Tag Archives: jane austen’s regency world

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. Started an article for ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World’ about cranks and quacks and so-called medical ‘cures’ in the Regency. Quite fun, and I get to google really random stuff.

2.  You really have to see this film of an octopus carrying a coconut shell! It is the best thing I’ve seen for ages.

3. I went out for a meal with my boys last Sunday, as a last hurrah for half-term. It was really lovely to be out with them 🙂

4. I’ve had a think about things I’ve been doing out of habit rather than from enjoyment, and made plans to cut down on things which aren’t bringing much joy into my life.

5. I’m still very much enjoying having blue and green hair. I keep forgetting and then remembering when someone gives me a weird look!

6. I had an efficient day yesterday and made a couple of phone calls. The phone is the bane of my existence, so this is much more impressive than it sounds!

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Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. I got to choir this week and passed my audition, so I’m an official tenor now. It’s also good to have my feeling that I do have a low voice for a woman confirmed.

2. I’m signed up to write three articles for Jane Austen’s Regency World over the next 6 months or so. Look out for information on ‘incredible cures and quacks’, toilet habits, and kept men…

3. I faced the fact that my weight is really not what I want it to be, and went to my first Slimming World session on Tuesday. I’m hoping that having to be weighed once a week in a sort of ‘official’ setting will make me more inclined to stick to a decent diet.

4. I went book shopping yesterday. I frequent charity shops and the like, to try and prevent myself bankrupting the household. Anyway, I ended up with 19 books (though three of them were for Child) so it’s very exciting having them lined up for myself.

5. I am an unashamed Manchester United fan, and my team have now basically been confirmed as being in the Champion’s League next season. (The next thing is to get us playing well, but one step at a time…)

6. Oh! I think I might finish the first three chapters of the new novel (working title The Sisterhood, and again a lesbian Regency romance) in the next week.  This feels like a Success as I set myself a secret target to finish them before the end of May. (I’ve also written another 12,000 words of other bits of the book, as I don’t work in a linear fashion, but it’s nice to see the beginning coming together a bit.)

Friday Fiction (Article Snippet)

So, I have recently been writing about mistresses in the Regency Period for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, and I thought I’d share a little bit of it with you for  today’s Friday Fiction. (I continue apparently not to know what ‘fiction’ means.) Here am I wombling on about the difference between mistresses and prostitutes

In the Regency Period (and indeed in other eras) there was a definite difference between a ‘mistress’ and a ‘prostitute’. A mistress belonged to, or was ‘kept’ by, one specific man, whereas a prostitute would have sex with any man for money. Mistresses might be taken up by one man after another, and perhaps have the role of courtesan in between gentleman lovers; however, a mistress was by definition not a prostitute. Whilst it was expected that she would have sex with her lover whenever he required it, she would also be likely to have a social or emotional relationship with the man as well. For the mistress, it was not necessarily a bad choice, though it could have problematic outcomes not only for the lady herself but for her family. For a start, it would be considerably more difficult to marry after having been a mistress: if Darcy hadn’t forced Wickham to marry Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, it is very unlikely that anyone else would have married her – and the ill reputation would also have fallen upon her sisters.  It also left a woman reliant on the gentleman in question: in Sense and Sensibility, we are shown the downward spiral of Eliza Brandon’s life after her first affair.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

 

1. THE PAPERBACK COPIES OF MY NOVEL CAME! I make no excuse for shouting at you – if you wouldn’t be excited by copies of your first paperback novel, I pity you.

 

2. I talked to a shop about potentially stocking my rugs/throws/comfort blankets. And we’ve agreed that they’ll stock some on a commission-if-sold basis for a month or two. I am counting no chickens, but it’s pleasing to know that I’ve tried.

 

3. I finished my article about mistresses. I can’t think of a title, which is annoying me, but I’m sure the lovely editor will be able to think of one if I can’t. (And I should stop dilly-dallying and send it to him so he can see it exists, incidentally.)

 

4. I’ve read some really good books this week, the best of which was White Feathers, by Susan Lanigan. A book about WW1, it followed a very real heroine and neither shirked the nasty bits nor over-emotionalised them. Brilliant.

