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Tag Archives: Bingley’s Teas

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!


I am pleased to announce the winners of the Smelling Like Badgers Contest. As you may remember, I held a contest last week for suggestions for Regency pastimes that might suit the modern sensibility. The results were interesting and bizarre. Thanks for playing, everyone.

The winners are:

Lorraine, who suggested playing the bagpipes which is an image I can’t get out of my mind. Every time I return to my WIP I start thinking of a possible opportunity for someone to whip out a bagpipe.

Jane, who suggested a visit to the museum to ogle the nude male statues.

Lorraine and Jane, please visit Bingley’s Teas — I love their Jane Austen-inspired line, shown above, which are actually packaged to look like books and you’ll find all sorts of teas including herbal– and then email riskiesATyahooDOTcom with the blend you’d like and your snailmail. And I shall order forthwith!

Talking of Jane Austen, there’s a wonderful article, actually a review of two new books, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Just Like A Woman. The books are Why Jane Austen? by Rachel M. Brownstein and William Deresiewicz’s A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter. Have you read either of them? I really want to read Deresiewicz’s which is an account of how a guy learned to love Austen.

And finally in this post full of trivia–that, kittens and the obvious is what the internet is for–we’re now going to have some serious academic study. Translate:

Han muutti minut sammokoksi

It is of course Finnish for “She turned me into a frog” (or, as Google Translate quaintly puts it, “He moved me to a frog”) the opening line of my novella Little To Hex Her from the Finnish version of Bespelling Jane Austen. I received a handful of copies in the mail the other day which was quite exciting as I’ve never received any of my books in translation before.

Have you read either of the two new books above about Jane Austen? Are you planning to attend the JASNA Conference (AGM) in Fort Worth next month (aargh! next month! Must email my mantuamaker immediately!)? Amanda and I will be there and we’ll give a full report.

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