Shellie O'Neal: bringing Fanny Crosby to the stage

By | July 14th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Customer's Fashions, Entertainment, Recollections, Women's History|

Recently one of our customers reached out to us to purchase a new blouse to refresh a costume she uses in her most interesting of one-woman shows. She got her blouse and sent lovely compliments our way as well. When we learned that she was a long-time performer portraying 19th-century writer and missionary Fanny Crosby, [...]

The Victorian home workout

By | June 19th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , |

Home workouts had a surge in popularity last year as so many people struggled to deal with staying in place, gyms being closed, having extra time on their hands, and setting goals to help with the monotony. I myself enjoyed many YouTube videos, a lot of yoga, a lot of extra walks, and some new [...]

Godey's Lady's Book: what you didn't know

By | January 27th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

I have always loved the stunning fashion plates from Godey's Lady's Book. I often go looking for them when researching different fashions from the past as they were considered to be the standard and the highest authority of fashion in print at the time. It was when I met with Nancy Jean Gray to discuss [...]

19th-century female writers who should always be remembered

By | September 20th, 2020|Categories: 19th Century Literature|Tags: |

Women have always been literary. We have always loved to express ourselves with words and writing. Some of the earliest known writings are believed to be written by women. Scholars widely consider Ann Bradstreet to be America’s first poet. One of my favorite poems, The Thunder, Perfect Mind, was written by a woman and dates [...]

The Many Adaptations of Jane Austen's Emma

By | March 13th, 2020|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Regency Era, Women's History|Tags: , , , , , , |

Jane Austen wrote stories and poems to amuse herself and her family from a young age and eventually compiled 29 of them into three bound notebooks. These volumes provide a little glimpse into the author she would become. The “stories are full of anarchic fantasies of female power, licence, illicit behaviour, and general high spirits,” [...]

Dickens Fairs

By | November 18th, 2019|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Entertainment, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

If it’s November, it’s time for Dickens fairs! These mid-Victorian London-inspired events pay homage to 19th century author Charles Dickens and the wonderful characters he created. The fairs are popular throughout England and the USA. Each one has its own signature, but all embody the spirit of the time. Here are a few Dickens Fairs [...]

Who is Mrs. Claus? Inquiring minds want to know!

By | November 2nd, 2019|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Holidays, Recollections, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , |

The legend continues You’re probably familiar with the story of Santa Claus and how his presence and presents have changed over the years. The origins of his wife, on the other hand, are less known. Here’s what we know. As early as the 16th century, ‘Yule and his wife’ would join local public officials in [...]

Fezziwig Balls

By | December 9th, 2018|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Christmas, Holidays, Recollections, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , , |

The start of December brings the season of Fezziwig Balls, like the one The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers hosts each year. The night is filled with 19th century carols, refreshments, and dancing as guests step back in time. Fezziwig Balls are named after Mr. Fezziwig, the employer of A Christmas Carol’s Ebenezer Scrooge when he was [...]

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein at 200

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Regency Era|Tags: , , , , |

Two-hundred years ago, in 1818, Mary Shelley first published Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley was the daughter of the feminist author, Mary Wollstonecraft, and the philosopher, William Godwin.   At fifteen, she fell in love with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was married and had two children at the time. [...]