An Age of Indulgence, Supper with the Prince Regent

Gillray's take on the Prince Regent's fete decor: admiring the table-top canal. The public were invited to view the party decorations after it all was over. http://zipzipinkspot.blogspot.com/2014/08/journal-journey-into-year-1811-la-belle.html

Gillray’s take on the Prince Regent’s fete decor: admiring the table-top canal. The public were invited to view the party decorations after it all was over. http://zipzipinkspot.blogspot.com/2014/08/journal-journey-into-year-1811-la-belle.html

This long excerpt comes from “The Age of Indulgence” in Venetia Murray’s An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England. It is the menu for a supper served on 15 January 1817 by Careme at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion. There are more than 100 hot foods on the list.

Table de S.A.R. Le Prince Regent

Servie au pavillon de Brighton, Angleterre

15 Janvier 1817

Menu de 36 entreés

QUATRE POTAGES

Le potage à la Monglas

Le potage d’orge perleé à la Crécy

La parbure aux chous

Le potage de poisons à la Russe

QUATRE RELEVÉS DE POISSONS

La matelote au vin de Bordeaux

Les truites au bleu à lad Provençale

Le turbot à l’Anglaise, sauce aux homards

La grosse anguille à la régence

QUATRE GROSSES PIÈCES POUR LES CONTRE-FLANCS

Le jambon à la brouche, au Madere

L’oie braisée aux raciness glacéea

Les poulardes à la Périgeux

Le rond de veau à la royale

TRENTE-SIX ENTRÉES, DONT QUATRE SERVENT DE CONTRE-FLANCS

Les filets de volaille à la maréchale

Le sauté de merlans aux fines herbes

La timbale de macroni à la Napolitaine

La noix de veau à la jardinière

Les filets de volaille à l’Orléans

Le Jambon à la Broche

La darne de saumon au beurre de Montpellier

Le sauté de faisans aux truffles

La fricassee de poulets à l’Italienne

Le turban de filets de lapereaux

Les Truites au Bleu

Les boudin de volaille à la Bechamel

Le sauté de ris de veau à la Provençale

Les ailes de poulardes glacées à la chicorée

Les galantine de perdreaux à la gelée

L’Oie Braisée aux Racines Glacées

Les petites canetons de volaille en haricots vierges

Les poulets à la reine, à la Chevry

Les petities croustades de mauviettes au gratin

Les côtelettes de mouton à l’Irlandaise

Les filets de sarcelles à la Bourguignotte

Les petits poulets à l’Indienne

Les petites patés de mouton à l’Anglaise

L’épigramme de poulardes, purée de céleri

Le faisan à la Minime, bordure de racines

Les Poulardes à la Périgueux

L’aspic de blanc de volaille à la rivigote

Les filets de perdreaux à la Pompadour

L’emincé de poulardes au gratin

La cote de boeuf aux oignons glacés

Le Turbot à l’Anglaise

Le sauté de poulardes làa Provençale

Le salmis de cailles au vin de Madére

Les escalopes de volaille aux truffles

La salade de filets de brochets aux huîtres

Le Rond de Veau à la Royale

Le pain de carpes au beurre d’anchois

Les côtelettes d’agneau glacées à Toulouse

Le vol-au-vent de quenelles à l’Allemande

Les ailerons de poulardes aux champignons

Les pigeons à la Mirepoix financière

POUR EXTRA, DIX ASSIETTES VOLANTES DE FRITURE

5 De filets de soles

5 De filtets de gelinottes à l’Allemande

HUIT GROSSES PIÈCES DE PÂTISSERIE

La brioche au fromage

Le croque-en-brouche aux pistaches

Le nougat à la Françasise

Le biscuit àà l’Orange

La ruine d’Antioche

L’hermitage chinois

L’hermitage Syrien

La ruine de las mosquée turque

QUATRE PLATS DE ROTS

Les coqs de Bruyères

Les canards sauvages

Les poulets gras bardés

Les gelinottes

TRENTE-DEUX ENTREMETS

Les truffles à la cendre

La gelée d’oranges moulée

Les épinards à l’essence

La Brioche au Fromage

Les homards a gratin

Les petits pains à la duchesse

Les sckals au beurre

Le pouding de pommes au Muscat

Les mirlitons aux citrons

Les Canards Sauvages

Les bouchées perlées aux groseilles

Les oeufs brouillés aux truffles

Le Nougat à la Française

Les pommes de terre à la Hollandaise

La gelée de punch renversée

Les champignons à la provençale

Les navets glacés à la Chartre

Les coqs de Bruyères

Les gâteux glacés aux abricots

Le fromage bavarois aux

La purée de haricots

L’Hermitage Chinois

Les petits panniers aux confitures

Les Poulets Gras Bardés

Les génoises glacées au café

La charlotte à l’Amérucaube

Les choux-fleurs au Parmesan

L’Hermitage Syrien

Le céleri en cardes à l’Espagnole

