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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Georgian Lectures

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I'm having an Autumn feast of all things Georgian. A couple of weeks ago I went to a lecture at the Bury St Edmunds Records Office about the Cullum Library that they store. Today it was the turn of a batch of letters sent from Thomas and Susan Macro (Thomas was a prominent apothecary in the town) to their daughter and son-in-law Mary and John Wilson between 1713 and 1718.

As all writers know, there is a huge amount of social history to be found in letters. Mild complaints that letters had been left at the delivery office for too long, worries about lyings-in, sensible advice on settling into a new home, anecdotes of neighbours - all these things add up to a background in which to set our own writing.

And as a bonus - Dr Pat Murrell had baked us wigs to go with our tea. These are spiced buns with a scattering of sugar-coated caraway seeds. (The idea was to cleanse the palate and perhaps sweeten the breath!) Strangely enough, one cannot buy sugar-coated caraway seeds these days but Pat had discovered Indian shops sell a very acceptable substitute in sugar-coated fennel seeds.

They were extremely tasty - and when we were told they were even better hot out of the oven I asked if I could take a second one home with me to try it warm. This is it just before I ate it. Delicious!
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10 comments:

Ladybird World Mother said...

Not sure how I got here!! Loved your post of He's Not To Blame... studied other plays of that era at Uni, and loved them. This one is such a familiar name... will have to read it, and try and see it somewhere...
Will be back!

Debs said...

The lecture sounds so interesting. I love reading old letters, they're so full of interesting everyday snippets.

That bun looks tasty too.

Jan Jones said...

I'm never sure how I get anywhere, LWM! Nice to see you here . He's Much To Blame was one of Holcroft's most successful plays, which is maybe why you remember the name.

Hi Debs - the bun was gorgeous (still don't know why it was called a wig). Oh, and the lecture was good too.

Dumdad said...

I'm another wanderer who's turned up serendiptiously. I had a look round (nice blog) and actually nicked your My Life According To meme. I NEVER do memes but never say never! Exception proves the wotsit.

Cat Marsters/Kate Johnson said...

Ooh that bun does look tasty, and I'm glad you posted a picture, because otherwise I'd have had the image of a pile of sugar-frosted hair on a plate!

Jan Jones said...

Hello there, Dumdad!

Thanks for the nice words about the blog - and I never do memes either but My Life According To... was really fun. Almost like doing a word puzzle or a jigsaw. Let me know if you publish yours. Part of the enjoyment is seeing what clever tracks other people come up with as answers.

Jan Jones said...

Lol, K8! I made the mistake of looking up the derivation of 'wig' (or even 'wigg' - they weren't fussy) on Google and then spent the evening drooling over Regency food sites instead of working.

Dumdad said...

Jan,

My humble offering is now posted on my blog.

Kate Hardy said...

Enquiring minds would LOVE to know two things: a) how they got their name, and b) are they even nicer warm? (I would guess yes, thinking of toasted tea cakes. Preferably with proper butter....)

Jan Jones said...

I did have proper butter with my warmed wig, Kate, and yes it was indeed even nicer.

And you can go and get lost on the Internet for hours if you want to find the derivation. Been there, done that, barely got out alive :)