Wednesday 12 October 2011

RNA Regency Day

To St James, on Saturday, to the Regency Celebration at the Royal Over-Seas League run by the Romantic Novelists' Association. It being cool, I wore my sturdy cotton day dress with a useful shawl about my shoulders.

I was conducted to a vastly elegant salon, with a prodigious table of books for sale presided over by two very persuasive gentlemen.

I confess the soldiery quite turned my head,

which must account for the very breathless state I found myself in after a somewhat lively cotillion.

Fortunately, there was an opportunity to sit down with some of my bosom bows and listen to an eminently sensible discussion on my favourite author, Miss Austen.

(I admit to a covetous sensation on viewing Mrs Cohen's gown. Quite glorious, is it not? No wonder she took such pride in wearing it.)

Later, there were chances to try on bonnets and gowns,

a demonstration of scents, and the prospect of a guided stroll around the area or a hand or two of cards over tea.

Discretion forbids me to reveal the subject matter of my own panel, touching as it did on matters commonly taking place beyond the bedroom door.

The high point, though, was my purchase of a new biography of that splendid novelist, Georgette Heyer, and listening to her chronicler Dr Jennifer Kloester.

A very fine day indeed.

Wednesday 5 October 2011


This Saturday, I shall be at the Romantic Novelists' Association Regency Celebration Day where I have been persuaded by my friend Christina Courtenay to be on a panel discussing sex and the Georgians and volunteered by my friend Louise Allen to help out with a Regency walk around St James. In costume.

Now, I have quotes for the panel, so that's okay. I have a map and notes for the walk, so that's okay.

I have a faux Regency dress, a pretend spencer, and shawl to wear.

But what do I do with my hair? I'm really tempted by Miss Harriet and Miss Elizabeth Binney (John Smart 1806)...

No, you're right. It'll be a scrunchy, a thousand hairpins and a lace hanky to cover the lot up.