Beautiful Days

I noticed the tree from more than fifty yards away.

In fact, I’m sure I couldn’t have ignored it had I tried.

Its branches stretched a canopy out over the road. Its leaves had already begun to fall, creating a fiery blanket of orange and yellow on the surrounding grass. And though I hadn’t thought this would happen on a simple drive to the office, I was suddenly enchanted. It was as if the earth had whispered on a last August breeze and I was convinced to pause and appreciate its song. With it, I began to think about the shift from summer to autumn. It reminded me that on mild mornings such as that one, change is right around the corner.

It reminded me of the gift of beautiful days.

As the weather becomes cooler and the days grow short, we’ll soon be drawn indoors for much of our memory making. There will be new smells, tastes, sights and sounds to enjoy – all gifts of the senses that remind us of our blessings and God’s provision through the seasons of the year. As crisp nights and foggy mornings make their first appearance on the landscape, we will pass from the relaxing sanctuary of summer to the lively colors of autumn.  And after all of the fun and frolic we’ve had in our August days here at Regency Reflections, we’re ready to move on and welcome the new season…

In the Regency years, autumn would usher in the enjoyment of tastes such as hartshorn, cranberry, and orange jellies (find tasty Jane Austen Centre at Bath recipes here), Barmbrack (a traditional Irish fruit bread), an array of harvest fruits (apples, pears, currants, apricots and grapes), mulled wines and spiced ciders, nuts, puddings, decadent trifles and warm, sweet confections. (Jam tartlets anyone?)

Can you smell the cinnamon? Perhaps taste the earthy nutmeg as it melts on your tongue? It would have been these new flavors that crossed-over into the harvest season to come.

The changing of seasons would also bring the last thrills of summer before the celebration of fall. Country dances would still be held outside (as long as the weather would hold) and many a Regency family would remain at their country homes through much of the hunting and holiday season, enjoying the great outdoors while the weather was still hospitable enough to entertain.  Young men might be sent off back to school and young girls, usually engaged in a less formal education, would be enriched in their own knowledge with lessons in music, drawing, dancing and language studies at home.

Leaves would still fall and the harvest was still celebrated.

There were still beautiful days.

Other than the fox hunting and hartshorn jelly of course, autumn in the Regency Era isn’t all that different from what we experience today. We’ve probably seen the children heading back to school. Vacations are likely over. It’s back to work through the week and relishing in the leisure on the weekends. Summer has passed and the harvest is here. And in the months to come, the authors of Regency Reflections will explore this beautiful season with you.

As seasons change, remember that memories of the fun and frolic in our summer days will warm the frosty nights to come. Remember that the God worshipped in the Regency Era is the same Father that orchestrates the transition of our seasons today. He creates the color of fallen leaves on our way to work. He generates the wind-whispers and the beauty in our changing days. And yes, His blessings are thoughtfully remembered as the harvest is brought in.

What will you remember most about the fun and frolic of your August summer days? What are you looking forward to celebrating in the new season ahead?

Welcome September, and may we find nothing but the gift of His beautiful days ahead.

~ Kristy

Call Me Maybe, Autumn?

Vanessa here,

My child is bored and now looking forward to the purchase of new scissors and paper. She’s awaiting change, the exchange of one season for the next. Call it back to school or progress. We’ll soon be tracking across hot parking lots and crowded malls for the best deals on back-to-school fair. Hopefully, we’ll catch a breeze and a 40% off sale.

Overhead the leaves haven’t started to turn. Sweeping my wet brow, I long for cold sweet tea. The heat of summer still maintains it grip, but with the advent of August, it’s only a matter of time for autumn to come a callin’. Maybe it will call tomorrow?

I love all things Autumn: The hues of ruby trees scattered amongst the emerald pines. The sweetness of ripening apples in the off-the-beaten-path orchards. And yes, the cooling of temperatures.

In the midst of Autumn, we get sweater weather. Warm enough to survive with just a light knit but not cold enough to bundle up head to toe in wool.

For those that don’t know, I live in Georgia where steam and humidity are second nature to our summers. I remember when wearing panty hose was common place, (Wow, I sound old) and mine would become oppressively sticky just crossing a parking lot.

So I often wondered how my Regency heroines would survive, layered in chemise, corsets, massive skirts, walking dresses, carriage dresses, etc.  Even when sea bathing in Bath, they were steeped in fabric. How could they survive?

Well, a little bit of research answered the pervasive question. Regency summers weren’t that hot. In fact, 1816 was known as the ‘year without a summer’. Volcanic eruptions originating in the East Indies cast thick ash clouds that affected temperatures throughout Europe. England seemed shrouded in cold. It snowed on Easter. Snow remained on the ground and in the hills and countryside until late July.  August barely warmed, then by September the temperatures fell again and The River Thames froze over once more.

