The smelling like badgers contest

What would you like to do if you were to spend a week or so immersed in Regency life?

I’m not talking about reenactment so much as a situation like the bizarrely inaccurate Regency House Party series, 2004. And by the way, isn’t I smelt like a badger the whole time a wonderful headline? This is one of many articles online about the project, and you can view episodes on Youtube.)

I have the book tho it’s over the husband’s side of the bed because he likes the pictures. And that was the strength of the series, I thought–how everyone looked absolutely right in the clothes, and the house, Kentchurch Court in Herefordshire, was gorgeous. But really, other than agonizing over the chamberpots (oh come on, the Regency had indoor plumbing… ), the women were very bored. As one of the participants reported

The narrow round of permitted activities: ‘a walk around the corridor to view the portraits’, needlework, pianoforte practice (to entertain the gentlemen in the evening) was hardly stimulating and quickly exhausted. Six modern independent girls slumped into a Regency lethargy. Relieved of all work and responsibility, most became little girlies who giggled over hot chocolate after lights out (11pm) while I found myself climbing trees like a tomboy. Our infantalising party frocks were more likely to tempt Mr Darcy to give us a balloon and a pat on the head than a proposal of marriage. More

So if you were to be a Regency lady of leisure for a limited amount of time, how would you entertain yourself in what was a very homosocial society? At least in the daytime when the boys were off doing boy things? Or would you, like Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, become one of the boys too?

What would you suggest as activities for women that would be, more or less, historically accurate, but be of interest to history geeks (or not)? And what activities would you suggest for both men and women (other than the obvious) that would actually be fun?

You’ve guessed it. This is for the WIP. There will be prizes for the two suggestions I like best–your choice of a packet of tea from the Jane Austen Series at Bingley’s Teas(US only). I’ll be picking a winner on Monday.

So come up with something fun and creative!

 

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