La crème Française à l’ananas

Les petits soufflés d’abricots

Les Gelinottes

Les gateaux de feuilletage pralines

Les huîtres au gratin

Les Croques-en-Bouche

Les petites carottes à l’essence

La gelée de citrons moulée

Les laities farcies à la Béchamel

Les Biscuits de Fécule à l’Orange

Les truffles à l’Italienne

POUR EXTRA, DIX ASSIETTES VOLANTÉS

5 De Petites soufflés de pommes

5 De petites soufflés chocolat

Below is a rough translation of the dishes for those of you who have forgotten your French lessons. This is from a French-English translating program. My French and Spanish often become mixed in a not so kind manner. LOL!!! Disclaimer! This is not a perfect translation, but it will assist those of you would are most curious. In other words, do not ask me what “spinach gasoline” is.

Table S.A.R. The Prince Regent

Served at the Pavilion in Brighton, England

January 15, 1817

Menu of 36 entries

FOUR SOUPS

Soup to Monglas

The pearl barley soup at Crécy

Parbure to the cabbages

Soup of poisons Russian

FOUR FISH RECORDS

The stew wine from Bordeaux

Trout in blue lad Provençale

The English turbot, lobster sauce

The big eel in the regency

FOUR LARGE PARTS FOR COUNTER-SIDES

The Ham brouche at Madeira

The braised goose with raciness glacéea

Pullets to Périgeux

The round veal Royal

THIRTY-SIX INPUTS WHICH SERVE FOUR SIDES OF COUNTER

Fillets of chicken with Marshal

Sauté whiting herbs

The timbale Macroni the Neapolitan

Nuts gardener Veal

Nets Poultry Orleans

Ham to Pin

Salmon steak butter Montpellier

Sauté pheasant with truffles

The fricassee of chicken with Italian

The turban nets rabbits

The Trout in Blue

The roll of chicken with Bechamel

The sautéed sweetbreads Provencal

Pullets wings glazed chicory

The galantine partridge in aspic

Goose Braised with Glazed Roots

Small ducklings poultry beans virgin

Chickens to the queen, the Chevry

The Small pies wimps au gratin

The mutton chops to the Irish

Nets teal to Burgonet

Small chickens Indian

Patés small sheep in English

The epigram pullets, celery puree

The pheasant Minimal, border roots

Pullets in Périgueux

The aspic of chicken stock to rivigote

Nets partridge in Pompadour

The pullets Sliced ​​au gratin

The cote de boeuf with glazed onions

Turbot in English

The LAA jumped pullets Provençale

The quail stew of Madeira wine

Cutlets of chicken with truffles

Salad filet of pike oyster

The Round Veal Royale

Bread carp anchovy butter

Lamb chops glazed Toulouse

The vol-au-vent with German dumplings

Fins pullets mushroom

Pigeons in Mirepoix financial

FOR EXTRA TEN FLYING PLATE OF FRIED

5 From sole fillets

5 From filtets of grouse in German

EIGHT LARGE PARTS OF PASTRY

Brioche cheese

The croque-en-brouche pistachios

The nougat to Françasise

The biscuit àà Orange

The ruin of Antioch

L’hermitage Chinese

The Syrian hermitage

Ruin las Turkish mosque

FOUR DISHES ROTS

Bruyères cocks

Wild ducks

Wrapped chicken fat

The grouse

THIRTY-TWO CAKES

The truffles to ash

Jelly orange molded

Spinach gasoline

Cheese Brioche

A lobster gratin

Buns Duchess

The sckals butter

Pudding apples Muscat

The kazoos lemons

The Wild Ducks

Bites beaded gooseberry

Scrambled eggs with truffles

Nougat in French

Potatoes to the Dutch

Jelly reverse punch

Mushrooms Provencal

The turnips to the Charter

Bruyères cocks

The senile frozen apricots

Bavarian cheese

Mashed beans

The Hermitage Chinese

Small baskets with jams

Chickens Gras Bardés

The Genoese chilled coffee

The charlotte Amérucaube

Cauliflower with Parmesan

The Hermitage Syrian

Celery chard in Spanish

French cream with pineapple

Small apricot soufflé

Grouse

The pastry cakes chocolates

Oysters au gratin

The Croques-in-Mouth

Baby carrots with gasoline

Lemon jelly molded

The laities stuffed with Béchamel

Biscuits of starch in Orange

The truffles with Italian

FOR EXTRA~TEN flying disks

5 Of Small puffed potatoes

5 Small chocolate soufflés

Posted in British history, food, Great Britain, Living in the Regency, real life tales, Regency era | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Regency Era Lexicon – We Are Up to “H”

7433803_sRegency Era Lexicon – Time for the Letter “H”

Haberdasher – a man who dealt with small items for sewing, such as thread, needles, buttons, ribbons, etc.

