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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

No news is good news? And the power of love.

A delightful snippet from Bell's Weekly Messenger for 1814 reads-
"Yesterday produced no arrival from foreign parts. Rumours are current as usual, but without any circumstance of fact, or probability, to render them worthy of notice."

"Dearest, dearest of earthly beings...object of my devoutest devotions- the English language is too weak to express my love for you- sleeping or waking you alone engross my thoughts. I have been in love before- at least I fancied so; but I never felt the all conquering power till now."
From Sir Harry Mildmay's letters to Lady Roseberry, Bell's Weekly Messenger 1814

Oh to be the recipient of so romantic a declaration!


Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Perfect Regency Woman

"One of the chief beauties in a female character, is that modest reserve, that retiring delicacy, which avoids the public eye, and is disconcerted even at the gaze of admiration.
When a girl ceases to blush she has lost the most powerful charm of beauty. That extreme sensibility which it indicates may be considered as a weakness and incumbrance to the other sex, but in females is peculiarly engaging. Pedants, who think themselves philosophers, ask why a woman should blush when she is conscious of no crime? It is a sufficient answer, that nature has made them to blush when they are guilty of no fault, and has forced men to love them because they do so."

Self-help books are nothing new. They abounded in the early Nineteenth Century, all eagerly aimed at improving minds, both male and female. One such was "The Female Instructor", an extremely useful book of the early Regency with subtitles occupying the entire front page as follows:-
or,
Young Woman's Companion:
BEING
A GUIDE TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS WHICH ADORN THE FEMALE CHARACTER
EITHER AS
A USEFUL MEMBER OF SOCIETY-A PLEASING AND INSTRUCTIVE COMPANION,
OR, A
RESPECTABLE MOTHER OF A FAMILY.
WITH MANY
Pleasing examples of illustrious females,
TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
USEFUL MEDICINAL RECEIPTS,
AND A CONCISE
SYSTEM OF COOKERY
WITH OTHER VALUABLE INFORMATION IN THE DIFFERENT
BRANCHES OF DOMESTIC ECONOMY

I plan to share more of this wisdom in future.

Latest news

Welcome to one of the blogs of Elizabeth Keysian, author of historical romances. I  reached the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award with my first medieval romance, "My Lady's Favour" in 2013. My prize was a review by Publisher's Weekly, which reads as follows-

"Although betrothed to Gilbert de Waltham when Elena of Bucknell falls into the arms of Richard of St Aubyn, she loses her heart to him. Richard, rumored to be the unluckiest knight in Christendom, is also the handsome nephew of her guardian Baron Humphrey. The story of two suitors vying for one lady’s favor takes place amid a rich back drop of 14th-century England in the time of Edward III leading up to the Hundred Years War. Castle life, with its jealousy, jousts, French invasions, and a knight’s quest for nobility, along with dozens of historically interesting details, combine to recreate a time when religion was not always more powerful than folk magic and marriage for love was a new, untrustworthy ideal. The time period is brought to life, but the level of sensuality in this romance is mild."