Last week I mentioned that I was going to Hillwood House, the home of the late Marjorie Merriweather Post. Post designed the house to be a living museum and it is beautiful. She was a collector of decorative arts, especially from 18th century France and pre-Communist Russia, like the Fabergé egg shown here (not from her collection).

There were some Regency era paintings. One I correctly guessed as a Thomas Lawrence (I was so proud of myself). Another one I asked about, but our tour guide was obviously a Russian scholar and nothing else quite registered with her. So she didn’t know…
The Lawrence, was the Portrait of Mrs. Michel nee Anne Fane.

It was a lovely day spent with writing friends!

Today won’t be so much fun.

First is my trip to the accountant for the taxes. I used to do our taxes myself, but as they got more complex, I’d have an anxiety attack every time. It is so much better to hand them to the accountant. She likes reading Romance, so I always bring her a book.

It got me thinking about taxes during the Regency, when there were taxes on everything. From What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew (which, by the way, is on sale for $5.99 on Amazon), there were taxes on “land, income, the practice of law, newspaper advertisements, glass, candles, beer,malt, carriages, menservants, coats of arms, newspapers, paper, bricks, stone, coal, windows, corn, soap, horses, dogs, salt, sugar, raisins, tea, coffee, tobacco, playing cards, timber, silk, and…headgear.”

I don’t feel so bad now…..

Except, I have to go to the dentist afterward. My dentist is a great guy and an enthusiastic supporter of my writing (he once phoned me on a Sunday to tell me about a History Channel show about dueling, which he knew I was researching). He’s a bit advanced from the Regency dentist, though. This is from the Jane Austen Society of Australia, about Jane’s visit to the dentist with three of her nieces:

‘The poor girls & their teeth!’ a Visit to the Dentist by Joanna Penglase
“Mr Spence remonstrates strongly over Lizzy’s teeth, cleaning and filing them and filling the ‘very sad hole’ between two of the front ones. But it is Marianne who suffers most: she is obliged to have two teeth extracted to make room for others to grow. ‘When her doom was fixed’ says Jane Austen, ‘Fanny Lizzy and I walked into the next room, where we heard each of the two sharp hasty Screams’. Fanny came off lightest, but even her ‘pretty teeth’ Mr Spence found fault with, ‘putting in gold and talking gravely’, moving Jane Austen to grave doubts about his motives. ‘He must be a Lover of Teeth & Money & Mischief to parade about Fanny’s’, she declares.”

It is some comfort that my dentist is not Mr. Spence!

I hope you have more wonderful things to do today! Things without pain. Tell me about them!

(I am watching Sense and Sensibility at this moment….Edward Ferrars……((((THUD))))

Oh, this is the last day for my contest. Enter before midnight!

Oh Oh, I almost forgot to invite you to the Wet Noodle Posse blog. We’re doing a whole year on writing and April is Conflict month. We have lots of guest bloggers in April, including Jo Beverley! And we’re giving away a signed copy of one of her books to one lucky commenter.