Hack – a general-purpose riding horse; not used for hunting or military purposes

Hackney Coach – one for hire; the taxicabs of the early 1800s

Ha-Ha – a landscaping technique; a dug trench or sunken fence, not easily seen unless one was close to it

Hair Ring – a ring made from the hair of one’s sweetheart

Half Crown – an English coin worth two shillings and sixpence

Half Pay – a payment which kept military men on the active list; a step toward retirement

Handsome – a term used during the period to describe women, buildings, dresses, etc. (but not men)

Ha’Penny – a halfpenny

Hardtack – biscuits for sailors

Harrow – a frame with iron teeth which broke up the earth after the plowing was completed

Harvest – the cutting of the corn crop (Note: hay was “made” rather than cut)

Hatchment – a shield bearing the coat of arms of recently deceased person; was displayed on the front of the house and then in the church

Hedgerow – a row of hedge which served as a barrier to keep cattle/sheep from moving about too freely upon the land

Heir Apparent – the heir to property, regardless of any contingencies that might occur

Heir Presumptive – the heir who would inherit if certain contingencies did not occur

Hessian boots – long boots worn by German mercenaries who fought the colonists during the American War of Independence; were popular in the early part of the 1800s

High-Lows – a type of lace up boots

Hob – beside the grate; a place to put kettles to keep them warm

Honeymoon – the honeymoon actually meant the first time a couple had marital relations (not necessarily the journey celebrating their marriage); frequently, the bride’s sister or a close friend accompanied the couple

Honourable – a title used for all members of Parliament; also a “courtesy title,” one not accompanied by any legal rights (bestowed on viscounts and barons and the younger sons of earls)

Horse Guards – the cavalry who guarded the monarch; nicknamed the “Blues”; had barracks at Whitehall

Hostler (or Ostler) – tended to the horses of travelers at inns

Housekeeper – the top ranking female servant in a household

Housewife – a small case for carrying around items such as needles and thread to mend clothing (pronounced “huzzif”)

Hulks – old ships pressed into use in 1776 as “temporary” floating prisons; not abolished until 1858

Hundred – an ancient English unit of government, being the unit next down from a shire

Hunter – a horse bred specifically for fox hunts

Huntsman – the man at a hunt who kept the dogs under control and on the scent

Hussars – a cavalryman who wore a flamboyant uniform

Hyde Park – a 388-acre park in London’s West End; was the most fashionable park of the time

Posted in British history, language choices, Living in the Regency, Regency era | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“Fertile” Fortunes: The 19th Century’s Importation of Guano

Living in one of the Southern states in the U.S., the season when I do not “fight” the battle of bird droppings on my Buick Lacrosse does not exist. It is a fact of life that I pay for the sunshine and days of moderate temperatures. That being said, I found my recent research on Alexander von Humboldt and guano had me looking at the “gifts” from my fine feathered friends a bit differently.

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) in the Walsrode Bird Park, Germany.  uploaded to Wikipedia by Quarti CC BY-SA 3.0

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) in the Walsrode Bird Park, Germany.
uploaded to Wikipedia by Quarti CC BY-SA 3.0

What is “guano”? Guano is the excrement of sea birds (especially the Guanay cormorant, the Peruvian pelican, and the Peruvian booby) , cave-dwelling bats, pinnipeds, and birds, in general. The fertilizer created from these leavings is known for its high levels of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, all essential to plant growth. The guano trade rose in the 19th Century becoming a soil builder for land greatly depleted from over production.

Before Humoldt’s expeditions, the Andean indigenous population collected guano from the sea islands along the Peruvian coast. Spanish colonists documented the means to which the rulers of the Inca Empire went to restrict access to guano, even punishing offenders with death. [Cushman, Gregory T. (2013). Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press] The Incas reportedly divided the guano-bearing islands among the provinces within their kingdom and dictated when and where it could be harvested.

Europe learned of guano’s use as a fertilizer from Alexander von Humboldt, who brought samples back to Paris from his 1806 voyage. Humboldt investigated guano’s fertilizing properties at Callao in Peru and later wrote of the topic. He gave the samples to Pourcroy and Vanquelin of Paris, who published the results of their experiments in the “Annales de Chimie” (volume 56). The western scientific community began to replicate the experiments.

