The Origin of Now, Part 4

detail-neuAbout 250 years ago, science spread into the world and everyday life. People asked how scientific progress and inventions could make life better and easier. They set out to develop and pursue new ideas. Some of these are still around today. In the fourth part of my series, we discover how the invention of a Scottish mechanical engineer changed the office world forever.

The Letter Copying Press and Mr Watt’s Secrets Recipes for Ink and Liquor

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A Time Traveller’s Adventure: At the Opening of Norfolk House

music-room-ceilingDear Regency Enthusiast

Let’s leave the Romantic Age for one glamorous evening and go to the mid 18th century. We shall discover one of the major society events of the year 1756: The opening of Norfolk House in London.

Follow me to ‘All Things Georgian’, the brilliant website of Sarah Murden and Joanne Major, history detectives and acclaimed authoresses. Sarah and Joanne kindly feature my guest post about a grand event and 6 tips to succeed there as time travelling guests of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.

Please click here to go to the post and find out more.

Best regards,

Anna M. Thane

Dollhouses Inspired by the Regency and the Georgian Age

01 Darcy closeupDollhouses are not for children. At least this is what the Georgians thought. When dollhouses first emerged in the 17th century, they were women’s play things, elaborate pieces filled with expensive or rare miniature objects. Only the rich could afford them. By the 18 century, dollhouses often were created as an exact copy of a person’s home, featuring even identical furniture.

Creating dollhouses is still a treasured hobby today. Among the most skilled creators are Caroline Hamilton and Jane Fiddick from Britain. They are also collectors. Their amazing collection of about 70 dollhouses is on permanent display at New Hall in Yorkshire. When visiting the exhibition this year, I couldn’t tear myself away from the charming settings. I was especially delighted by the many 18th century themed dollhouses. They feature scenes that could have sprung from a Jane Austen novel, and one of them is a copy of Newby Hall itself.
I have compiled a selection of photos of these admirable miniature buildings and their inhabitants for you to enjoy. Continue reading

The World of Fashion in the 18th Century – Part 1: Accessories for Gentlemen

1798 Dress SwordCourt suits, breeches and waistcoats of the 18th century are highly aesthetic. They are, however, incomplete without the matching accessories. Therefore, stockings, dress swords, watches, buttons, etc. are in the spotlight of today’s post. I have compiled a selection of photos of these beautiful fashion items, so follow me to the world of accessories for gentlemen. Continue reading

The Evolution of the Waistcoat in the 18th Century

1795-98 Court suit waistcoat detail

Elaborately embroidered waistcoat of a court suit

A gentleman wasn’t properly dressed without a waistcoat. A waistcoat was a highly elaborate piece of clothing and allowed to show off exquisite taste in fashion. The garment itself was the subject of fashion trends. You would of course suppose that its decoration varied throughout the 18th century. But did you know that the cut changed significantly, too? Learn about the styles of waistcoats throughout the decades in this post. Continue reading

The Origin of Now (Part 3)

Governable parachuteThis series is dedicated to inventions, ideas and concepts developed during the Romantic Age that shaped our modern world. With the second scientific revolution, a series of breakthroughs in science led to the idea that scientific progress could make life better and easier. Inventive individuals set out to pursue new ideas (also see part 1 and part 2 of this series). One of them was Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). Follow me back to the 1790ies to find out how his dream of flying laid the foundation of today’s aviation.

The Man Who Understood Why Airplanes Fly

Sir George Cayley sketched his first flying machine aged 19, in 1792. Continue reading

12 Facts about Prisons & Punishment in the 18th Century

RE PicToday’s blog post is different: I am going to direct you to the intriguing website of Naomi Clifford, acclaimed author of the Regency-set non-fiction book “The Disappearance of Maria Glenn”. At her excellent blog you can find true-life glimpses of life, love and death in the Georgian Age.

Naomi kindly agreed to publish my first ever guest post about 12 things to remember before starting a criminal career in the 18th century.

Please click here to go to Naomi’s site and find out more.

Best regards

Anna M. Thane

A Writer’s Travel Guide: 10 Facts about the Famed and Famous World of the Theatre

IntroGoing to the theatre was one of the most popular evening pastimes of the Regency period. It offered more than entertainment, laughter and drama: At the theatre, men and women could meet publicly in society, and classes would mix. Seeing and being seen was also part of the entertainment.
Though the theatre was popular, it was considered morally reprehensible by the conservative or pious. In Oxford, theatre groups were even banned from performing because of their allegedly negative influence on students. Continue reading

Downton Abbey Quest: Was this writing slope part of the props?

wrting slopeI bought this lovely antique writing slope while being on holiday in England. Allegedly, it was used as a prop for Downton Abbey. True or hoax?

Dear reader, I need your help: If you have watched Downton Abbey and spotted this writing slope in the series, please let me know and tell me series, episode and scene/room in the comment field below. Your assistance is much appreciated, as I couldn’t spot the writing slope so far*.

About the writing slope Continue reading