God’s hands. I always learn, I always grow. But I often learn more from the places where I fail than the places where I succeed.

Why Fast?

I sometimes think the purpose of fasting is to make it clear to us what sinners we really are. Not in a defeating, accusing way (the way the Enemy would), but more the way tiredness reveals the two-year-old-ness of two-year-olds. In Lent, the voice you hear isn’t the diabolical, “well what did you think you were, you scum?” but the Fatherly, “you really are tired, aren’t you, small one? Come and rest.”

Detail from Michaelangelo Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus" (PD-Art|PD-old-100)

As C. S. Lewis once pointed out, our good moods often aren’t, as we’d like to suppose, evidence of our virtue, but evidence of our full bellies and our good health. Take away food or health or rest and you can see how weak you really are. But fasting, in its orderliness, reveals our weakness to us in a way we can stand. It doesn’t destroy us because it is intrinsically linked to prayer, and so as soon as our weakness is revealed, there we are in the presence of our Father. And there our weakness isn’t despair, it’s joy, because He is ever ready to supply our lack. Praise God!

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell 

P.S. the title quotation is from English poet George Herbert’s excellent poem “Lent”.

A Dream Is Born

Once upon a time, I was about fourteen and had decided that I liked reading romances, historical ones in particular. Looking back, I can see the school librarian going back to her office and tearing out her hair trying to figure out what to give me to read next since I read about two books a week. The library was a nice one, but not overflowing with novels appropriate for an innocent early teen.

But one day inspiration must have struck her and she handed me a copy of Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. Glory, glory halleluiah! I had found my niche.


Lords and ladies, a breakneck mission through the English countryside, a maiden in distress, and, best of all, romance between the dashing hero and what was
previously his best female friend whom he suddenly decided he loved. Nothing better.Except I did find better. Georgina by Clare Darcy, then Frederica by Heyer, more Darcys, more Heyers, more authors writing in this fascinating time period until I was dreaming of writing my own beleaguered lady in need of a hero.I started reading nonfiction books about the Regency era. I even plowed my way through the Jane Austen library. I absorbed language and costume and the politics of the day like a velvet pelisse soaking up water from the rain while the wearer walks in Hyde Park.

What draws me to this time? I was asked in a recent radio interview. All of the above. The Regency was a time of amazing transition in the world from the excesses of the Georgian era aristocracy, to the rise of the middle class due to industrialization. The lines between classes, though still sharply defined, are beginning to blur around the edges. Social reforms are being at least talked about and steps taken to implement them. And the war with France and then a second war with America are always fodder for a fun read. Never a dull moment in the Regency.

After college, grad school, and a couple of jobs, I started to write my own Regency romance. Those first novels I completed are from my BC days, and I’m mortified that copies of them may be floating around the Internet. 

What is more important to me is the birth of my first two published Regencies and others coming out in the future. My first published novel Family Guardian is a Regency and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency. A Necessary Deception is my first Regency for the Christian market out October of 2011. These books symbolize dreams born in the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl coming true.

 

 

 

The Season

Susan’s musings:

London was the center of the Regency universe, and the London Season was the center of the marriage market. The season began with the opening of Parliament, usually in March. Hunting season was done and it was time for a different kind of hunt: the hunt for suitable marriage partners for the daughters and sons of the nobility and gentry.

Some families came as early as Christmas to prepare for the opening of Parliament. This allowed the females of the family plenty of preparation time and enabled the young ladies to acquire a bit of town bronze. Much shopping, dress fittings, and “seeding the ground” for those all-important invitations kept them in a flurry of busy anticipation for the season.

Her first season was a dramatic turning point in a young girl’s life. At around age eighteen, everything changed overnight and she was no longer a green girl. She was now allowed to dress and wear her hair in adult fashion. She began her season taking part in the ritual of being presented to the queen wearing some quite strange mandated apparel which included a feathered headdress and hoopskirts. This was known as her come out. An average debutante might attend 50 balls, 60 parties, 30 dinners, and 25 breakfasts over the course of a season.

Women visited with their friends, patronized the fashionable shops and showed off their finery at lavish balls, the theater and the opera. Gentlemen, when not busy at their clubs, courted the ladies and pursued manly sports.

A typical day during the Season might begin with a ride in Hyde Park, then breakfast. Shopping and paying calls on close friends came next for the ladies, followed by lunch. The men went off to their clubs or to Parliament, while the ladies went out to pay even more calls. Dinner was at six or seven, followed by soirees or the opera, with balls or dances, going on until three in the morning. Popular dances included the cotillion, and the waltz. The height of the season began after Easter, signaling the beginning of a dizzying, three-month round of social events.