One must recall “the Year without Summer” (1816) left much of Europe, England, and the United States in a devastated state. What the Napoleonic Wars had not destroyed upon the face of Europe the volcanic ash of Tambora did. Also, the early use of a three-crop rotation in England had taken its toll on the soil.

The first practical application of guano came in 1824. The editor of American Farmer purchased two barrels of guano and gave samples of it to various people in the Baltimore area. Edward Lloyd, the ex-governor of Maryland, declared guano “the most powerful manure he had ever seen applied to corn.” (Archipelago Bat Guano)

Twenty barrels of guano were received in England in 1840. “But notwithstanding the astonishing results from its application to the soil, the fear that enormous crops realized under its stimulus exhaust the land of its productive elements, deterred the great body of farmers availing themselves of so valuable a fertilizer.” [Journal of the American Geographical and Statistical Society (1895)]. Yet, the initial fears proved fruitless, and from 1841-1857, the United Kingdom imported over two million tons of guano fertilizer.

During the guano boom years, large quantities of the bird droppings were removed from the Peruvian guano islands, the Caribbean, the Central Pacific atolls, and the islands off the coast of Namibia, Oman, Patagonia, and Baja California. Some deposits were 50 meters deep. In 1856, the United States passed the Guano Islands Act, which gave U. S. citizens exclusive rights to unclaimed island deposits. A Peruvian-Chilean alliance fought the a war against Spain from 1864-1866 over the guano deposits. Saltpeter replaced guano as a fertilizer of choice by 1870. [“Guano”] Current DNA testing has suggested that new potato varieties imported alongside Peruvian seabird guano in 1842 brought a virulent strain of potato blight that began the Irish Potato Famine. [Dwyer, Jim (10 June 2001). “June 3-9; The Root of a Famine.” The New York Times. p. 2.]

1884 Advertisement for Guano - Public Domain

1884 Advertisement for Guano – Public Domain

In his Presidential address of 1850, President Millard Fillmore said, “Guano has become so desirable an article to the agricultural interest of the United States that is the duty of the Government to employ all the means properly in its power for the purpose of causing that article to be imported into the country at a reasonable price. Nothing will be omitted on my part toward accomplishing this desirable end.” [Salon]

By 1900, chemical fertilizers had replaced guano, but not before fortunes were made. Peru exported 20 million tons of guano and made a profit of $2 billion. Corporate giants such as W. R. Grace & Company, a Maryland chemical conglomerate, grew from their association with guano importation.

The Peruvian government “transferred the contract for the extraction of the guano to Anthony Gibbs & Sons” in 1855. “The firm’s profits from the guano trade were between £80,000 and £100,000 a year in the 1850s and 1860s with William [Gibbs] receiving between 50% and 70% of this until 1864, when he began to withdraw his capital. [Mark Girouard (1979). The Victorian Country House. Yale University Press.] William became the richest non-noble man in England, and remembered in the Victorian music hall ditty: “William Gibbs made his dibs, Selling the turds of foreign birds.” [James Miller (25 May 2006). Fertile Fortune – The Story of Tyntesfield. National Trust.] William Gibbs used the fortunes they earned from guano importation to build Tyntesfield Estate (Wraxall, North Somerset) and St. Michael and All Angels Church (Exeter).

Popular Fiction References:

• In Joseph Conrad’s 1900 novel Lord Jim the characters Chester and Captain Robinson attempt to recruit the eponymous lead character for an expedition harvesting guano.
• The setting of Ian Fleming’s 1958 installation in the James Bond series Dr. No is on a Caribbean guano island, and the villain dies at the end buried in guano.
• In Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, Colonel “Bat” Guano leads an attack on the airbase responsible for sending a nuclear attack order to bomb the Soviet Union.
• The 1994 film Men of War centers on a band of mercenaries who are hired by an investment firm to seize a tropical island for its extensive guano deposits.
• In the 1995 film Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Jim Carrey’s character attempts to save an African tribe from being dispossessed of a fortune in bat guano. (“Guano”)

Meet Regina Jeffers:
A master teacher, for thirty-nine years, Regina passionately taught thousands of students English in the public schools of West Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina. Yet, “teacher” does not define her as a person. Ask any of her students or her family, and they will tell you Regina is passionate about so many things: her son, children in need, truth, responsibility, the value of a good education, words, music, dance, the theatre, pro football, classic movies, the BBC, track and field, books, books, and more books. Holding multiple degrees, Jeffers often serves as a Language Arts or Media Literacy consultant to surrounding school districts and has served on several state and national educational commissions.

Coming in 2015:
The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin: A Pride & Prejudice Mystery
Mr. Darcy’s Fault: A Pride & Prejudice Vagary
Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep
A Touch of Emerald: The Conclusion to the Realm Series

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Historical Fiction Author, Sheila Dalton, and Her New Release “Stolen”

I am pleased to welcome to my blog multi-talented author, Sheila Dalton. 

