Peopling the Georgian House

January 16, 2015 at 11:09 am (estates, history, places) (, , , , , )

georgian houseAlthough centered on teaching history to school children, I highly recommend looking over the materials at Peopling the Georgian House. A useful look inside a Bristol residence, picking apart the rooms in the townhouse, as well as its people. Surprising to me was information about the Pinney family:

  • domestic staff included two ‘slaves’ – Pero Jones (gentleman’s valet); and Fanny Coker (lady’s maid), who becomes manumitted.
  • poet Robert Southey was a visitor.
  • a Pinney connection to Horatio Nelson.
  • the residence used SPEAKING TUBES in order to communicate upstairs to downstairs! Find out why we use the phrase “to bend one’s ear”…
  • and FABULOUS to see the house (illustration left) broken down floor by floor – from attics to 2nd, 1st and ground floor, until down in the cellars, two levels below ground!

After READING about the house, how about a TOUR through it: The Georgian House Museum has a brief online presence – including “Life below Stairs”, and tells who used the “plunge pool” located in the basement. Alas, an actual walk through the property must wait until after April 3rd (closed for winter).

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Colonial Williamsburg: Historic Threads

November 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm (fashion, history, jasna, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , , , )

Thought I’d share this wonderful website, pointing out the clothing information — but mention that visitors should look more fully at ALL the items on offer at Colonial Williamsburg’s history.org website:

This shows the array of items you can investigate: from portraits through materials. I dressed a young lady of the gentry! from stockings to pocket to cap and dress. It was fun – you can find it by clicking on “Dressing the Part“.

Now, you might be thinking “What does colonial-era clothing have to do with Two Teens in the Time of Austen?” Certainly, neither Mary nor Emma would have worn a gown like that above — but Lady Cunliffe certainly would have been familiar with the dress of this young lady. For those who wonder about Lady Cunliffe, Mary’s maternal grandmother, you can read a prior post by clicking on her portrait:

Lady Cunliffe in her portrait of 1761, painted by Joshua Reynolds.

* * *

two book recommendation:

The Dress of the People, John Styles (Yale U Press)
What Clothes Reveal, Linda Baumgarten (Yale U Press)

read my review of Styles’ book at JASNA
read about Styles’ upcoming Williamsburg 2013 Exhibit & Symposium:
Threads of Feeling Unraveled: The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens

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Jane Austen Fashion on Guernsey

June 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm (books, fashion, news, people, travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

While searching online for mentions of “Le Marchant” I found this wonderful “cyber display” by the Priaulx Library – a favorite source of mine, as, yes, my Le Marchant family has Guernsey connections. The letters are a delight to savor, and the fashion plates will delight all Jane Austen fans.

Begin corresponding with Miss Caroline Guille Le Marchant by clicking here.

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Willoughby & Marianne: What Opera?

August 25, 2010 at 8:46 am (books, people) (, , , , , , , , )

Coming in to work today, the radio announced the birthday of Leonard Bernstein, born in Lawrence, Mass in 1918. Who knew he was born in New England; not me (but then he was “big” when I was a kid, so put it down to that).

Anyway, tangled up with morning thoughts of work, reading (Sense and Sensibility, of course!), and Lennie — came a thought that I toyed with a few days ago, but now put out in the blog-o-sphere:

Near the end of Sense and Sensibility, when Willoughby has irrevocably left, and Marianne has survived her illness, she goes up to her pianoforte and fingers a piano reduction operatic score. So my question, and I’d love it if operaphiles and Janeites alike might give their thoughts:

What OPERA would Willoughby and Marianne have been likely to play through?

A comic opera? An English opera? A tragedy? Something old, like Handel; something totally new and playing in London the last season or two?

The entire quote (Chapman, 342):

“After dinner she would try her piano-forte. She went to it; but the music on which her eyes first rested was an opera, procured for her by Willoughby, containing some of their favourite duets, and bearing on its outward leaf her own name in his hand writing.”

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