The Etiquette of Victorian Christenings

Mallory James

My guest today is Mallory James. Mallory has long been interested in the nineteenth century and set up her blog, Behind The Past, to indulge this passion. Her blog is made up of a series of how-to guides and lifestyle hints, aimed at any aspiring Regency and Victorian ladies and gentlemen. Here is her post on Victorian christenings:

Prior preparation is something of a watchword when it comes to event planning. If you make sure every little detail is perfect, then you should be able to carry off your event with ease. That is the theory, at least. The practice is often rather different. You can slice the crusts off little cucumber sandwiches with as much precision as you like, but there is still a high chance that you will be sheltering under a tree come lunchtime, bleakly looking on as the rain pours down on all sides. The same can be said for christenings. Your little bundle of joy might look positively angelic in their robes when the ceremony starts. They might also be red-faced and screaming by the end. And that is something which holds true both for us now and for our Victorian ancestors. Continue reading

Marriage of Lord Glamis and Miss Cavendish Bentinck

Cecilia Nina Cavendish Bentinck when the Countess of Strathmore by Mabel Hankey, 1923, Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Today’s guests are Sarah Murden and Joanne Major. They are are authors of several books, including “A Right Royal Scandal” that has just released in the United States. Here is their guest post.

Cecilia Nina Cavendish Bentinck was born in 1862. Her parents were the well-connected Rev Charles Cavendish Bentinck and his second wife, Caroline Louisa née Burnaby. At the age of 18-years, Cecilia Nina married Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis and the future 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and, in time, their youngest daughter Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon would become better known to history as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Our latest book, “A Right Royal Scandal,” takes a closer look at Reverend Charles Cavendish Bentinck and his wider family. Today we’d like to share a newspaper report on Cecilia Nina’s marriage with you. It’s from the Nottingham Evening Post, 18th July 1881. Continue reading

Duel at Chalk Farm Tavern: A Regency Tragedy

Dr. Stephen Carver

My guest today is Dr. Stephen Carver. He is a cultural historian, editor, and novelist. For sixteen years, he taught literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, spending three years in Japan as Professor of English at the University of Fukui. He is presently Head of Online Courses at the Unthank School of Writing.

Stephen’s guest post is about a duel that occurred in 1821 at Chalk Farm.

On the night of Friday, February 16, 1821, two men faced each other across the field of honour, a wooded knoll beyond the Chalk Farm Tavern near Primrose Hill, to the north of a great chase that had yet to become Regent’s Park. This had been the scene of many duels; there were no neighbouring houses, just open fields hidden from the nearest road by a screen of trees. One of the men had left half a bottle of wine at the inn, telling the landlord he would be back to finish it later. It was a bright moonlit night, if a little misty on the low ground, and after the pistols were knocked and primed one duellist had called to the other: ‘You must not stand there; I see your head above the horizon; you give me an advantage.’ The seconds consulted and the men calmly changed their positions, once more facing off. Yet these were not soldiers or aristocrats, but men of letters, both well-known in the world of Regency journalism. Continue reading

The One Who Watched at Walcheren: A Civilian Observer During the Napoleonic Wars

Jacqueline Reiter

Today’s guest is Jacqueline Reiter. Jacqueline has a PhD in late 18th century political history from the University of Cambridge. A professional librarian, she lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children. Jacqueline also researches and writes about the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham.

Here is her guest post for today related to Walcheren:

In the summer of 1809, the British government sent 40,000 men and over 600 ships on an amphibious mission to Holland. The expedition was tasked with capturing the island of Walcheren and the prosperous mercantile town of Vlissingen (Flushing), before going further down the Scheldt River to destroy the French fleet and defences at Antwerp. The “Grand Expedition”, as it was known, was a miserable failure. The venture set sail too late and progressed too slowly, allowing the French to rush reinforcements to the area; the military and naval commanders fell out spectacularly; and “Walcheren fever” – a combination of diseases, including malaria – placed more than a quarter of the army on the sick list. Continue reading

The Victorian Séance

The Victorian Séance

Linda Stratmann has long been fascinated by history and crime, and combines these in her writing, which includes thirteen non-fiction books of true crime and biography and two crime fiction series featuring Victorian lady sleuths. When researching for her series set in 1870s Brighton, Linda has had enormous fun reading about the subject of her guest blog, the Victorian séance. Linda lives in London and when she is not reading or writing, she can usually be found in the kitchen, as she loves cooking.

Continue reading

I’m Guest Blogging

John Aitken Alias John the Painter

Today I am a lucky enough to be the guest of Mike Rendell at his blog the “Georgian Gentleman.” Mike has written several books, including “The Journal of a Georgian Gentleman,” “An Illustration Introduction to the Georgians,” and his latest book, “In Bed with the Georgians.” You can learn more about these books and read my blog post, “Death of an 18th Century Terrorist: John the Painter,” by clicking here.

Rescued by Wreckers: The Strange Tale of Attempted Mass Murder in the Bahamas in 1853

gill-hoffsWelcome today’s guest Gill Hoffs. She grew up in a fishing village on the Scottish coast and has always been fascinated by shipwrecks and the people involved. Her fascination has resulted in a number of books, and as she puts it, “As someone who gets terribly seasick (and now lives inland in Warrington, England) I can’t sail myself, so writing about maritime history is the next best thing.” With that in mind, here is her post: Continue reading

The Stranding of the Oroya, 1895

Hugh Lauder in 1896.
Hugh Lauder in 1896.

My guest today is Suzan Lauder. She has a passion for Regency history, but a chance purchase of a book that turned out to be written by her great-great-great-grandfather in 1896 inspired the following post.

“The traveller who makes up his mind to undertake a journey round the World may well be excused if, as the day and the hour approaches when he must start, he feels like he were on the eve of a great experience in life, an experience which may be associated with events important and far-reaching in their results.” These are the opening words of Notes of a Trip Round the World written by my great-great-great-grandfather Hugh Lauder of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1896. I’ll refer to him as Mr. Lauder, since the alternate is rather cumbersome! Continue reading

Childbirth and Forceps Delivery

Regina Jeffers
Regina Jeffers

Please welcome my guest Regina Jeffers. Regina, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Regina writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”

Today Regina has chosen to write on childbirth and forceps delivery in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Here is her post: Continue reading

Social Climbing Through Ladies’ Boarding Schools

Today my guest is Naomi Clifford. After a long career in magazine journalism in the UK, Naomi returned to her first love: history (which she studied at Bristol University in the 1970s). She is now happy to be a freelance writer based in London, which gives her the time and freedom to explore the delights of the British Newspaper Archive, the National Archive and the British Library, and to write non-fiction books about the Georgian era, the first of which, The Disappearance of Maria Glenn, has just been published. With that introduction, here is Naomi’s guest post. Continue reading