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

Jane and the Waterloo Map: Guest Post by Stephanie Barron + Grand Giveaway!

Jane and the Waterloo Map Banner

Today, I am very pleased to welcome award-winning author Stephanie Barron with a fabulous post on Jane Austen and Carlton House.  To celebrate the release of her new novel, Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is also hosting a Grand Giveaway.  Details after the post![…]Continue Reading

The Deerhounds of Windsor Great Park

Hector, Nero, and Dash with the parrot, Lory by Edwin Henry Landseer, 1838.
(Royal Collection Trust)

In his 1825 novel, The Talisman, Sir Walter Scott famously refers to the Scottish Deerhound as “a most perfect creature of heaven.”  A truly noble and majestic breed, the purebred Scottish or “Scotch” Deerhound was a rarity outside of Scotland throughout much of the 19th century.  Those that did reside in England lived under the auspices of Queen Victoria.  Early in her reign, she had a favorite Scottish Deerhound named Hector (seen in the above portrait by Landseer).  By the 1870s, there were several Scottish Deerhounds at Windsor Great Park.  And by the end of the century, the Scottish Deerhound Club was established under the queen’s patronage.   […]Continue Reading

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