This expensive frivolity had the serious goal of marriage behind it. If a girl did not take, and get leg-shackled to an eligible parti by, at the latest, her second or third season, she was considered a failure. The season ended officially on August 12, when Parliament adjourned, after which everyone retreated to their country estates.

You have noticed some bold words above. What are your favorite bits of Regency slang?

Regency Recipe–Wild Goose Chase

To write an historical romance, it sometimes is necessary to feed your characters (can’t let them starve now, can we?), which means researching food from the time period is just as important as other aspects of research.

While researching for my regency Christmas ebook, I discovered that transposing period recipes from Georgian or Regency cookbooks is a challenge. For one thing, cooks of the day didn’t usually measure their ingredients in the traditional sense. Recipes called for “a large haunch of venison,” or, “one fowl, good for a supper.” Then, ingredients might be listed as, “one good spoon of mace,” or “a quick handful of oats,” and so on.

Also, they had no thermostats for their ovens which were often merely described as “a hot fire,” or “a moderate oven.” As adventurous as I am at times in my kitchen, I hesitate to spend time trying something that might not work. I like the tried and true when it comes to recipes. (When things go wrong–as as they occasionally do in my cooking, at least I know I’m the one to blame!)

Thankfully, there are cookbooks out there today with modernized recipes from the past. I still enjoy looking through the older ones with their “hot fires” and “handfuls” of flour, however. They did things, despite the lack of modern conveniences, on a surprisingly grander scale. They arranged dinners in courses (if the family could afford to) and used meats that we would consider exotic today.

A typical meal would easily find four or five sources of protein on the menu, served in courses, sometimes with multiple meats in one course. Rabbit, venison, pheasant, grouse, and even partridge were not unusual entrees. Duck, goose, quail and wild turkey were also game (couldn’t resist). Dishes were arranged on the table according to how important they were. “Middles” were the main dishes, while “sides” were, well, you know. We still call them sides.

I usually make two, sometimes three sides for my family. During the regency, the well-to-do dinner table would have a few with each course! No wonder they needed to employ a kitchen staff.

I confess I’ve had grand plans to join the ranks of the kitchen experimenters who try and cook up the old-fashioned recipes. “Plans” is the operative word. I can enjoy a good day in the kitchen, really, especially for baking, but with a family to feed, I have little time to spend just “experimenting.” In the spirit of modern-day ease, therefore, I offer here a recipe for “fowl” anyone can do. You can squirrel it away (hmmm, I wonder if they ate squirrel back then, too?) for your next lavish holiday table. It has the atmosphere of olde England about it, as it’s traditional for Christmas, but works for today’s ovens–and measuring spoons!

Wild Goose Chase 

  • 1 cup dried apricots, halved
  • 2 cups dried prunes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 Goose (12 pounds)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash paprika
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 1/4 cups Wild Goose Sauce (recipe below)

Place apricots and prunes in a mixing bowl. Add Madeira. Mix and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 F. Rinse goose and pat dry. Prick all over with a fork. Rub inside and out with the orange juice.  Add apples and orange zest to apricots and prunes. Sprinkle goose inside and out with salt, pepper and paprika. Stuff cavity with fruit. Skewer opening closed. Lay bacon slices across breast. Place goose, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, removing accumulated fat every 30 minutes (there will be a lot). Remove bacon and roast for 1 hour more, removing fat after 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Wild Goose Sauce

  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns, slightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Scrape brown pan drippings from roast into saucepan. Add green onions, 1/2 cup of the chicken stock (saving 1/4 cup), Madeira and peppercorns. Simmer 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup stock until smooth. Slowly drizzle into sauce, stirring rapidly. Add salt and pepper. Stir, simmer 5 minutes. Serve over goose.

Enjoy!

Have you ever made goose for your family? How did it turn out? I tried it once and there really is a TON of fat that must be removed during cooking. We enjoyed the roast, however. What about you? If not goose, did you try some other meat or other old-fashioned recipe that is unusual? Tell us about it; we’d love to know about your experience!

Linore.  Recipe from Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide by Linore Rose Burkard

Check out my Kindle short, Coach and Four: Allisandra’s Tale!

Review of Heart’s Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes

I recently had the privilege of reading Heart’s Safe Passage by one of our fellow bloggers here at Regency Reflections, Laurie Alice Eakes.

Here’s a little description of the novel:

It’s 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.

Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda’s whining and Phoebe’s hostility, Rafe can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

It seems like every time I’ve turned around over the past year, I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about this book. Before reading it, I knew several things: the hero was a bad boy on a dangerous mission, the heroine was a headstrong midwife, and they went to sea.

