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Today we are on the road, on our way to visit relatives in Georgia. The book is done. Not polished but done and sent in. (Breathe heavy sigh of relief) Remind me never to do this again. I’ll take time management courses. Anything. Maybe even make myself write every day, no matter what.

I got to thinking…What would our trip be like if we were in Regency England?

My husband prefers driving himself to public transportation so we’ll be traveling in our own vehicle. We’ve had considerable discussion on whether to take my Prius with its great mileage or the more comfortable Acura. The Acura won.

In Regency terms, I figure this means we’ll be driving the curricle, drawn by two horses, instead of the curate cart. My husband, by the way, has always wanted a high-perch phaeton, but I’ve put my foot down. It’s impractical.

We’ll make the trip in two days (and coming home, it only takes us one day—because we are always eager to get home again). In Regency times the same distance would be like traveling from Brighton to Loch Ness, about 600 miles, and it would take about week at least. I suspect our butts would be rather sore in our little curricle all that way.

We’ll stop along the road only for gasoline, meals, bathroom breaks, and to spend the night, but our Regency selves must stop every twenty miles or so to change horses. Instead of McDonalds or a Perkins (no relation!) restaurant, we’ll be stopping in coaching inns, probably eating mutton stew and drinking ale. (which doesn’t sound so bad!)

At night we’ll stop in a motel—one with internet access, of course. Our Regency selves will stay in one of those coaching inns and we might travel with our own bed linens just to be certain we don’t pick up any bedbugs.

It used to be a bit of a culture shock to visit the Georgia relatives, but now the area has been built up with all the shopping centers of home. The Regency “we” are Londoners. Our normal pastimes are visiting the shops or walking in the park. Up by Loch Ness, however, there might be only one or two shops and plenty of places to walk.

I’ve heard there is even a monster in the Loch
But……no internet access.

Okay, if you were on vacation in REGENCY England, where would you go? What would you want to see?

(and thanks again for all your support and encouragement!!!)

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My alterego Jane Lockwood blogged yesterday about a travel book she enjoyed recently, Sultry Climates: Travel and Sex by Ian Littlewood. It was a refreshing contrast to another book about travel, excerpts from The Countries of Europe Described, written by Mrs. Favell Lee Mortimer in 1849. She was also the author of what has been described as “one of the most outspokenly sadistic children’s books ever written,” The Peep of Day.

Edited by Todd Pruzan, and titled The Clumsiest People in Europe: Mrs. Mortimer’s Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World, this book has the attraction of a multi-car pile up. You keep reading in horrified fascination as Mrs. Mortimer can’t find one nice thing to say about anyone. Abroad is populated entirely by dirty, shiftless, lazy, useless foreigners, most of whom are Catholics (which explains a lot). A town may look pretty as you approach it by sea, but when you get there it has mean narrow dirty streets, and so on. It’s funny but at the same time it makes you cringe.

Mrs. Mortimer went abroad twice in her life–once, in fact, when she was a teenager in the late Regency to France (where they like being smart but are not very clean) and Belgium (not much to say because it is so like the countries on either side)–and that was obviously enough. After that she read widely.

Talking of which, I’m about to leave soon for the airport for my very short trip to England to visit my aged father who is not a tree–and I’m taking two books, Pamela by Richardson and my buddy Esri Rose’s Bound To Love Her, a funny book about elves in Boulder–fairly typical for my travel reading, a weighty tome and something fun. I’ll report back on all.

Update: arrived safely, gawd I’m jetlagged.

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Are you planning your summer vacation yet? I may not get much farther than Jellico, Tennessee, for a family reunion or Dallas for the RWA conference, but, thanks to Emily Hendrickson from whom I purchased a fortune of books-literally and figuratively-I have travel guides for the imagination!

My travel destination of choice will always be England, but, alas, not this year. So I’ll content myself with a peek into A Portrait of Georgian London by Fiona St. Aubyn. This book is compiled from The Microcosm of London (1810) and contains illustrations by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson. It was also my most expensive book purchase, but worth every penny because I can really see what these sites in London looked like in the early 1800s. A real treat, however, is looking at the illustration of St. Martins in the Field and seeing that it looked much the same as when Amanda and Julie and I sat in the pew for a concert in 2003. Same with Westminster Abbey!

In my 2005 trip to the UK we traveled a bit into the Lake District, but not nearly deep enough to see what Wordsworth described as “the majesty of the mountains.” I’ll have to content myself with a tour through this book, The Illustrated Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes, edited by Peter Bicknell. It is full of prints of paintings by period artists of the beauty of the Lake District, and photographs that show that the beauty remains just as it had been then. And, of course, there are Wordsworth’s descriptions as well.

My friend Melissa James (Her Outback Knight, July 2008) is presently in Switzerland, far from her Australian home, but she is not so different than the “200 years of English travellers” who visited the tiny country. When I read about Maria Edgeworth in my copy of Southwards to Geneva: 200 years of English Travellers by Mavis Coulson, I’ll be thinking of Melissa and pining to see majestic mountains in Switzerland as well.

Do you have any Vacations-of-the-Imagination planned? How about real vacations? Can any of us beat Kalen’s trip to Morocco?
Think of me in Jellico!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter at Just put “Newsletter” in the subject line. It promises to transport you to exotic lands!

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