31pyz7kh5HL._UX250_Sheila Dalton was born in England, and now lives in Canada. She has published novels and poetry for adults, and picture books for children. 51srX0s0tOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Her YA mystery, Trial by Fire, from Napoleon Press, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award. Her literary mystery, The Girl in the Box, published by Dundurn, reached the semi-finals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, and was voted a Giller People’s Choice Top Ten. UnknownStolen is her first book of historical fiction.

 

Introduction to Stolen:

Lizbet Warren’s parents are captured by Barbary Corsairs off the coast of Devon, England. How can she discover what has happened to them? How will she even survive as a woman alone in 17th century England?

Lizbet sets off for London with the only other survivor of the raid, Elinor, a girl from The Home for Abandoned and Unwanted Children. Bonds form, but the young women are separated when Lizbet is arrested for vagrancy. Rescued by Jeanne Vallée, a French merchant and privateer, she helps him with his language skills, and with the extensive library he has no time to read, but must study in order to further his ambitions at the English court. Later, Lizbet sails with Captain “Gentleman Jake” Norris, a pirate and black slaver, who endeavors to learn, through her, what happened to his missing sister, as Lizbet endeavors to free her mother, with his help, from slavery in Morocco.

And Now for an Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Stolen

Oh, to be sure, I was aware that young men found me at least somewhat pleasing to the eye; I was not blind to their glances and smiles. Nor was I above a little flirtation. But Mother made it sound as though I could not walk a yard without attracting a horde of eager swains; worse, ones whose intentions were dishonorable.

Yet I was tempted by Newton Abbot. Torn between a love of village life, and a growing restlessness to discover more of the world, I knew I must soon arrive at a decision.

However, scarce did I know that less than three hours later, the decision would be made for me, in the cruelest manner imaginable.

When I returned to the village on foot, proudly shod in my new shoes, that pinched but a little despite the long trek, I stared ahead of me at Teignmouth, puzzled. I walked nearer, and was worried; closer yet, and my heart began to pound. People should be in view, and horses, carts, cattle. I saw nothing but a few cows running loose at the outskirts, back and forth and back again, as though lost, swinging their great heads aimlessly.

I called out. Only silence answered. The miller’s dog came hurtling towards me, barking as it ran. I reached down to pat it; it collapsed panting at my feet. When I stroked its head, it howled, got up and raced away from the village that had always been its home.

My breath now coming in sharp gasps that hurt, I broke into a run until I reached Teignmouth, where I stopped as suddenly as I had started, and stared ahead of me, transfixed. Doors swung on their hinges, broken chairs and barrels spilled across the lanes, an empty cradle rocked up and down on a mound of refuse, rustling the ghostly silence. A hatchet poked, blade up, out of a pile of hay.

A sudden gust of a wind, and a tin pot rattled down the street, coming to rest against my feet. I kicked it away, and sat down hard upon the ground. A lone sheep stood amidst the wreckage and stared at me out of a blank, black face. By its open mouth, I knew it bleated, but I heard nothing save a roar that came in equal measure from the sea behind me and the devastation of my heart.

What in God’s good name had happened? Where was everyone?

On the beach, I found them, strewn like broken dolls, each one a villager I had known, who had known me. It wasn’t until I recognized the back of little Thomas’s head, his long blond curls, his cheek resting on his arm as though sleeping, a rope of blood running from his head to his waist, that I screamed. He was only four years old. I’d taught him how to button his shirt just the morning previous.

My feet felt heavy as though my new shoes were cast in lead or stone. I forced myself amongst the bodies, crouching down beside those who bore even the remotest resemblance to my mother, or my father, who may have come back early from the sea. I turned some over with the toes of my new shoes. The heaviness, the staring eyes, the flesh like candle wax made me swallow bile and shudder. Twice, I sat down amongst the dead, and cried into my hands. Many I cared for lay lifeless on the sand. Many others were gone I knew not where.

As I stumbled away, a girl stepped from behind a pile of stones, her face as white as those of the corpses. It was Elinor from the Workhouse for Abandoned and Unwanted Children. I often called her, in my mind, the Red-Haired Fury, for her temper and wild ways. To see her, such a spirited little thing, so pale and subdued struck such fear in me, I very nearly ran from her.

She fell towards me. I had no choice but to fold her into my arms and let her cry, though I was in sore need of comfort myself. I begged her to tell me what had happened. At first she could not speak for tears.

“Two great ships come in,” she said at last, in a voice like dark brown ale, unusual in such a tiny girl, even one a deal older than she looked. The Red-Haired Fury was then about fifteen years of age, though if I had not known better, I might have guessed her to be twelve. For though the huge eyes in her small sharp face had a knowing look about them, I’d seen that look in beggar children, grown old before their time.

