The Victorian Easter Bunny

“In Germany the children believe that the Easter hare places eggs and other presents in the baskets they leave outside the nursery on the eve of Easter.”  The Cornishman, 1892.

Easter Card circa 1908.(Image via New York Public Library)
Easter Card circa 1908.
(Image via New York Public Library)

Though the origin of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies can be traced back to ancient times, the Victorians did not begin to celebrate Easter in the way that we know now until the late 19th century.  It was then that Easter bunnies became fashionable.  Before the 1880s, however, it was in Germany—not in England or the United States—that children believed in the “Easter hare.”  As American author Linda Beard states in her 1893 book How to Amuse Yourself and Others:

“In Germany, too, we should find that children believe as sincerely in the Easter hare as they do in Santa Claus in our country; and the saying, that ‘the hares lay the Easter eggs,’ is never doubted by the little ones.”

[…]Continue Reading

From Chancery Court to Mansfield Park: A One Year Anniversary Digest

Young Lady in a Boat by James Tissot, 1870.
Young Lady in a Boat by James Tissot, 1870.

Last March, a questionnaire from my literary agent about my social media presence prompted me to finally join Facebook and Twitter.  The very next day on March 23, 2015, I started this blog.  Initially, I wasn’t sure which direction I would go in, however, in real life I’m a crackerjack researcher and—according to my last boss—I write exceptionally compelling briefs.  Since my latest book hadn’t sold yet and I had no blurbs or buy links to post, I decided to focus my skills on the subjects I love best: 19th century Romance, Literature, and History.

[…]Continue Reading

Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Victorian Phenomenon

Beeton’s Book of Household Management, Coloured Plate.

Published in 1861, Beeton’s Book of Household Management is perhaps one of the most famous non-fiction books to come out of the 19th century.  At over one thousand pages long, it was the first publication of its kind to address all aspects of household management, covering everything from cooking and cleaning to childrearing and animal husbandry.  It even includes a section on the law, providing the inquiring housewife with general information on leaseholds, the legal rights and obligations between husband and wife, and the questionable validity of an I.O.U.[…]Continue Reading

Valentine's Day in the 19th Century: Lost Connections & Lonely Hearts

Valentine's Day Card, 1864.(Image via Victoria & Albert Museum)
Valentine’s Day Card, 1864.
(Image via Victoria & Albert Museum)

February 14th is Valentine’s Day.  To celebrate the holiday 19th century style, I’ve collected a few Valentine’s Day news items from Regency England, Victorian England, and even 1890s Texas.  Some remind me a bit of modern day “lost connections” or “lonely hearts” adverts (hence the title of this post), others are simply humorous historical Valentine’s Day messages or, predictably, not so humorous Victorian Valentine’s Day news.[…]Continue Reading

An Unlikely Friendship: The Cat and Mouse of Lord Lucan’s Bailiff

Playing Cat and Mouse by John Henry Dolph (1835-1903).

In the early 19th century, at the Earl of Lucan’s residence at Laleham, there was a very singular cat.  She belonged to Lord Lucan’s bailiff, Mr. Smith, and had the “constant habit” of curling up on the rug before the parlor fire.  According to a story related in multiple 19th century British newspapers, as well as in author Edward Jesse’s 1834 book, Gleanings in Natural History, after the death of her recent litter of kittens, this particular cat struck up a very close friendship with a mouse.  […]Continue Reading

This website uses cookies for a better browsing experience and to analyze site traffic to improve site performance. Find out more about how cookies are used on this site and how you can manage cookies in your browser by reading the Cookie Policy