January 2011 Volume 6, Issue 1
Part One by Linore Rose Burkard
What is your favorite winter pastime? One of mine is doing jigsaw puzzles. During the warmer months I couldn't stand to sit inside and do a puzzle, but when the weather is cold and there's snow on the ground, I love finding bits of time to relax with a good jigsaw.
During the Regency, the only jigsaw puzzles available were likely map puzzles, used for teaching geography. (John Spilsbury, an Englishman, invented the first jigsaw in 1767 by pasting a map of the world to wood, and then cutting out the individual countries.)
So, with recreational jigsaws out of the equation, what did a regency buck or belle do during the cold winter months?
The following is a partial list of amusements that were popular, not in any special order:
- Playing cards (by far the most popular, and not only during winter)/ Card parties
- Parlour Games
- Ice skating and ice skating parties
- House Calls, Visiting
- Sledding/ Sleighs
- Ice hockey (probably young men only)
- Concerts (Indoor)
- Balls, Masquerades, Dancing
- Routs, Assemblies
- Theatre (formal)
- Theatricals (Informal; at home)
- Letter Writing
- Shades (Hand Shadows)
- Hunting, Shooting (men)
- Supper Parties
- Music and singing/Performing
- Visiting a "Watering Spa"
- Country House Gatherings--if you were lucky and knew someone who owned a great house.
- Riding (Horsemanship)
In my Regency Christmas Ebook, there is a section titled,
Regency Diversions, Games, Occupations, Pleasures, Pastimes, Amusements, Gaieties, Employments, Merriments, Sports--and Whatever Else Will Answer the Purpose--An Excellent List, by a Lady of Quality
In the ebook I have room to go into more detail regarding not only winter amusements, but year-round regency business and pleasure. In this issue I'll expand on one winter pastime, and next month another:
1. Playing Cards/Card Parties
Nearly everyone played cards for entertainment and amusement. Jane Austen's father was a dutiful clergyman with a sincere faith, yet he not only allowed card-playing in his family, but enjoyed playing himself.
Strict Methodists and Dissenters frowned upon the practice.
Card-playing was really the ideal diversion for an age that valued and thrived upon conversational repartee. If the game got boring, you simply changed the company you played with, or the game.
Some of the most popular games of the period were:
One might also play:
Beggar My Neighbor
Commerce was an old form of poker, while Whist was an exciting mix of cunning and chance (and a forerunner of Bridge). Patience was a form of solitaire; Piquet, a two-player game, and Speculation, for groups. Pope Joan was popular on festive occasions.
While an upper class card party might really be an evening of serious gaming (gambling), most card parties were purely for fun.
Hazard, that fabulously popular 18th century card game, came back into vogue around 1827.
Like other gatherings, card parties could range in their level of formality from little to much. Some ladies enjoyed playing for light stakes, but done properly, this would be made clear on the invitation beforehand, whether it was given verbally or by card.
The majority of people considered playing for stakes to be vulgar. Possibly this was because when used for the purpose of gaming, the consequences could be devastating. No one knew better than Regency England just how devastating, as entire fortunes were lost or won during the course of a single evening. Or perhaps it was because playing for stakes involved money and anything involving money--except for spending it--was considered vulgar.
Even at balls, dances, or supper parties there was usually a room or area set aside for cards. Dowagers were famous for retiring to the "the tables."
Card parties would have a refreshment table or sideboard. Guests were free to partake at will, or during designated times, such as between "rubbers" (rounds, or hands). If one chose not to play, it was acceptable to sit out, watch the play, or provide music, often in the form of pianoforte playing.
The Regent's favourite card game was ecarte.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Regency Christmas Ebook. This article was adapted from: Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide! If interested, you may click here to download the Contents & Bibliography pages. If you like what you see, the ebook is availabe at my lowest price ever--and one that gets you the full ebook as well as a fabulous bunch of Christmasy bonus ebooks--for only $9.95.
Next month's focus will be on Parlour Games.
See you then!
|THE JANE CONTEST : |
The Question was:
Which of the following do you most think Jane herself would have approved of and perhaps used for her very own spot on the blogosphere?
The Choices Were:
#1. Sweet Persuasion
#2. The Sense of Society
#3. A Sensible Commentary
#4. A Hint of Persuasion
#5. Talk of the Ton
#6. Miss Jane Austen's Forum For Females
#7. Miss Jane Austen's Foundation For The Education of Females
#8. Muslin Snippets (Prettily Tied Up with Coquelicot Ribbon)
#9. Excessively Diverting
#10. Diverting Drivel
#11. Chatter from Chawton
#12. Sweet Sorrow
Your Votes Chose:
#3. A Sensible Commentary
to winnerJoy Isley for entering this title. Let me know which book you'd like a copy of, Joy, along with your mailing address and I'll get it right out to you, with a mini-poster of the book cover.