“Them ships was all bristly with oars.” She smeared the tears across her cheeks with both grubby hands at once. “Hordes of awful men spilled off ‘em and spread across the beach like … oh, oh, I dunno … summat you knew were going to swallow you up.” She held her hands to her ears. “It were awful. They was shouting and yelling, our folk screaming and running and everything were so awful, I didn’t know what to do.

“They …” she choked out, “cut folks down with these huge great swords. I ent never seen swords so big and wide. I ran for my life, tripped up behind them rocks and stayed where I fell. I saw ‘em chaining people up and dragging them onto their ship. Then they sailed away. Oh, dear God.”

“Who where they?” My mouth was dry; I had to run my tongue under my lips to free them from my teeth. “Where did they come from?” Where is my mother? I thought, in anguish. Had Elinor seen her killed? I dare not ask, for details of her treatment at the hands of these fierce villains would be more than I could bear.

“I ent never seen men like ‘em before.” She was twisting her hands in the apron of her homespun dress, and scrunching up her face like a raisin. “They had on robes like clergy almost, but their arms was bare. Dark-skinned they was, and ugly, their faces horrible and mean.” Her eyes grew wider. It was as if her words came at me from far away, I heard them but did not grasp them. “They wasn’t speaking English, I don’t what they was speaking. Whatever else about ‘em, there’s one thing sure—they had no hearts. The smithy …” She gulped and took a big breath. “… the smithy were screaming that his legs was broke. They tried to make him walk all the same. Till someone picked up a rock and bashed his head in. Oh, they was terrible!”

“Is there no one left at all?” I said.

“After the coast was clear of ‘em, I come out from the rocks, and looked round everywhere. I did not find a single soul. Them that got in the way was killed, and them that was wounded, once they got ‘em on the beach, they killed them, too.”

“Babies? Old folk?”

“They killed the old, and took the babies along with their mams.”

I fought the rising panic that would take away my reason if I did not push it down. “What about our fishermen?” Though they were not due till nightfall, oftentimes they sailed home early. “Had they come back?”

“No.” She shook her head so vigorously her hair flew out like rusty water from a pail. “The only boats I seen were those them heathens sailed.”

My heart near stopping in my chest, my head pounding so hard I could barely hear my own words, I whispered, “My mother, Elinor …?”

She threw herself into my arms once more, and curled like a fist against me. “They took her.” Her words were muffled in my bodice; still they rang clear as day over the noises in my head. “A monster of a fellow picked her up and threw her over his shoulder. He carried her out into the water to the ship. She was crying and calling on God. They did hit her once or twice to tame her, then carted her off like she were a sheep or a goat.”

Purchase Links:

Stolen is available on Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada and Amazon U.S. It is also available for Kobo, Nook, and iTunes. In addition, readers who subscribe to Scribd will find it there.
Stolen eBook: Sheila Dalton: Amazon.co.uk: Books

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A Birthday Salute to Alan Rickman

At the beginning of his career, Rickman played Tybalt in a 1978 TV movie of "Romeo and Juliet"

At the beginning of his career, Rickman played Tybalt in a 1978 TV movie of “Romeo and Juliet”

Tomorrow, February 21, is Alan Rickman’s birthday. He will be 68 years of age.

Bio (via imdb.com) Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He has English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan has an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old, his father died. He attended Latymer Upper School on a scholarship. He studied Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, where he met Rima Horton, who would later become his life partner. After three years at Chelsea College, Rickman did graduate studies at the Royal College of Art. He opened a successful graphics design business, Graphiti, with friends and ran it for several years before his love of theatre led him to seek an audition with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). At the relatively late age of 26, Rickman received a scholarship to RADA, which started a professional acting career that has lasted nearly 40 years, with no signs of stopping, a career which has spanned stage, screen and television and has lapped over into directing, as well.

Rickman first came to the attention of American audiences as “Vicomte de Valmont” in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” on Broadway in 1987. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the role. Denied the role in the film version of the show, Rickman instead made his first movie appearance opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988) as the villain, “Hans Gruber.” Rickman’s take on the urbane villain set the standard for screen villains for decades to come. Though often cited as being a master of playing villains, Rickman has actually played a wide variety of characters, such as the romantic cello-playing ghost “Jamie” in Anthony Minghella’s Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and the noble Colonel Brandon of Sense and Sensibility (1995). He’s treated audiences to his comedic abilities with films like Dogma (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), and roles like “Dr. Alfred Blalock” in Something the Lord Made (2004) and “Alex Hughes” in Snow Cake (2006), showcase his ability to play ordinary men in extraordinary situations. Rickman even conquered the daunting task of singing a part in a Stephen Sondheim musical as he took on the part of “Judge Turpin” in the movie adaptation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

In 2001, Rickman introduced himself to a whole new, and younger, generation of fans by taking on the role of “Severus Snape” in the movie versions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001). He has continued to play the role through the eighth and last movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).

