Mind your manners! Victorian table etiquette

By | January 23rd, 2022|Categories: Downton Abbey, Victorian Era|

It might just be me, but I absolutely love Downton Abby scenes where dining etiquette is discussed. From the downstairs staff being trained to how things played out upstairs, I find the details so intriguing; especially considering how much things have changed since. Victorian table etiquette carried over into the first decades of the 20th [...]

Pannier, robe à la française, and robe à la anglais: what's what

By | January 18th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Polonaise, Underpinnings, Women's History|

The classic French pannier dresses of the 18th century have been a long-time interest of mine but something that I have never delved into studying. Recently I purchased a set of antique brass bells online and when they arrived I was pleased that one of the bells is shaped like a woman wearing what I [...]

Bloomers: the national controversy of the 1890s

By | January 13th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

This weekend I have been hard at work preparing a presentation for Historic New England titled: The Dress Reform Movement: Who, What, When, Where, and HOW. One of the points I love making in my presentations is that the radical nature of the bloomers and the public outcry that they caused when they momentarily returned to [...]

My Holiday at Tombstone Monument Ranch

By | January 6th, 2022|Categories: Destinations, Holidays, Old West|

I wanted to do something out of the ordinary this past holiday season. As someone who lives alone, I have found that certain holidays are easier than others and that Christmas tends to be a time that I prefer to do something away from home. Last year I made a promise that I would travel [...]

Victorian and Edwardian New Year's resolutions advice

By | December 30th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: |

I love the fresh start of a new year! I think that even if it is just symbolic, the rare opportunities that we have in life to start a new chapter can be great chances to reevaluate our lives and make changes that ensure we are making the most of our time on this planet. [...]

Victorian New Year's Blessings: Pigs and Clovers

By | December 26th, 2021|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , |

When it comes to the holidays, some things change and some things stay very much the same. One thing that has changed since the Victorian era is that fewer cards are now sent for the holidays. While we now typically see mass amounts of cards being sent for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and to a lesser [...]

Snapdragon: Extreme Victorian Parlour Game

By | December 22nd, 2021|Categories: Christmas, Entertainment, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

How do you spend time with family and loved ones over the Christmas holiday? Are there games or traditions that you enjoy? Do any of them involve trying not to catch on fire? In the Victorian era, that is exactly what one could anticipate with the playing of a popular Christmas eve parlour game, snapdragon.  [...]

Holiday Conversation-Starters Roundup

By | December 22nd, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Entertainment, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|

I have loved blogging for Recollections for the past two years! One of the things that has been so special is that I have had the chance to do a lot of research into holiday traditions of the past. This has added a lot of depth to my holidays and I noticed at Thanksgiving dinner [...]

The history of mistletoe: from naughty Georgians to a Victorian courting custom

By | December 19th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

Do you hang mistletoe in your home over the holiday season? Do you know that of all the holiday traditions that have both ancient and pagan roots that this is one is among the oldest? Or that it was ever-so-saucy Victorians that turned it into the kissing ritual as we know it today? The history [...]