The New (January) Contest
Your job is to identify the speaker of the following quote:
Here we all found ourselves...in a noble large parlour hung round with family pictures--every thing is very grand and very fine and very large--The house is larger than I could have supposed...I expected to find everything about the place very fine and all that, but I had no idea of its being so beautiful...
a) Elizabeth Bennet
b) Anne Elliot
c) Mary Crawford
d) Jane Austen
e) Marianne Dashwood
Hit "reply" and send me your answer in an email. Good luck!
New Subscriber Contest:
The two winners this month are:
Congratulations winners! Please send me your full mailing address so I can send you a book!
|Here's a partial list of my recently acquired ebooks. |
I've included links so you can easily download the books if you are so inclined. Unless stated, these ebooks were all free at time of posting here.
The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, Book One)
A Tale of Two Cities
The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause (Now why would I want this? Don't ask)
Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership
Boyfriends, Burritos, and an Ocean of Trouble
When the Devil Whistles
Lives in the Balance: Nurses' Stories from the ICU
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (not free)
Always the Baker, Never the Bride
The Phantom Ship
A Woman Called Sage
The Healer's Apprentice--Get it while it's free!
Finally, I would be remiss not to remind ebook readers that my first two books are available in Kindle format. I expect that the third, The Country House Courtship, will show up there one of these days as well.
Prefer print books? Search for a title at a discounted price at CBD.com in this search box, below.
Amazon offers free "Kindle for PC" software, so that you can read Kindle books on your
pc. Other providers are beginning to do the same.
Even better, if you later decide to get an actual Kindle, you will be able to easily move every book you've collected for your PC app onto your new Kindle. So start collecting.
The Jane Austen AGM, 2011
|What's an AGM, you ask?|
It's the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Last month, I incorrectly stated that the 2011 AGM will be in NYC, but that's the 2012 event. This year, (in 2011) the AGM will be in Fort Worth, Texas.
Remember, you can see a preview of the photos from the October 2010 event on my blog HERE.
To learn more about JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) or to join, see this page of their website.
This debut author is in a fight for her life. To learn more about her book or the struggle she's in, see the details
I'm happy to say I enjoyed this book. It's a sprawling, coming of age story set vividly in Ancient Rome, and based on the lives of two young people who must
grapple with grave injustice and social constraints of the Roman Empire. The sub-plot is how faith can survive--and even thrive--under
the adverse circumstances the characters must endure.
The major characters are particularly enjoyable and well-drawn, but what they endure on their journey through the book is rather harrowing. Nevertheless, I found this book interesting and well-written. A great twist and climactic ending--along with a nice (if belated) dose of romance makes this book the sort you close with a contented sigh.
AMAZON link to The Master's Wall, or
KINDLE EDITION link
The Master's Wall
|1. Victoriana Magazine has a
short video called, "The Art of Dressing the Victorian Lady". It's really about the corset and undergarment layers. This is interesting for costumers, researchers, authors and the just plain curious. (And it's PG, so don't get too excited. ha!)
2. Want more? Also from Victoriana, a link to "250 Years of the Corset." You won't find much information here, but pictures, they say, are worth a thousand words.
See for yourself.
3. Did you know that there are 122 names for God in the Bible? Did you know that there's a book to walk you through the significance of each and every one?
4. Since most of us can't get to see Jane Austen's home at Chawton for ourselves, here's one blogger's pictorial journey. This writer generously gives an overview of Jane's life, so skip the parts that you know already and enjoy the pics. If you'd like a quick introduction to Jane, read the whole entry.
5. Here's a link to more than 15,000 titles in the public domain that you can download to your pc. As a Kindle reader, I can search for these titles in Kindle format, or send the pdf via email to Amazon and they'll send it to my Kindle. There is probably the same capability for Nook.
|The Healer's Apprentice.|
6. Prefer newer reading? Try The Healer's Apprentice from one of my best gal pals, Melanie Dickerson. Ages 12 and up will enjoy this medieval-set romance that gives an exciting twist to the Sleeping Beauty story. This book's been creating a buzz--Find out why. (And right now it's free in Kindle!)
