19th century spicy trinkets: Nutmeg graters

By | September 25th, 2022|Categories: Regency Era, Victorian Era|Tags: , |

About a month ago I covered the cute history of the tie-on pocket. Part of my research involved reading articles documenting the various items that 18th and 19th-century women would carry with them day-to-day. Items of a predictable nature included keys, money, and gloves. Not-so-predictable items on my list were pincushions and nutmeg graters. "Why [...]

Preserving Victorian architecture: San Francisco's Painted Ladies

By | July 24th, 2022|Categories: Victorian Era|Tags: , |

Late Victorian architecture is the stuff that fairy tales are adorned with. It was a time of expanding wealth for the “common man” and homes reflect the desire that so many had to embrace and display their abundance. Exteriors were adorned from top to bottom with as many embellishments as possible. The famous “painted ladies” [...]

Have fun, but not too much fun: Victorian ball etiquette

By | June 16th, 2022|Categories: Entertainment, Victorian Era, Victorian Era Celebrations|Tags: |

Last week I wrote about the majesty of Victorian ball gowns and how there are few things I would rather look at. I can only imagine the splendor of an actual Victorian ball and a room full of more than a hundred people dressed in their 19th-century finest. Balls were more than just an opportunity [...]

The rise and fall of puffy sleeves

By | April 10th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , |

The Victorian era saw many extreme fashions that came and went relatively quickly. I have covered my favorites for Recollections, including the rise and fall of the bustle, which took place in the 1880s. I have tended to focus on extreme styles that emphasized the various trending silhouettes over the years, but there were also [...]

Victorian traveling dress: guidelines for a proper lady

By | March 3rd, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

The travel bug has bitten me once again! I have been a world traveler my entire adult life and found it challenging to stay put the last two years, though I did gain a lot from doing so. My first trip since the beginning of the pandemic was my glorious Christmas holiday to Tombstone Monument [...]

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.  [...]

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 [...]

Polly Pry: daring journalist of the Wild West

By | September 26th, 2021|Categories: Old West, Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , , , |

Polly Pry is a bit of a legend in Colorado. That is because she is directly tied to the notoriety of the most famous people from the state’s history. How so? She is responsible for much of their fame due to being the reporter who put them in the papers. When I first began my [...]

5 women that make great Victorian Halloween costumes

By | September 19th, 2021|Categories: Halloween, Holidays, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

A memorable Halloween starts with a memorable costume. Why not make it one to remember by dressing as a woman from history who deserves to be remembered? Victorian Halloween costumes are always a part favorite because they are striking and great conversation starters. But who to choose? A lot of women from the Victorian era [...]