Irene Damages Vermont

August 30, 2011 at 10:03 am (news) (, , )

Very humbling, living in the Champlain Valley, to hear of the extreme devastation southern Vermont has undergone in the aftermath of Irene.

A college friend hailed from Chester – Chester is one of several places literally cut off: no one can get out or in, due to roads, bridges, etc etc.

The Bartonsville historic Covered Bridge got washed away, and Quechee’s covered bridge lost both its approaches.

Bennington and Brattleboro, two communities near the Massachusetts border, were under water.

Sad news continues to reach us:

Undoubtedly, some of the same regions hits with “historic” flooding this past spring were victims of the hurricane’s flooding: places like Waterbury, Montpelier (the state capital), and Barre. On the news last night was more the “aftermath”: quick-rising water that had by then departed — leaving a trail of devastation and mud.

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Sir William Knighton all a-twitter?

August 23, 2011 at 8:36 am (books, british royalty, london's landscape) (, , , )

Join Sir William Knighton and his biographer, Charlotte Frost, on their Twitter account. Great opportunity to see an author at work, promoting her book, or talking about her interests. There’s even a Tweet about Smith&Gosling!

Charlotte’s book is available online at the likes of Amazon and; or direct from the publisher (digital or print versions available).

Only on Twitter can we hear about the bio’s BookBag 3-star review. Says reviewer Sue Magee, “[Frost] is to be commended for the depth of her research and for her careful piecing together of the available information, which must have been rather like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with different pictures printed on each side and many of the pieces missing.”

Don’t miss The Interview: BookBag Talks to Charlotte Frost, to get an inside look at her bio, Sir William Knighton: The Strange Career of a Regency Physician. (Gotta love the bit about ‘specialists who’ll go straight to my bibliography.’)

Charlotte Frost also responded to questions posed to her on this blog: read part I, part II.

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Old Bailey Makes NYTimes

August 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm (london's landscape, research) (, , , , , , )

The Old Bailey made the New York Times, when Patricia Cohen’s article “As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey” appeared in the August 17th issue.

Well, tell us something we didn’t already know!

“Scholars have long considered the Old Bailey an invaluable resource.” I’ve even found the Goslings in the online database a few times (as victims of theft…).

If you’ve never visited the Old Bailey website, find it here. And you’ll read first-hand what Garrow’s Law depicts ever-so-superbly.

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Jane Austen Jewelry

August 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm (fashion) ()

A work colleague sent me a link to this interesting site: an Englishman who makes jewelry from old books! LittleFly is the site where Jeremy May displays his unique “literary jewels”. Yes, there IS a Pride and Prejudice piece. A ring. The bangle bracelets are neat!

So that made me wonder about other “austen” jewelry. It’s out there!

Some base their piece on phrases:

“Where shall we see a better daughter”:

“Indulge your imagination”:

Vic and Laurel Ann  long ago (2009) found the Jane Austen charms Jean Judy crafts. This is one of her creations:

Do tell me about other sites and Austen Jewelry finds you have come across!

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A silhouette of Mary Lady Smith

August 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm (entertainment, jasna, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , )

I hesitate to bring attention to this image, for it is my own “cutting” – and gosh I had such problems! But a quick look around two crafts stores and I’m convinced I have to either spend a good $20 on a small set of sheers, or half that on an Exacto-knife — but I’m on the fence about needing to cut on some surface…

Anyway: the drawing in Scenes from Life at Suttons, presummed to have been done by Augusta Smith (Augusta Wilder to give her married name), was of a type so convenient to be adapted as a silhouette that it is that image rather than Augusta’s sketch of her (very light, and oh-so-barely colored) that you will see presented here on this blog:

It really brings to home how much I loved the computer programs I had at my last place of employment — I could have Photoshopped this image to perfection. You’ll have to have patience (what an expensive program!) until I can get to a handy computer lab (the one I used to use has removed the scanner – which means a removal of Photoshop from the computer! a true loss: the lab was so quiet to use on a late Sunday morning…).

So Mary now joins Emma in being depicted on “their own blog”:

When I was researching at the Hampshire Record Office, there was one sketchbook of extremely FAINT outlines of people. They must have been outlines made in preparation of silhouttes. Alas! no identifyers were ever attached to these…, and how would they photograph? Nil, I would think.

Two years ago, at the JASNA AGM held in Philadelphia, my roommate had her silhouette cut by an artist who just observed and cut, but I know there were “machines” in use way back when; and Willoughby is depicted as getting his “shade taken” in Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility — so this is a subject I will return to! But later…

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Just Launched: Ladies of Llangollen

August 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm (research) (, , , , , )

A quick post to alert readers that I’ve begun to ‘repost’ some fascinating research that actually introduced me to Mary Gosling. It was a visit to Llangollen, and a purchase of a small ‘history’ about the lives of its Ladies, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler, that caused me to find my first diary: Mary’s travel diary, now owned by Duke University. There’s not much there at present, but please visit: I’ve a ton of information to share.

Check it out at

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