Well, the story proved to be much more than a bad boy meets a good girl and they live happily ever after. “Sweeping” is the best word I can think of to describe it. It starts off in Virginia, where the heroine heads to sea against her will and due to the scheming of a cruel sister-in-law. From Virginia, Phoebe’s whisked away to Bermuda, then England, and even France. Despite the wide scope of geography covered in the novel, Eakes does a masterful job creating mood and setting. I felt like I was personally visiting every country she described and living through the War of 1812. Eakes understanding of the American, British, and Scottish mindsets is nothing short of amazing.

Furthermore, the characters of Rafe and Phoebe are richly drawn. Neither is perfect, both make mistakes, and both struggle along the path to forgiveness and redemption. They have so much to overcome both physically and emotionally, that at times I wondered if they would ever make it. But they DID make it, and it’s a wonderful story readers won’t soon forget.

So while the book doesn’t qualify as a Regency in the strict sense, Regency fans will likely enjoy this wide-range historical novel. I recommend picking up a copy soon.

 

My Carriage Awaits… Maybe

Vanessa here, writing with tongue in cheek about Regency transportation.

News of the heroine’s abduction has made its way to the hero. With a quick prayer for strength, he yanks on his tailcoat and readies to chase after the villain and reclaim the lass. How will the hero get to his sweetheart in time? It all depends upon the hero’s fortune and location.

Poor vicar standing in his country parish.

More than likely, he’s going to walk. To keep a carriage for his personal use and maintain his household (a cook and a valet/groom) he’d have to have a living of at least 700 pounds per year above his keep. (Modest household annual expenses cost about 350 pounds.) If the tithe from his parish weren’t enough, maybe his noble patroness would lend him the use of one of her carriages.

Man of good income standing in the drawing room of his country manor.

He’d rush to his steward to send word to his grooms to ready his vehicle in the coach house.  The coach house was an independent building kept on the hero’s lands that housed his carriage(s), similar to what a garage does today. There the vehicles could be kept clean and safe from the weather or critters. The hero couldn’t keep the carriage in a stable. Being so near the feed would invite mice. Varmints do bad things to the fabrics of the interiors. It simply wouldn’t do for the hero to arrive in a shabby condition.

American Heritage Dictionary: Carriage in a Coach House.

Man of moderate income living in London.

He’d rush to his groom or valet, whoever was in closer proximity within the few feet of his leased rooms. The hero would instruct his servant to hire a gig (a generic term for any two-wheeled vehicle with seating for two) or a hackney (the “cab” system of Regency London) if the villain kept the heroine within the city. If the villain had fled London, the groom would be sent to the nearest stable or coach house to rent transport. This is not instant and could take hours to arrange.

Man of good income living in London.

He’d rush to his groom or steward, whoever was in the closest proximity within the first level of the hero’s leased town home and follow his man out to the mews in the alley behind the house. The hero’s horse(s) and carriage would be kept there. Mews are similar to the coach houses, just smaller.

So the hero has “called” for his mode of transportation, but what are his options?

Horse: If the hero has a long way to travel and time is of the essence, nothing beats horse back. If the weather is bad with snow on the ground, road travel by carriage would be nearly impossible. The road conditions were poor enough in good weather.

The hero would have no choice but to travel by horse. At a gallop, a horse could average 30 miles per hour, which is faster than the 5 to 7 miles per hour in a carriage. Thoroughbred, Percheron, Belgian, Clydesdale, and Shire breeds were available during the Regency. Hopefully, the heroine wouldn’t mind him on horseback. Maybe she fancies being saved by a knight in Damask waistcoat armor.

Know your Horseflesh

Barouche: This is a large vehicle typically drawn by two horses. The seated occupants face each other. A large hood could fold over the passengers but could be driven open, for every one to see the occupants. Closed, this vehicle was good option for medium distances, 25-50 miles.

The Barouche Carriage

Landau:  This is a four-wheeled carriage known for being driven open to show off the occupants. It’s typically drawn by a pair, four-in-hand. The top is soft and folds into two sections exposing the interior. Our hero’s rescue plans may be thwarted in an open carriage, not to mention the dangers of the heroine’s reputation being sullied to the world.

1819 Ackermann’s Repository Landaulet Landau Carriage

Georgiantimes.homestead.net – Know your Landau Parts

Chaise: This is an open carriage with seating for one, two, or even three (if the driver rides one of the horses, postilion style.) Our hero would have to be creative with his rescue plans to use the smaller versions of the chaise. Hopefully, the heroine is alone, no little sister in tow. Thus unusual riding arrangements won’t be needed.

Chaise Illustration by Pearson Scott Foresman

The Post Chaise: This is a four-wheeled closed carriage driven by a team of four. The driver had to ride one of the horses. The post chaise could have windows, even in the front, perfect for searching the landscape. It also had a luggage platform, which could carry supplies or a portmanteau for a change of clothes. If the hero has to travel a far distance, this is the vehicle of choice, and it’s perfect for ferrying a group of servants or secondary characters.