In 1982, Rickman portrayed Obadiah Slope in "The Barchester Chronicles."

In 1982, Rickman portrayed Obadiah Slope in “The Barchester Chronicles.”

In 1990, Rickman played Elliott Marston in "Quigley Down Under."

In 1990, Rickman played Elliott Marston in “Quigley Down Under.”

(1994) Rickman starred in a biography of the eighteenth century Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, who used unorthodox healing practices based on his theory of "animal magnetism."

(1994) Rickman starred in a biography of the eighteenth century Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, who used unorthodox healing practices based on his theory of “animal magnetism.”

In 1991, Rickman took on the role of the vile Sheriff George of Nottingham in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."

In 1991, Rickman took on the role of the vile Sheriff George of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

Rickman took on the role of Colonel Brandon in 1995's "Sense and Sensibility."

Rickman took on the role of Colonel Brandon in 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

In 1996, he was Rasputin in the TV movie by the same name.

In 1996, he was Rasputin in the TV movie by the same name.

Rickman has been Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films.

Rickman has been Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films.

In 2008, he took on the role of Steven Spurrier in "Bottle Shock."

In 2008, he took on the role of Steven Spurrier in “Bottle Shock.”

In 2014, he took on the role of King Louis XIV in "A Little Chaos."

In 2014, he took on the role of King Louis XIV in “A Little Chaos.”

Do you have a favorite Alan Rickman film or tidbit to share? Add it to the comments below.

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A Regency Era Breakfast: Various Times to Eat

foodHow did those in Regency London begin their days? The answer is not so simple. The various social classes went about their days in their distinct ways. They rose and ate at different times depending on their class structure. There was also distinct differences between the social habits of those who lived in London proper, usually referred to as the City or Town, and those who lived in the surrounding villages/towns (i.e., Winchester in Hampshire) or those in the country. As different as were the architectural structures for these two adjoining cities, so were there differences in the residents daily lives.

Bankers, merchants, etc., considered nine of the clock as the “breakfast hour.” The whole family gathered about the table. The said “breakfast” did not fit what we now think of the morning meal. Instead, it consisted of bread and tea. Karl Moritz in his Travels in England (1782) described a typical breakfast: “The slices of bread and butter, which they give you with your tea, are as thin as poppy-leaves – But there is another kind of bread and butter usually eaten with tea, which is toasted by the fire, and is incomparably good. You take one slice after the other and hold it to the fire on a fork till the butter is melted, so that it penetrates a number of the slices all at one; this is called toast.”

M.Grosley wrote of his visit to England  in A Tour to London, published in 1772: “The Butter and Tea which the Londoners live upon from morning until three or four in the afternoon, occasions the chief consumption of bread, which is cut in slices, and so thin, that it does as much honour to the address of the person that cuts it, as to the sharpness of the knife.”

Robert Southey in Letters from England {using the pseudonym Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807)} described the breakfast table as holding a sporting a tea pot of silver of of fine porcelain, a smaller coffee vase.

The journeyman would take his breakfast at about eight of the clock. Normally, he would have been at work for 2-3 hours before breaking his fast. He, too, partook of bread and tea, which was available for sale at public houses. He could purchase it at the public house or the establishment would have it delivered to him.

The working man could also purchase a breakfast with tea from a street stall. Benjamin Franklin described his 1725 breakfast as one of “warm gruel, in which was a small slice of butter, with toasted bread and nutmeg.”

From Time and Work in England 1750-1830, by Hans-Joachim Voth, we discover, “Individuals would rise early, at around 6:00 in the morning. Within the next half-hour or so, people would start work. Breakfast would be taken later, at around 9:00 and afterwards. The morning’s work would finish with ‘dinner’–probably taken between 12:30 and 14:00. Work continued until late. For some, there was tea in the late afternoon, between 17:00 and 18:00. It would be common not to leave one’s work before 19:00. After the evening meal, people would go to bed at around 22:00.”

From The Regency Town House, we learn, “After breakfast with the children, the first job of the lady of the house would be to talk to the housekeeper. It would be important for them to communicate about the other servants, making sure they were doing their jobs properly and behaving correctly above and below stairs. They would also discuss the evening meal. If visitors were expected, the lady would choose meals that were lavish and unusual. (They loved showing off.) When these matters were dealt with the wife would then check through the household accounts. Bills for meat, candles and flour would usually be paid weekly. When the early morning activities were finished, the social whirl would begin! High society ladies would either receive calls or visit others. Tea would be drunk and snacks eaten.”

