Inside a Victorian Bathing Machine

Women bathing in the sea near their bathing machines. Wood engraving by J. Leech.
(Wellcome Images)

During the Victorian era, ladies visiting the public beach couldn’t simply wade out into the water and enjoy an invigorating swim. To protect their modesty, most ladies on a seaside holiday utilized a bathing machine. Though the name puts one in mind of a mechanized device, a bathing machine was really nothing more than a wooden dressing room set up on two wheels. The interior was usually equipped with both an entry and an exit door, and generally featured benches on either side, and hooks on the walls.[…]Continue Reading

Strawberry Water, Lemon Cream, & Grape Lotion: A Victorian Sun Care Primer

Portrait of a Lady with Hat by Anton Einsle (1801-1871), n.d.

Victorian women didn’t have our knowledge of ultraviolet rays and SPF, but like us, they had a healthy respect for the damage that too much sun could wreak on their complexions. A fair, unblemished countenance was one of the hallmarks of a lady. It helped to distinguish her from the lower classes. To signal that she wasn’t obliged to engage in any outdoor labor.[…]Continue Reading

The Work of Art Cover Reveal

Today, I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my new historical romance novel, The Work of Art! This is one of my favorite book covers so far. It features a lovely lady (who looks very much like the heroine of my story), garbed in a Regency era dress and spencer, set against the backdrop of the English countryside. […]Continue Reading

A Modest Independence is a USA Today bestseller!

The Reader by Charles Baugniet, n.d.
Dear Readers,

My new Victorian romance novel A Modest Independence is a USA Today Bestseller! I’m so excited to have made the list again and so very grateful to all of you for your continued support. […]Continue Reading

Have Carpet Bag – Will Travel

Going into the World by Evert Jan Boks (1838-1914), 1882.

Victorian ladies have a reputation for tight-laced respectability, but not all women of the era were content with home and hearth. Some ladies traveled the world, living their lives in far off lands like Egypt or India. Getting to such places was an adventure in itself. For example, a journey from London to Darjeeling in 1860 often took as long as a month and required passage on a combination of railways, steamships, dak carts, and bullock trains.[…]Continue Reading

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