Can you image? Barely a month of sweater weather.  I might complain about the heat, the sweaty nylons, but I don’t know how I would deal with a year of no heat. How would the apples mature? Would there be pie? Would my child ever get that feeling of expectation?  The corn in 1816 froze on the stalks and couldn’t even be used to feed cattle.

Maybe I should rethink my disdain for the heat.

So, I’ll try Spanks and enjoy my sleeveless blouses for another month or two and love each new humid day.

Another reason for Gratitude,

Be Blessed,

Vanessa Riley

http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/1800_1849.htm

http://www.essentially-england.com/weather-in-england-in-the-1800s.html

http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=winter-history

 

Home for the (Summer) Holidays

Image: Flower GardenStaycations.

The word has entered our vocabulary in recent years as an attractive and affordable option to the once popular family road trip. Whether it be a jaunt to the beach or that all important theme park visit to stack up some childhood memories, going on holiday has been an important part of our American heritage. But in recent years, this ideal has changed. Due to the American financial crisis in 2007-2010 and the weakening of the British pound in 2009, families have begun to look for alternative and less expensive ways to celebrate their summer holidays a bit closer to home.

Holidays in the Regency Era were somewhat similar in this respect. They could be of the traveling kind of course, with a long carriage ride to a choice location like Jane Austen’s Bath, fashionable Brighton or for a trip into London’s posh Mayfair district to stake out the latest fashions of the day. But there were some holiday options that were quite similar to our modern staycations: trips to the lake for swimming, charming strolls through the gardens, outdoor picnics and even the all-important country ball.

Holidays may have been spent at locations that were closer to home but as you’ll see for a few Regency staycation ideas here, they were anything but second-rate celebrations.

Image: Traving.com 

Country Strolls

Stepping into a staycation was often as easy as popping outside and walking through the garden gates of a Regency Era country home to the generous hills beyond. Often manicured to the level of a grand home in the city, the country garden and estate grounds offered sights and sounds void to the eye during the harsh months of winter. Time spent out of doors would have been prized during the summer holiday months, both for the relaxation of the atmosphere and for the rejuvenating act of walking.

Royal Navy officer John Byng’s 1792 journals boast a lively description of the glories of the simple stroll through the countryside, saying, “to view old castles, old manors and old religious houses, before they be quite gone;  and that I may compare their ancient structures… with the fashions of the day.”

Similar to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett’s country pilgrimage with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, a well noted tourist route took them past the grounds of Darcy’s Pemberly in the pursuit of appreciating nature. Remember the line, “Oh, what are men compared to rocks and mountains?”  To the Regency mind, it’s almost true. (Almost.) Their pursuit was often more to see the grounds along a tourist route than to spend time inside the grand house. (Mrs. Gardiner even states, “If it were merely a fine house richly furnished,’ said she, ‘I should not care about it myself, but the grounds are delightful.”)

Picnicking  –

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the flourish of blossoming ideals about nature fed the popularity of more than taking the occasional stroll in the garden. It popularized the idea of eating outdoors where one could have a closer communion with God’s creation. In the beginning, picnics were less organized, quiet affairs. But as the popularity of an alfresco lunch became a more sought after invitation to receive, these quiet country lunches evolved into quite elaborate and well-planned out social affairs.

A famous scene in which picnicking takes center stage is the picnic on Box Hill in Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma. Film adaptations have given this scene a comparably beautiful landscape, as picnickers revel on a sunny hillside and enjoy an afternoon tea time with remarkable views of the English countryside  all around. Like our modern day holiday cookouts, these Regency Era picnics would have boasted attendees  that included family and friends, and would have involved the dining experience alongside amiable outdoor  activities of the day (such as the strawberry picking or archery described in Emma). Even more like our modern idea of the potluck dinner, Regency picnickers would have toted wicker baskets with a dish to share with others (possibly deviled eggs, cold roast, or fruit sandwiches). As these picnic affairs grew more elaborate however, a host would usually organize the dishes to be brought (to eliminate duplication) or would have supplied a carefully selected menu of food altogether.

Click here for a nice anthology of links around Regency Era picnicking {LINK}.

The Country Ball

A spectacular setting. Amiable company. The pleasures of food and fun in the sun – this could easily describe picnicking  just as it could describe the more eloquent evening affair of the country ball.

Country balls could be just as lavish as their city sisters – fine gowns, pristine manners, sumptuous meals and plenty of dancing would have permeated the country ball atmosphere as well as for balls in the city.  Stringed quartets would have played the same upbeat music, though the violin might have been termed the “fiddle” for the playing of country tunes. Dancing was still on the top of the agenda. The jovial camaraderie of friends and family engaging in lively dancing, eating and generally making merry, made the event prized among the staycations of the day.