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Regency Era Lexicon – Next Up is the Letter “G”

0e7486eRegency Era Lexicon – We’re Up to “G”

Gaiters – knee-high leggings that buttoned on the side; a master would wear these over his clothing to protect them from mud, dirt, and rain

Gallery – a long narrow room in a country house where ancestral portraits were displayed

Galop – an energetic dance that later became part of the quadrille’s movements

Gaming – gambling

Gamekeeper – oversaw the protection and breeding of game on an estate

Gangway – the passageway about halfway down the House of Commons that connected the rear and the front benches

Garret – an attic

Garter – the Order of the Garters was the highest order of knighthood; members outranked baronets; generally bestowed only on peers

Gated – to be gated was to be confined to the grounds of a college; a punishment for undergraduate students at a university

Gazette – a nickname for the London Gazette; a publication that listed governmental appointments and bankruptcies (“to be gazetted” was to have received a government appointment) (“to be in gazette” was to have gone bankrupt)

Genteel Poverty – usually the state for widowed or single women; being able to associate with the gentry, but living in a second-class manner

General Post – mail going out from the Central London Post Office to the populated rural areas of England

Gentlemen – male members of the landed gentry, along with noblemen and those of lesser titles (knight or baronet)

Gentleman Farmer – a man who farmed a sizable amount of land but less than 300 acres; came below the gentry in social hierarchy

Gentleman’s Gentleman – a valet

Gentry – landowners below the nobility in the social hierarchy; owned at least 300 acres

Gibbet – a corpse hung in chains at a crossroads as a deterrent to passersby

Gig – a one-horse carriage; highly popular with young wealthy men; could carry two passengers; light weight two-wheeled carriage

Glazier – a man who installed window glass

Glebe – also known as “Church furlong” or “parson’s closes”; an area within a manor and parish used to support the parish priest; an area of land belonging to a benefice in both the Roman Catholic and the Anglican church; the property, along with the parsonage house and grounds, assigned to support the priest; granted by the lord of the manor in which the church was situated; the holder of the benefice could retain the glebe for his own use (usually agricultural endeavors) or he could lease it to others and retain the rents as his own income

George III – (4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) King of Great Britain and King of Ireland beginning on 25 October 1760; later made King of Hanover on 12 October 1814; during his reign, Great Britain defeated the French in the Seven Years’ War; became the dominant European power in both North America and India; lost the American War of Independence to the colonists; and defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815

George IV – (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also King of Hanover after his father’s death; from 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father’s mental illness

Georgian England – a period of British history, which takes its name from, and is normally defined as spanning the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain: George I, George II, George III, and George IV; covers the period from 1714 to 1830 (with the sub-period of the Regency from 1811 to 1820, when George IV served as the Prince Regent); occasionally, the short reign of William IV (1830-1837) is included in the period; the term “Georgian” is used chiefly in referring to social history and architecture

Gordon Riots – on 2 June 1780, 50,000 rioters marched on Parliament in opposition to the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1778; the act removed some of the more extreme discriminatory measures officially taken against the Catholics, especially requiring military recruits to swear an oath of allegiance to the Church of England

Gorm – lower-class slang for “goddamn”

Gout – a hereditary disease, which is aggravated by the consumption of too much protein; results in swollen joints

Grand Tour – when a young made graduated from the university or finished his formal education, he often went on a Grand Tour: a journey across Western Europe, which included Italy and France; an opportunity to learn modern languages (French, German, Italian, etc.); associated with wealthy and titled families on the Continent; toured famous cities and sites; attended numerous parties where he learned something of exotic foods and foreign customs; lasted between 2-4 years

Grange – an isolated farmhouse owned by a member of the gentry

Greatcoat – a large overcoat worn outdoors; had several short collars known as capes about the shoulders

Greengrocer – a man who sells fruit and vegetables

Gretna Green – a village in the south of Scotland on the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh; a popular spot for those ignoring English laws of marriage and eloping; “being married over the anvil”

Groat – nickname for a fourpence

Groom – the servant who tended the horses

Grosvenor Square – a fashionable square in London; a part of Mayfair

Gruel – a food staple of the peasant class; made from some sort of cereal (oat, wheat, rye, rice, millet, hemp, barley, chestnut flour, or in the case of the English, corn) boiled in water or milk; often given to invalids and recently-weaned children; used in institutions and workhouses because it was a “hearty” sustenance and cheap to make

Guinea – a coin worth 21 shillings; last issued in 1813

Posted in British history, language choices, Living in the Regency, Regency era | Tagged , , | 3 Comments