Imagine you are a talented cook in London in the year 1801. You have just hired the rooms for your own tavern, and you are eager to make it a hit with well-off customers. Fortune is on your side: You can get a copy of the first cooking book published by John Mollard, the famous chef of prestigious 18th-century London restaurants catering to high-quality customers. It covers all his great recipes. With the help of this book, you compile your menu easily. Finally, all you need is a brilliant idea for the dessert. Cake, sweetmeats … or something really special? Your eyes alight at “Devilled Almonds”: Great name, and almonds are quality food. Read here how to prepare the dish in 1801, and what to consider when buying the ingredients.Continue reading
Before reading this post, please note that The Writer’s Travel Guide does not recommend travelling to Japan in the long 18th century. In all likelihood, you will not be allowed to enter the country. If you try anyway, you are committing a capital offence.
Having read this, you are still determined to give it a try? – excellent! You are of one mind with three British captains who each had an individual adventure with an island kingdom barring itself from foreign influences. And you might also find out that not all encounters have to be riddled with conflicts. Continue reading
In Europe, duels were common from the Renaissance on among aristocrats and military men. While duels were usually fought with swords in the first part of the 18th century, pistols became popular in Britain from around the 1770ies, superseding swords as a weapon. Duelling was illegal, and killing a man in duel was considered murder. Nevertheless, duelling was commonly associated with notions of chivalry and a code of honour.
A code of honour defined rules for issuing a challenge as well as rules of engagement on the duelling ground. It regulated the conduct of seconds, and also specified which conduct would be considered dishonourable. Which rules guided duellist in the late 18th century and early 19th century? Continue reading
The 18th century sees an increase in scientific knowledge and practical research. Many findings have a direct impact on everyday life, craft and commerce. New technics allows, e.g., to create new colours. Find out here what Napoleon’s Campaign in Egypt, the Prussians and an apothecary have to do with the various blue pigments created in the long 18th century.
The concept of the passport is thousands of years old. King Henry V of England is credited with having invented what can be considered the first passport in the modern sense. These letters of “safe conduct” were first written in Latin and English. In 1772, the government decided to use French, the international language of high finance and diplomacy. This didn’t change until 1858. Thus, Britain’s passports were issued in French even when Britain fought Napoleon.
What did the document look like?
At first glance, 18th century shoes aren’t very different from today’s shoes – though they are, of course, more delicate and ornate. At a closer look however, many features of shoes we take for granted today were invented only after 1830. Enjoy some amazing facts about shoes, shoemaking, and photos of lovely shoes.
In 1822, Britain leaves the recession of the post-war period. The Napoleonic Wars had cost the nation an estimated £83 billion in modern terms – it is the most expensive war so far. The country’s debt is almost 200% of its GDP in 1822; this, however, is already better than in 1819, when the debt peaked at around 260 percent of the GDP.
Government deficits are financed either by short‐term Exchequer Bills, or by long‐term financing as perpetual bonds, with annual interest rates about 5, respectively 3, percent. This system of financing brings important benefits: With the return of peace, their prices would rise, adding to the bondholders’ wealth in this way. This money then provides much of the finance underpinning for the “take‐off ”-stage of the Industrial Revolution.
Economic grows begins to pick up pace. The general price level falls. Additionally, reforms for free trade start. Britain sees some prosperity.
Find out more about innovations, fashion, celebrities, and social news of this exiting year in England. Continue reading
Check out my list of popular fiction and non-fiction releases. I have added links to online versions of each book, so you can actually read like its 1822! Continue reading
Whist was one of the most popular card games in Georgian England. It began its career as a plain game for common men. With the rise of the coffee houses in London, the gentry picked up the game. Reputedly it was Lord Folkestone who brought the game into fashion in high society around 1728, when he adopted it as a challenging strategic card game requiring good memory, sympathetic partnering and psychological acumen.
The rules of Whist were written down in Edward Hoyle’s “ A short treatise on the game of whist” in 1742. As early as this, methods of cheating were discussed. While Hoyle advocated fair play, the stakes at Whist could be high, and thus tempt many to force luck their way. Besides, cheating at whist is very easy. Continue reading
It’s Christmas Eve, about 200 years ago. The church organ has broken down in a small town in Austria. The aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars still haunts the people. In this night, a very special song is born. Nobody knows yet that it is to become one of the most popular carols in the world. Continue reading