The map of a woman's heart

By | February 12th, 2021|Categories: Victorian Era|Tags: |

I somewhat randomly came across the curious Victorian trend of maps of human conditions and experiences, including marriage and being a woman. The Open Country of a Woman’s Heart is of particular interest to me. I thought it would be a wonderful post in the lead up to Valentine’s Day and research soon followed.  The [...]

Vinegar valentines – a look at Victorian cruelty

By | February 12th, 2021|Categories: Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: |

It has been such a fun year of writing for Recollections! About this time one year ago I did a lovely series on the delightful documentary A Very British Romance featuring one of my favorite historians, the fabulous Lucy Worsley. One of the things that I learned whilst watching the documentary is that at the [...]

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 [...]

How crazy was the bicycle craze?

By | January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

Many of our readers will be familiar with “the bicycle craze” of the late 1800s and the idea that the bicycle revolutionized the freedom women enjoyed from day to day and catapulted the Dress Reform Movement into the mainstream. This month I have had the privilege to work on an event for the Molly Brown [...]

Victorian gloves: etiquette for use

By | January 10th, 2021|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Gloves, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , , , |

Tis the season for chapped hands! As a Denver transplant from Arizona, wearing gloves regularly has been a hard habit for me to make and I often find myself regretting not putting more effort into covering my hands when I go out. And truth be told, I enjoy wearing gloves. But I’m glad it is [...]

A short history of the hand muff, one of history's cutest accessories

By | December 15th, 2020|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

Last year I wrote about the various ways that women and families stayed warm during the cold months in Victorian times. I mentioned the little-known use of hot ceramic bottles sometimes placed in a hand muff and said that I’d love to come back to write more about this particular fashion accessory. Well, hand muffs [...]

A Victorian Christmas party

By | November 27th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , |

The Victorians knew how to celebrate Christmas! During the reign of Queen Victoria, the holiday grew more popular with each passing year, becoming a national holiday in America in 1870. A good majority of the traditions we enjoy today were either started or popularized during the late 1800s and early 1900s, though in some ways [...]

Victorian cocktails: The Golden Age of mixology

By | November 26th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: , , , , |

The holidays are here, and boy, don’t we all need it? It’s been a year of struggles for all of us, and I can tell how much people are looking forward to being with their families and to enjoying some comforts as we wait for the fresh start of the new year. And some of [...]

Victorian Greeting Cards for Autumn Holidays

By | October 31st, 2020|Categories: Holidays, Victorian Era|Tags: , , , |

I love looking at Victorian greeting cards. The style is so charming and there are a lot of things I find quite humorous about how they celebrated holidays back then and what the cards teach us about their attitudes and culture. For instance, I love that there is so often a romantic angle in many [...]