 

5. I made a deliberate decision to stop trying to lose weight/improve my diet for the present. I want, and intend, to make changes in the future, but at the moment I’ve been struggling and it’s a relief to have stopped putting that pressure on myself.

 

6. I spent Thursday morning playing Mah Jong (the real game, not the extremely disappointing computer version) with my mother. This is an excellent way to spend time.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. I’ve got through another very boring medical appointment. (I would like to make it clear that my life is not usually quite so full of medical appointments as it is at the moment.)

 

2. It was Friday 13th yesterday. I like Friday 13ths. I was born on one, as was my uncle before me and my grandfather before him. There is a lesser known version of the ‘seventh son of a seventh son’ mystique, called the ‘third child of Friday 13th’ so I am blessed with remarkable magical powers. (Okay, I just made that up. But still. I like Friday 13ths.)

 

3. Also, Child and I had great fun with make up and dressing up yesterday 🙂 He is very cool.

 

4. Child has a new tenor horn. We have bought him one of his own, which feels like a Very Grown Up thing to have done. But he has been good about practising, so he deserves it.

 

5. We have been watching our way through the BBC’s series of Merlin. I make no claims for it being Amazing Television, but I do enjoy it and we’re now onto Series 3, which I know less well than the first two, so it’s interesting.

 

6.  The majority of the first draft of my article about Regency Mistresses is completed. And OMG, I have learned so much interesting stuff researching it!

Friday Fiction (Article)

Author’s Note: An excerpt from an article I wrote for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine a few years ago. On the ever popular subject of alcohol.

 

Alcohol!

 

“Does [Mr Allen] drink his bottle a day?” the obnoxious John Thorpe asks Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, going on to say that “at the last party in my rooms… upon an average we cleared about five pints [of wine] a head”. Now, even taking into consideration that Thorpe invariably exaggerated everything he’d ever done, there was still a note of truth in the comment. Alcohol was known to flow freely at the universities. Drunken students are not merely a modern phenomenon!

 

But drinking a surfeit of alcoholic beverages was certainly not limited to students. Jane Austen herself wrote in a letter to her sister that “I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand to-day. You will kindly make allowance therefore for any indistinctness of writing, by attributing it to this venial error.” And as to the parties of the ton, it was positively expected that the wine should flow freely throughout the evening and into the early hours of the morning. The Prince Regent, predictably, took drinking alcohol – as he took so many other things – to excess. Indeed, he was not sober even at his own wedding, and his new wife Caroline would later claim that George was so drunk that he “passed the greatest part of his bridal night under the grate, where he fell, and where I left him”.

 

Even away from the upper classes, however, it was common for adults to start drinking with their breakfast. Ale was a common accompaniment to the large plates of black pudding and other meats which constituted a Regency ‘breakfast’. Indeed, small beer, a phrase used to describe the second, weaker, brewing of an ale, was even drunk by children. Whilst it was low in alcohol (approximately 0.8%), it is nevertheless difficult to imagine anyone but the most hardened drinkers nowadays starting quite so early in their libations. And even they would be unlikely to give it to their children. Of course, the dangers of drinking untreated water meant that it was actually safer to drink beer than fresh water, which may give some measure of defence to the Regency drinkers.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. I’ve written about half of my article for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. I’m looking at what modern medicine might make of some of her characters… and it’s an interesting ride!

2. We have a Christmas tree! And it has sparkly lights! I like sparkly lights. AND I’ve received some Christmas cards, which is both lovely and slightly guilt-inducing because I’ve failed to get around to sending any this year. But it is lovely to have them around the place being cheerful at me.

3. I’ve started blogging again, which will hopefully stay as a Usual Thing from now on.

4. Thanks to my latest story (in Hired Hands), I have this week introduced my mother to the words ‘gaydar’ and ‘wankfest’. It is always useful to educate family 🙂

5. I keep having to go back to the doctor with health problems (I have ME/CFIDS, for anyone who doesn’t know), which isn’t good, obviously, but he is being about as supportive as he can be, which makes such a difference.

6. My cats are as good as television and much more cuddly! I have been watching them play chase around the house and then curl up to fall asleep on my lap 🙂