Clue to Kutzebue

January 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm (books, entertainment, europe, jane austen, research, travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Thanks to the “power” of the internet, a question five years in the making, has been answered! Danke, Sabine!

A letter written in 1833 regarding a trip into Derbyshire by Mamma, her three unmarried daughters (Fanny, Eliza, Maria), and the Austens – not only Edward and Emma but also Edward’s sister Caroline Austen, has been used as a source in my Persuasions article “Derbyshires Corresponding: Elizabeth Bennet and the Austen Tour of 1833” (the 2008 print article also appears online).

In the midst of discussing the beauties of Derbyshire, the letter writer draws on a memory – but I was never sure quite what memory had been stirred…

The original transcription read:

– Ashbourne is quite small, & the town all very close together: Eliza made me look out of the bedroom window of our nice little Inn when it grew dark, she was so struck with its likeness to one’s idea of the street scene at Crackwinkel – do you remember when Sabina & [Thuars; Sh???ars] hide themselves behind the dark lamp post? there was just such a one in the little narrow street there, & even Spurling’s window. —We got up at 6 the next morning to make a little sketch…

I have searched for this; my guess at the time was ‘sounds like a book?‘ But what do you search for? Look up Crackwinkel and Google asks if you mean “crack winkel”… Not a help!

And Sabina’s company, the loss of that second name meant I had only SABINA to search for. Not a help either.

But the place name, ending in Winkel, pointed to something in German. I’m still not sure whether Maria has written the character’s name as Sabina (an anglicized version of the correct German spelling, Sabine) or that Spurling isn’t what she writes. The letter came to me as a xerox, AND it’s cross written!

I emailed my Sabine (whose delightful blog is Kleidung um 1800), a picture of the paragraph, but she had already cracked this old nut.

I’m going to include the photo, and if you would like to see if you can decipher this section of the letter, click on the photo to enlarge. The answer to the puzzle will be given after the “MORE” link in this post.

1833 letter-2

The lines begin 2nd line from the top. You will see …windows are beautiful — Ashbourne is quite small… Keep reading. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fashion News, Regency-Style

November 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm (books, diaries, entertainment, fashion, history, jane austen, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In today’s mail a copy of A Lady of Fashion: Barbara Johnson’s Album of Styles and Fabrics; this is a book LONG on my wish list and I finally broke down and obtained a copy. In wonderful shape! Can’t wait to have a sit down, drink a cup of tea, and really look and read.

For those unfamiliar with Barbara Johnson, her album is at the Victoria & Albert Museum – a great favorite with me when in London. They do have an online look at the album, into which Barbara pasted and pinned fashion plates and actual fabric samples for clothing she had made up:

This page shows some of Barbara’s descriptions, fabrics and pictures. I talked about this book way back in 2008!

Sabina at Kleidung um 1800 shared some wonder “fan-cheers” about the book – I’ll see if she’d mind my posting them. She has a unique view on the book, given you interest in costume. You will find a project “to die-for”: Sabine has been working on an 1806 Spencer worn by Queen Luise of Prussia. Just FAB-U-LOUS!

Colonial Williamsburg has a useful site containing fashion plates.

More about Barbara Johnson’s Album at Barbara Brackman’s Material Culture blogspot.

Regency History has fashion plates from La Belle Assemblée.

See the list of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts here on Two Teens in the Time of Austen.

Portrait Miniatures to give you added incentive can be found at Ellison Fine Art.

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Queen Luise of Prussia

August 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm (books, british royalty, entertainment, europe, history, jane austen, people, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , , , , )

I first encountered Queen Luise in the delightful little portrait by Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun (see her oeuvre at Batguano). So it was wonderful to see a book dedicated to her clothing mentioned on Kleidung um 1800Sabine always finds the most fascinating books! I only wish my German language skills weren’t so rusty…

The book is Luise –  Die Kleider der Königin. The television “short” I found about the exhibition which was the basis for the book is also in German: but it is a FEAST for the eyes. Take a look:

 

Aren’t these DETAILS simply gorgeous?
Such well-preserved gowns are so wonderful to see.

And here is the Queen herself:

Some links which will tell you about the royal residence and the exhibition:

The woman German World magazine called “the ‘Lady Diana’ of the 19th century“, was born Duchess Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz — niece to Britain’s Queen Charlotte.

Queen Luise would not live to see the end of the Napoleonic Wars; she died in July 1810 – aged only 35. Her husband, Frederick Wilhelm III of Prussia Mary Gosling would mention in her earliest (1814) diary.

Read more and See more Königin Luise via google.

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Ring around Jane Austen

July 3, 2012 at 9:09 am (fashion, history, jane austen, news) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

No doubt this thrilled readers for its Jane Austen connection. My thrill? The Caroline Austen connection!

I was visiting Sabine’s Kleidung um 1800 (you must view her newest creation) –> which brought me to Biltmore via Living with Jane –> which induced me to click on A Fashionable Frolick and there was the news, gathered from Two Nerdy History Girls:

What GRABBED my attention was this history of the ring, dated November 1863:

 “autograph note signed by Eleanor Austen {Henry Austen’s second wife}, to her niece Caroline Austen, ‘My dear Caroline. The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you! ‘ 

The provenance claims it went from Caroline to the daughter of my dear Emma Austen Leigh! (Emma died in 1876, so it makes sense that Caroline would leave the ring directly to Mary Augusta).

Caroline Austen is such a faded, background memory. One of the delights of my research has been little snippets, written by Emma about her new sister or by one of the other Smith sisters noting down their thoughts on “sweet Caroline”.

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Friday evening: a Cuppa and a nice read

April 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm (news, people, places) (, , , , , , , , , )

Ah, it’s after work. De-lic-ious. Made a tea — some Baker Street Blend, obtained from Upton Tea Imports. Baker Street Blend is described as “a bit of Lapsang Souchong blended with Keemun and Darjeeling, yielding a mildly smoky tea. Perfect for an afternoon uplift!”

Had a visit at Kleidung um 1800 — Sabine has been doing some spring cleaning, so this is the last time you will be seeing her now-outdated background illustration. Check out her new “look” — and her newest Spencer. Elizabeth Bennet would be happy to find this garment in her closet!

Sabine also always has some interesting blogs which she follows and I just had to click and find out more about The Grand Tour Nineteen Teen has been presenting — they are up to Part 6 and are now “Climbing over Mountains.”

So, grab your Spencer, let me get a second cuppa – and let’s join a Grand Tour!

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A Spencer Jane Austen would love!

September 23, 2011 at 11:03 am (fashion, history, people, research) (, , , , , )

Kleidung um 1800 has a fascinating post on Sabine’s Whiskey-colored spencer.

For all of you who covet a closet of Regency clothing…

For all of you who sew…

For all of you who dream in technicolor when reading Austen novels…

You need to read about — and see — this beautiful piece of work. Blog readers get a real “feel” for this type of clothing, the spencer, which possibly gets more “press” than any other item of Regency-period clothing.

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Clothing circa 1800

September 3, 2011 at 8:45 am (europe, fashion, history, research) (, , , , , , )

Just discovered this fascinating blog (in German and English):

Its subject matter deals in all things from the time period of my beloved Smiths & Goslings! Recent entries are the birthday of Goethe; and a couple lovely portraits assessed for their clothing and hair styles. Check it out!

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