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Walking Dress, August 1814

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, August 1814. “Walking Dress.” I always enjoy seeing a dress from the back, as it often gives us a better view of its construction. The term petticoat at this time typically referred to the skirt of a dress, and not an undergarment. So this dress is made of the purple petticoat/skirt attached to the white bodice (body), with the long purple sash worn over the shoulders as “braces” or suspenders. It would certainly be interested to also see the front of  this dress. Hems for walking dresses are worn shorter in this year, giving us a good view of the shoes (called sandals here, which simply means they were laced up over the ankle) and the...

Perfume Bottle with Spyglass

This bright cut glass bottle is coil-shaped with a miniature gilt brass retractable monocular spyglass fitted into the...

Julia Quinn Presents Bridgerton Couture

Welcome to the Bridgerton couture collection. With the help of Candice Hern, Regency author and expert extraordinaire, I've selected dresses from her collection of Regency fashion plates that I think my heroines might have liked....

What is the Regency?

The English Regency, in its most literal interpretation, encompasses the years 1811 to 1820. It was the time during which the Prince of Wales (who later ruled as George IV) served as Regent while his father George III was so mentally unbalanced as to be unable to serve as monarch. In its broader interpretation — when used to describe periods of art, literature, fashion, design, and architecture — the Regency can encompass years as early as 1790 and as late as 1830.

The First Quadrille at Almack's

The Regency as a setting for romance is appealing in great part due to the rich dichotomy of society vs. history, the real world vs. the oblivious aristocratic fantasy world. It is that small, glittering, elegant world seemingly insulated from the horrors of the Napoleonic Wars, the beginnings of political, social, and agricultural reform, and the onset of the industrial revolution that provides a very real and complex backdrop for Candice’s novels. While the war ravaged the Continent and affected most English families through the loss of sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles, and while the Luddites rioted against industrialization, Society persevered in its elegant finery at balls and routs and parties of all kinds.

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