Click here for more information on Regency Era country balls, as in the ball at Netherfield, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. {LINK}

It’s interesting to note that through all of the country or staycation activities, Regency Era holidays were as much about family, love, and communion with God as ours may be today. We see the value in a quiet country stroll. We have church picnics and family reunions under the great blanket of God’s sky. We even step out ourselves, sometimes all alone, to find private solace in quiet prayer walks with Him.

Whether you’re traveling miles away from home or taking a nap in your backyard hammock, remember how we all value our holidays at home, for we can stay in God’s presence. Wherever we walk, our journey is with Him.

~ Kristy

 

Gunter’s Tea Shop

During the month of July, many of the Regency Reflections posts will focus on traveling, vacationing, and other summer adventures popular during the Regency. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite traditions about vacationing is finding the local ice cream parlor!

During the Regency Period, if you happened to be in the mood for an ice cream, water ice, or sorbet, you would likely visit Gunter’s Tea Shop, which was located at No. 7-8 Berkeley Square in London’s West End. The confectionary shop, originally named “The Pot and the Pine Apple,” was established in 1757 by Italian pastry cook Domenico Negri. Years later, James Gunter became Negri’s partner before assuming sole proprietorship in 1799.

Gunter’s served a wide variety of extravagant pastries, cakes, and confections, but the establishment was probably most well-known for its frozen indulgences. Treats such as ices, ice cream, mousse and sorbet were available in a variety of textures and flavors. While most of these were served in small dishes or cups, some treats were frozen in pewter molds shaped as fruit, vegetables, and even bread or meat to give them a more dramatic presentation. Sought-after flavors included maple, bergamot, pineapple, pistachio, jasmine, white coffee, chocolate, vanilla, elderflower, Parmesan, and lavender, just to name just a few.

Not only were Gunter’s creations delectable, but the shop was one of London’s places to “see and be seen.” Located across the street from a park of maple trees, it became quite fashionable to enjoy one’s treat out of doors with family and friends. In fact, Gunter’s was one of the very few locations a young lady could be seen alone with a man that was not a relative without being exposed to scandal. Dining in the park became so popular that the shop’s waiters had to venture out to the streets to take orders and deliver food, dodging carriages and horses to do so. Gunter’s continued to be an admired establishment throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century before closing its doors in 1956.

Want to try your hand at making your own Regency ice cream? One of my favorite regency resources is “The Art of Cookery Made Place & Easy,” which was written by Hannah Glass and published in 1796. While I do not know Mr. Gunter’s recipes, Ms. Glass included an ice cream recipe in her book that would have been available during the Regency.

From The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:
“To make Ice Cream:
Pare and stone twelve apricots, and scald them, beat them find in a mortar, add to them six ounces of double-refined sugar, and a pint of sealding cream, and work it through a sieve; put it in a tin with a close cover, and set it in a tub of ice broken small, with four handfuls of salt mixed among the ice; when you see your cream grows thick round the edges of your tin, stir it well, and put it in again till it is quite thick; when the cream is all froze up, take it out of the tin, and put it into the mould you intent to turn it out of; put on the lid, and have another tub of salt and ice ready as before; put the mould in the middle, and lay the ice under and over it; let it stand four hours, and never turn it out till the moment you want it, then dip the mould in cold spring-water, and turn it into a plate. You may do any sort of fruit the same way.”

Enjoy your summer!

Image of Negri Trade Card courtesy of The British Museum.

My Grateful Heart, Well Mostly Grateful

Vanessa here,

My phone rings every hour on the hour, in spite of the pile of work on my desk. Grumbling, I still find gratitude in my spirit.

At least, I have a good cellular connection. At least, someone seeks and values my opinion.

The deadlines, I thought sufficiently spaced, all collide. Worrying, I search for gratitude in my spirit.

I’ll sleep next week knowing I’ve accomplished much. It shall be sweet sleep.

In addition to my many jobs, now I shall be a chauffeur carrying my child to her summer camps.  Frustrated, I sing a worship song to stir up gratitude in my spirit. I’m off-key but free in Jesus.

Moreover, gas prices have come down by fifty cents. The look of joy on my daughter’s face as she learns something new is priceless.

My husband deployed Sunday, his 4th deployment in 18 months. Lonely, I hope to find gratitude and understanding in my spirit.

He loves his job, fighting for America. Pride for him swells in my heart.

I need a referral for a referral to see my doctor. Pacing, I’m chanting to saturate my spirit with gratitude.

At least, my family has health care.  At least, they don’t need a lot of blood for a cholesterol check. Well, I hope they don’t.

My shade of lipstick has been discontinued. My shade.  I’m done. All is lost.

Nothing but Miss D’s New Orleans Style Caramel Popcorn

After binging, I seek true nonfattening spiritual comfort food.