Courtesy of the Suffolk Museum – The Post Chaise

The Rear of the Post Chaise

Coach and Four: This is a four-wheeled closed vehicle drawn by four horses. There is a luggage box in the front. The driver would sit or straddle this depending on the coach design. The back also had a luggage box or basket. The interior hosts hidden compartments for bags of ransom money or a flintlock.

If this is our hero’s lot, he will languish with worry with his head nestled on the Padua silk lining the walls as he drives his fist into the upholstered brocade fabric of the seat backs. Carriage interiors could be contrived with anything the hero or his patroness could afford: silk, tapestries, glass windows, lanterns for lighting, etc. Leather was typically used for open carriages because of the smell arising from the chemicals used in tanning and treating the hides.

Wealthy members of the Ton used the Coach and Four for daily transport. The less wealthy would use these for long distances. If money is of no concern for the hero with his 30,000 pounds per year, this would be in his coach house or mews.

Even if the hero is tight with his coins, for a long journey this would be the hero’s best option.

The Coach and Four with Servants on the Roof

Cocking Cart: This is a two-wheeled open carriage led by one horse. The hero would have to drive this. There is only room for him and the heroine. This is a less expensive option, so a hero of modest means could lease this.

GeorgianTimes.Homestead.net – Cocking Cart

Curricle: This is a two-wheeled open carriage pulled by two horses (preferably well matched so that the carriage doesn’t jerk.) This vehicle is typically controlled by our hero, not a groom, though the hero could have a groom drive. These vehicles are built for speed, but these speeds were no more than 5-10 miles per hour.

The Curricle

Dogcart: This is a two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicle with back-to-back seating for four. The dogcart is another less expensive option but not very speedy. If the heroine has a best friend or little sister in tow, he may not have the option of enjoying the heroine’s fine eyes if the hero and heroine cannot share the same seat.

The Dogcart

Phaeton: This is an open carriage with four-wheels with one or two seats. A high phaeton as shown below would be so tall, the villain would see our hero coming. Also, some were prone to tipping. Tipping would probably doom the rescue.

The High Phaeton

The hero’s dilemma is great as is his choices for transport. With the exception of the Victoria and the Corbillard, the illustration shows an abundance of carriage choices known to the Regency World.

Illustration from The Dictionary of P. Larousse

Closing Thoughts

Transportation options varied in the Regency from walking to horseback to carriages. As income dictates whether the average Joe can afford a Chevette or Cadillac, it also weighed heavily on all members of Regency society. Plausible cases can be made for any of the hero’s options, but it should be consistent with his status, time frame, geography, and even the weather.

Hopefully, the hero has chosen wisely and is now on his way to save the heroine. Let’s pray he gets there in time.

References:

http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/pptopics.html

http://www.rubylane.com/

http://www.susannaives.com/nancyregencyresearcher/

http://main.thebeaumonde.com/

http://www.britannica.com/

http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com

http://historicalhussies.blogspot.com

http://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com

Driving horse-drawn carriages for pleasure: the classic illustrated guide to coaching, harnessing, stabling, etc. by Francis T. Underhill

An Economic History of London, 1800-1924 by Michael Ball, David Sunderland.

 

The Pursuit of Stuff

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
           John 10:10 NIV 

Laurie Alice here. Often when I was a child, we neglected to lock the house door leading from the attached garage and into the kitchen.

We didn’t think about how vulnerable we were. Crime didn’t happen in our quiet neighborhood. Yet one night when the door stood unlocked, someone slipped into our house and stole my mother and sister’s purses off of the dining room table.

Not one of us, not even the dog, heard a thing, yet while we were sleeping, a thief invaded our home and took our possessions.
Even now, decades later, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about that incident. What utter horror to realize how, too easily, this thief could have taken more, including our lives.
Why someone takes what is not theirs to have more at other’s expense I do not comprehend, yet the world is full of thieves come to steal from our lives. We fall under the false idea that, to have an abundant life, we must have more shoes, a wider screen TV, chairperson of that special committee on which we sit, instead of remaining in a position as a worker bee.

During the Regency, life was no different. The “stuff” people wanted might have been different—a high perch phaeton instead of a cool new car, an invitation to Almacks instead of that committee chairship, a hand-painted fan from China instead of a Louis Vuitton handbag—but the sentiment is the same. The end results are the same now and then. In our pursuit of false roads to abundant life, we rob ourselves of what Jesus wants for our lives.

He promises abundance, the fullness of life. That may not come in the form of material possessions or a honored status. Jesus gives us a richness of life, a purpose well beyond the realm of stuff and into the completeness of everlasting life.