Candice Hern – bestselling author, Regency fashion scholar, speaker, and collector – has several presentations available for writers’ groups, general interest groups, libraries, and Jane Austen organizations. She would be pleased to speak at your next group meeting, conference, or library event. Candice also allows certain items from her collections to be displayed at libraries or museums, upon request. Contact Candice for her availability, or for topics not listed below.

Presentations     On Exhibit    

Presentations

Regency Fashion

Using fashion prints from her collection, Candice will provide an overview of the types of clothing worn during the time of Jane Austen. Candice will explore fashions for various occasions or activities, including day wear, evening wear, and specialty fashions such as court dress, riding habit, and mourning dress. Terms used the period — such as undress, half dress and full dress — will be explained and illustrated with prints. Popular types of outerwear will also be showcased, including pelisses, spencers, mantles, and shawls. The general evolution of style will also be discussed, including changing waistlines, hemlines, and trimmings.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation uses lots and lots of beautiful images. She will also bring along binders filled with original fashion prints from all the popular Regency-period magazines, so attendees can see the actual prints shown in the Powerpoint presentation.

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Regency Fashion Accessories

Using detailed images from her collection of fashion prints, Candice will provide an overview of fashion accessories used during the time of Jane Austen. A thorough examination of bonnets will describe the different types, and will trace their rather dramatic evolution during the period. Other accessories discussed will include shoes, shawls, gloves, parasols, muffs, reticules, and jewelry.

Candice will supplement the presentation with items from her Regency collections to share with attendees, including shawls, purses, and fans.

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Ladies’ Magazines of the Regency Period

In this presentation, Candice will explore what a woman of the Regency, like Jane Austen, would have read to keep abreast of social and political news, fashion, literature, and theatre. The most popular magazines of the day — including the Lady’s Magazine, Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, La Belle Assemblée, the Lady’s Monthly Museum, the Gallery of Fashion, and Le Beau Monde — will be discussed in terms of packaging, circulation numbers, content (including prints), editorial direction, and more.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation includes lots of images of covers, titles pages, tables of contents, advertisements, fashion plates and other prints, and more. Copies of many of the magazines, both bound volumes and individual monthly issues in their original covers (such as the one shown here from La Belle Assemblée of July 1817) will be on hand for attendees to examine.

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Shades, Shadows, and Profiles: Silhouettes During the Time of Jane Austen

Candice will provide a short history of silhouettes, known as shades in Jane Austen’s time, and their various techniques (scissor cut, hollow-cut, painted). Some of the most famous professional “profile miniature” artists will be singled out, as well as a few famous amateurs, including the King’s daughter. The various Austen family silhouettes will be discussed, including two purported to be of Jane herself.

Augmenting her Powerpoint presentation, Candice will bring many examples of silhouettes from her own collection to provide a closer look at some of these miniature treasures. On display will be both silhouettes framed as pictures and mounted as pieces of jewelry. Magnifying glasses will be available for attendees to more closely examine the exquisite details of the smaller pieces. Many of Candice’s silhouettes, including the locket  shown here, were painted by the same artist who painted the famous silhouette of Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra.

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Valentines of the Regency Period

In this presentation, Candice will give a brief history of the valentine card, focusing primarily on the valentines of the Regency period, including puzzle purses, elaborate cut-paper valentines, elegantly painted love letters, printed designs with beautiful cameo-embossed borders, cobweb valentines, delicate paper lace, the earliest printed valentines, and more. One of the historical figures featured in the presentation is Elizabeth Cobbold, famous for her extraordinary hand-made valentines given out at her annual Valentine’s Day party. Briefly going beyond the Regency period into the Victorian period, Candice will show how various English traditions made their way into American valentines of the 19th century. The “mother of the American valentine,” Esther Howland, who decided she could make better valentines than the English ones her stationer father imported, will be briefly discussed.

Candice doesn’t collect Regency valentines, but she does collect 19th century American valentines, and she will bring lots of examples, including many by Esther Howland, to display for attendees to view.

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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.

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Love and Death: Sentimental Jewelry in the Time of Jane Austen

The grand parures of precious gems worn by royalty and other aristocrats of the Georgian and Regency eras are what we see in paintings and in museums. But the ordinary people, who could never afford such pieces, favored a more sentimental type of jewelry, which was accessible and less expensive. The sentiment of such jewelry fell into two categories: the sentiment of love and the sentiment of death. In this presentation, Candice will explore both types, including symbols and iconography of mourning and of romance, all of which would have been well understood by people of the time. The use of hair in both types of jewelry will also be discussed.

Candice’s Powerpoint presentation will include lots of detailed images of mourning jewelry and love tokens from museums, including a mourning brooch with a lock of Jane Austen’s hair from the Jane Austen’s House Museum, as well as many examples from her own collection, including lover’s eyes, such as the one shown here. Items from her collection will be on display for attendees to examine.

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My Lady’s Boudoir

This is primarily a show-and-tell presentation featuring many of the objects from Candice’s Collections, appropriate for readers, writers, and historians interested in the Regency period. Concentrating on items found on a lady’s dressing table as well as various fashion accessories, the presentation includes scent bottles (such as the Derby porcelain scent bottle shown here), vinaigrettes, cosmetic cases, jewelry, fans, purses, quizzing glasses, and shoe buckles. Candice will explain the historical context of each group of items and describe how they were used. A PowerPoint presentation provides detailed images of the items as well as paintings and fashion prints that show similar items in use.

The items will be on display for all attendees to examine closely.

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On Exhibit

Sumner Library Exhibit

In the summer of 2017, items from Candice’s collections were on exhibit at the Sumner Library in Minneapolis, as part of a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. The exhibit included fashion prints of mourning clothes, a muslin fichu, fans, purses, scent bottles, and vinaigrettes — all from the period of Jane Austen.

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