7. Prefer movies? Eras of Elegance lists a ton of gorgeous period films. Here's the link to what they call the Regency page, but be aware that most of the titles on this list are Victorian, not Regency-set films. (Nevertheless, I love this site!)
8. Were you aware that The Country House Courtship is available in a hard-backed, large-print edition?
|Quote of the Month
"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Did You Know?
*January 7th - On this day in history in 1785 the first Balloon Flight across the English Channel was successfully completed by Dr. John Jeffries, a Boston physician and Jean-Pierre Blanchard, a French aeronaut.
*from Linda Roos, Dayton Christian Schools, Dayton, OH
|My January Surprise Gift to You
Since winter amusements are the theme of this issue, I've prepared a downloadable guide to one of my family's favorite card games. "Surprise" is a rummy-like variant, and lots of fun. (Yes, that's the name of the game.)
My teenagers and I especially like to play this on a Friday night. Get a good snack out, deal the cards, and stay inside on a cold winter's night to have fun.
As a bonus, the last page of the guide is a printable "Quick Guide" so that once you learn the rules (and it's easy to play) you can just use the Quick Guide to get you going next time.
Until we meet again, Warmest blessings in this bright new year, LinorePS: Remember to pick up your free download before you go!
Stopping to chat. Nice attire for the colder weather of winter.
"Winter" from "The Four Seasons"
Above: A beautiful Empire dress, gloves ending with mitts, and a genuine fur stole, possibly of white chinchilla. Artist: Anthony Van Dyck. 1806
Silhouette-making could be done by an artist, but was also a popular do-it-yourself endeavour at home.
Harriet Beaujolais, Viscountess Tullamore, in a country-style dress with fur wrap and feathered headdress.
A sleigh in winter
Ice hockey on the Thames.
Surrey, Epsom, Winter.
Later than the Regency,but these young ladies are playing cards just as their predecessors did.
Playing "Shades" (Hand Shadows)
Regency era ladies playing cards
Ackermann's Art Library. A perfect place to spend a wintry day.
Another view of Ackermann's
French regency era couple ice skating. "The Timid Pupil"
Mademoiselle Recamier in sturdy winter (indoor) costume
A warm winter gown with fluffy white piping over the bust and sleeves. The wrap is made of fur and even the pillow seems designed to keep this lady's feet warm while she sits for the portrait.
A grand pianoforte. A luxurious example of the instrument that helped many an evening pass pleasantly. Any regency miss worth her salt would learn to play it.
The waters at Bath, a fashionable Regency Spa, even in winter. Note the steam rising from the surface of the water, showing why people visited year-round. _________________________
Sport-Hunting. A favorite employment in the autumn and winter.
Did someone forward this to you? Sign up now and get Linore's Reflections right in your in-box.
When you do, you'll immediately be entered into TWO book drawings, plus you'll get the FREE ebook, "Regency Fashion in Winter."
CLICK the box, above, to join
Reader Shannon Dittemore sent me this quick snap of her daughter holding, BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS.
Thanks, Shannon. She's adorable. : )
I've updated the media page of my website so that it now contains the link to nearly every interview, audio, radio, etc. that I've ever done. If you're brave check it out here. Scroll down for links to articles I've written and guest posts.
| Congratulations to subscriber Mary Moore, who informs us that Love Inspired, Historical has given her a contract for her first book. To my delight, it's a regency. |
I'll share more about the book as it nears publication. Well done, Mary!
|FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER|
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DO SOMEONE A FAVOR AND FORWARD THIS.
You'll be doing me a favor, too.
|A Peek at My Email: |
A Beautiful Letter
Dear Mrs. Burkard,
I felt compelled to write you after I finished your first book, "Before the Season Ends" as I have never read such a delightful book before! Not only your characters themselves, but the Regency era surroundings you put them in were so vivid that it was almost as if I were watching a movie rather than hungrily reading text off a page. I am a born-again Christian and it is so wonderful to be able to enjoy a good romance novel that is both clean and inspiring. Your book held me captive and I was loathe to put it down just to get some sleep J I was thrilled to find that there are two more books after this one and I have already ordered them both and looking forward to continuing the story. Thank you very much for writing these novels and I fervently hope there will be more to come as I will be first in line to purchase any books authored by your name.
Very Best Regards,
Michelle Elizabeth James
Thank you for your letter, Michelle, and for letting me share it. Words like yours mean so much to me.
Don't miss this month's free download!
Learn the game "Surprise" with a bonus printable Quick Guide!