Colossians 3:10-11,15-17, King James Version

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

May you find your heart thankful today for your many blessings. Let your spirit sing that the valleys of despair are not too deep. Be emboldened to climb every mountain.

May a smidgeon of gratitude, for everything, find its home in you.

Mourning in the Regency Period

Earlier this month, Susan shared with us some sobering statistics about death during England’s Regency period. According to her May 4th post, the average life expectancy in England in the early 1800s was about 40 years, and the infant mortality rate was around 15%.

The people of the Regency had very specific “rules” on how to deal with and display grief over losing a loved one. Though not as strict as the mourning customs that would later develop in the Victorian period, Regency mourning conventions were complex. Let’s take a look at  some of the key characteristics of mourning during the Regency.

Length of the Mourning Period
During the Regency, a person would “go into mourning” when they lost a loved one. The length of time they would mourn was determined by their relationship to the deceased. Typically, the more distant the relative, the shorter the mourning period, and eventually socially acceptable guidelines emerged. When you consider the number of relatives a person could have, it was not uncommon to be in mourning for years!

Below are some general guidelines for mourning durations in the Regency.
(NOTE: Mourning period lengths could vary slightly by social class or region. The lengths indicated below were guidelines, but ultimately, the length of time a person chose to mourn was a personal decision.)

Husband or wife:  1 year
Son or daughter:  6 months – 1 year  (the older the child, the longer the mourning period)
Parent or Parent-In-Law:  6 months–1 year
Grandparent:  6 months
Brother or Sister:  3-6 months
Aunt or Uncle:  3 months
First Cousin:  2 -6 weeks
Second Cousin:  1 week


Mourning Dresses

Individuals in mourning were expected to set themselves apart from society. In the “see-and-be-seen” society of the Regency, the most visible way to accomplish this was through one’s clothing. With the rise of popularity of fashion journals/magazines, mourning dresses became more elaborate and specific. These gowns could be very expensive, so it was not uncommon for women of modest means to dye or alter older dresses to use for mourning. Over time, the mass production of dark fabric made it more readily available and more affordable, and the rising middle class had the means to purchase it. As a result, mourning gowns became a “must” in a woman’s wardrobe.

During the Regency, there were two general stages of mourning:  full mourning and half mourning.

A Woman’s Full Mourning Attire:
Full mourning (or deep mourning) was the first stage.  During this stage, a woman would dress in all black – typically bombazine (heavier silk), crepe (lightweight silk treated to have no sheen), sarsnet, gossamer, and velvet – and she would accessorize with a mourning bonnet, black shawl, black gloves, widow’s cap, and/or a crepe veil. The only acceptable jewelry for full mourning was that of jet, black enamel, black glass, or amber. Embellishments, such as buckles or buttons, needed to be modest. While in full mourning, a woman was expected to abstain from social activities.

A Woman’s Half Mourning Attire:
About half-way through the mourning process, a mourner would shift to the next stage: half mourning. The mourner could now wear select somber hues, including violet, mauve, brown, gray, or lavender. Jewelry made of pearls, coral, and amethysts could also be worn. Wearing rings, brooches, or pendants made from the deceased hair was common during this stage.  While in half mourning, a woman could gradually resume her social activities.

 

A Man’s Mourning Attire
The expectations regarding a man’s mourning attire were much simpler. Since men wore black as part of their regular wardrobe, mourning clothes were not a dramatic transformation. While mourning, men would usually wear a black jacket.  Additionally, some men would wear a black crepe armband, black cravat and/or shirt, black gloves, or a black ornament or band on their hat.

Mourning a Spouse
The mourning period for a widow or widower was traditionally one year plus one day.

Rules for the Mourning Widow:
The strictest, most intense form of mourning during the Regency was that of a widow mourning her husband. Social custom forbade a widow to marry within the year following her husband’s death. The main reason for this was to ensure the woman was not with child, which would put the identity of the child’s father in question. During full mourning, it was unacceptable for a widow to attend social functions, and her social interactions were limited to receiving calls.

Rules for the Mourning Widower:
The expectations on a mourning widower were much different than those for a widow. While a widow was expected to go into seclusion for an extended period of time, widowers were not expected to go into seclusion for more than a couple of weeks because of his business responsibilities. Additionally, a widower was permitted to remarry right away, especially if he had young children to care for.

In parting, I leave you with a few more mourning facts:

If a young woman was in mourning and was about to get married, she would not wear black to her wedding. It was considered poor taste for a new bride to be in mourning, although it would be acceptable for her to wear darker, more somber colors.

It would not be uncommon for a wealthy family to insist that their servants wear mourning clothes to show respect for a departed member of the family.

This post merely scratches the surface of mourning during the Regency. The process was complex, but it was one that helped define the era and lay the groundwork for future customs.

Until next time,
Sarah

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.