Pride and Money ~ A Dangerous Combination

Regency Pride

Beau Brummel has long been considered an important figure in Regency history. His friendship with the Prince Regent and his charm and wit brought him influence and prestige. He became the ultimate arbiter of fashion, with many historians crediting him with the transition from knee breeches to trousers.

Unfortunately, Brummel is also famous for fleeing to France to escape debtor’s prison. It was a temporary fix as he ended up in debtor’s prison in France a few years after fleeing there. By the time he died, all his gloss and glamour has disappeared, leaving him a slovenly pauper.

The saddest part of this story is that shortly after resigning his commission, he inherited £30,000. This was a veritable fortune in the early 19th century and he should have been able to live comfortably for the rest of his life. His pride was his downfall.

The “friends” he made through his connection with Prinny were all much wealthier than he was and he spent extravagantly and borrowed abundantly to maintain a similar lifestyle. He built himself the proverbial house of cards and it all came fluttering down.

Biblical Consequences

The combination of pride and money proved deadly for Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. Pride made them desirous of the recognition a large donation to the church would bring, but their desire for money made them deceitful. They held back a portion of the money from the sale of their land and then claimed to the church that they were donating everything. It cost them their life.

Modern Day Freedom

God has called my family and I in a different direction than He took my brother and my parents. The struggle to learn that I could do without some of the things they bought was a long and hard one for me. We ended up with a large amount of debt. It took us several years and some outside help to dig our way out of it.

Whether you have fistfuls of cash...
... or palms full of pennies, God can use what you have better than you can.








I didn’t want to admit that we couldn’t’ afford to go on vacation with my extended family or that I couldn’t pay for my part of a group gift. Pride made me look to other solutions and got me into trouble. My focus was more on worldly things than Godliness.

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  Luke 16:13

So often we want to be like other people. We want the designer clothes or the fancy cars or the big houses. When  we can’t truly afford it, the temptation to turn to credit cards and loans becomes greater. Pride can drive us into serious money issues if we aren’t careful.  If we find the strength to swallow our pride and say “I can’t afford that” we just might find a little more of that abundant life God wants to provide us.

Finding joy in the little things. My husband and kids enjoying a trip to the lake.

For me that included a lot less stress, a truer understanding of what really brought me joy in life, and a closer relationship with my family because honest lines of communication were being opened. I think all of that is worth way more than my petty pride.

Originally posted 2012-04-06 10:00:00.

A Bump in the Road

A Bump in the Road

Two years ago on the Thursday before Easter, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I believed God was calling me home. I was so stressed about leaving my family because without me here who would pray them into heaven? It took me three days to let go. On the third day I realized He didn’t need my help and it would be easier to pray from heaven because the devil wouldn’t be able to interfere there.

As I let go of them and accepted whatever God had in store for me, my faith began to arise. My prayer was “Let me do this with grace and dignity.” He did. Through radiation therapy because I was so tired, I cried all the way to my treatments. When it was over I went back to work. I look back on it now and that mountain I climbed looks like a little bump in the road. Isn’t it strange how when we are in the midst of a trial it looks so big, yet when it is over we look back and its size seems to diminish?

I wonder if we told ourselves at the beginning of each trial, “Soon it will be just a bump in the road,” if we would get through it faster. Having the faith to believe God is going to help us find our way out sets the stage for the enemy’s defeat. Satan loves to slam us into a wall wanting us to feel overwhelmed and defeated from the beginning. I have found it really frustrates him when I trust God to bring me through from the outset.

Obviously He wasn’t ready for me two years ago, but when He is I’ll be ready. Life has new meaning for me now. Going through the ordeal of cancer and the multiple surgeries it required has made me stronger. For me ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ has been proven true. This year the trials I am facing are even more difficult than surviving cancer, but I know from experience He is in control and His will will be done. He has my best interests at heart and no matter how difficult life on earth becomes, He will help me through. This time I am choosing to see the bump instead of the mountain.

If you are going through a hard place, remember, He is faithful forever. I like to think about how Jesus spent the three days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. My favorite part is when He took the keys away from Satan. Can’t you see him cowering and sniveling? And what did our wonderful Savior do with them? He gave them to us. Now we have the same power He used to send the enemy away sniveling and cowering to lick his wounds. WOO HOO!

Originally posted 2012-04-04 10:00:00.

Women and Money in the Regency

Women today have many options open to them when it comes to making a living. Just looking around my own circle of friends I see women with careers in law enforcement, in education, in psychology, in child care, and so much more. But in the Regency, the options women had for obtaining money were much more limited.

Marriage and Family

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales

Upper-class women would usually have their expenses covered by their husbands (if they were married) or their fathers (if they still lived at home). They might even be given “pin money” to spend – money to cover clothes or other small sundry expenses. Any money a married woman had, however, belonged to her husband. There were cases where wealthy women had some of their property set aside for their exclusive use – these legal arrangements had to be made before marriage under Equity and cost a lot to arrange – but those were rare exceptions. Accepting an offer of marriage was usually a woman’s most important financial decision because she was deciding who would support her for the rest of her life.

Widows could inherit some of their husbands’ property and when their husbands died the women’s own property from before marriage would revert to them. Also, women were allowed to inherit money and property, and if they were single it would belong to them alone.


There were few respectable jobs open to upper-class women, but there were some. The most ordinary were taking care of children by becoming a teacher or a governess, or becoming a paid companion to an older woman, often a relative. Though these were respectable occupations, being forced to work was still a diminution of one’s social status.

Dorothy Jordan

A woman was more likely to be viewed at least a little askance if she became an author. Though it did not put her beyond the pale, those who did sometimes published under an alias to avoid public comment or censure. Worse yet was becoming an actress, especially as it was not at all unusual for actresses to also become either mistresses or prostitutes. One famous actress, Mrs. Jordan, became mistress to the Duke of Clarence, who later became King of England.

Women could also sometimes run or work in shops, and lower-class women often went into service, working as maids or cooks or other domestics for upper-class homes. Less respectably still, many women fed themselves through prostitution, and this was so common in Regency London that the language of the time is rife with slang terms for all the different kinds of prostitutes who made their living in the city.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

Originally posted 2012-04-02 10:00:00.


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?





Originally posted 2012-03-30 10:00:00.

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 (

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, Her books are available from Bethany House,  Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books A MillionChristian Book Distributors, and your local bookstore!

Originally posted 2012-03-28 10:00:00.

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 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.


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.


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!


Originally posted 2012-03-26 14:00:00.

“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”.

Originally posted 2012-03-23 10:00:00.

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.




Originally posted 2012-03-21 10:00:00.

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?

Originally posted 2012-03-19 10:00:00.

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.


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!

Originally posted 2012-03-16 07:00:00.