Mourning Practices During the Time of Jane Austen

Candice will explain the guidelines for full mourning and half mourning during the Regency period, in terms of dress and behavior; conventions for curtailing social activities for widows and other family members; rules for court mourning; the differences between private and public mourning, and private and public funerals. Jane Austen’s death and funeral (only 4 people attended) will be used as an example of private mourning. Candice will demonstrate how ladies’ magazines of the period covered the deaths of members of the royal family, including providing fashion prints of mourning wear. Public proclamations of court mourning (for the death of a member of the royal family) dictate what fabrics and colors were allowed to be worn for each stage of mourning. Only for the women, of course. Men were much less restricted in their wardrobe. Jane Austen’s letters as well as the famous scrap book of Barbara Johnson will be used to demonstrate how middle class women adapted their wardrobes for mourning. Styles of Regency period mourning jewelry will also discussed.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation will include images of important funerals (eg Princess Charlotte and Lord Nelson), announcements of court mourning, mourning fashions, and mourning jewelry. Examples of Regency mourning jewelry from Candice’s collections will be available for attendees to view.