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Showing posts from June, 2018

Reticules: Regency handbags and gladrags

Lately, I’ve been thinking about “synchronicity” – the idea of meaningful coincidences, a concept explored by psychologist Carl Jung. 
It started a few weeks ago, when I came across a little treasure on the shelf in my local library, a book called Handbags, What Every Woman Should Know, by Stephanie Pedersen.
This book provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of purses, including information on the reticule, a type of purse that every well-dressed Regency woman had to have. 
And as the book traverses fashions in accessories through the centuries up to the modern era, it touches on New York fashion designer Kate Spade and her trend-setting handbags that became such a hit in the early 1990s and beyond. And then, just after I finished the book I heard about Spade’s untimely and very sad death, earlier this month. 
So I thought a post on handbags, especially Regency ones, might be a way to pay a tribute to her and her impact on modern fashion.
In her book, Pedersen quotes Spade as sayi…

The Battle of Waterloo: Napoleon's last stand

June 18 is the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, an epic encounter that put an end once and for all to Napoleon’s dream of conquering Europe. The Emperor had made a glorious comeback to power a hundred days earlier, after escaping from exile on the island of Elba, just off the western coast of Italy. 


Napoleon seemed unstoppable as he made his way in triumph across Europe. It took the combined and well-coordinated military forces of Great Britain and its allies, along with the Prussians, to halt the Emperor's progress. Napoleon's army and his plans for the future of Europe were crushed at Waterloo, a village just south of Brussels. 

On that summer day over 200 years ago, the peaceful Belgium countryside was engulfed by the sights and sounds of a deadly battle: the thunder of drumbeats and hoofbeats; frantic shouts; booming guns; the thick, pervasive smog of musket and artillery fire; and the smell of death. 
Engaged in fierce fighting against Napoleon’s Armée du Nord w…

Trooping the Colour

Today is the second Saturday in June, which in Great Britain means it's time for Trooping the Colour. It's a centuries-old tradition full of pomp and pageantry that officially honors not only the sovereign's birthday but also the infantry regiments of the British Army.  
"Colours" are another name for the brightly-colored battalion flags associated with the Five Foot Guard regiments (the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Grenadier and Coldstream guards). These flags not only showcase the individual spirit of each regiment and but also commemorate its fallen soldiers.
In times past, there was a very practical reason to publicly display the “colours” like this – so that the soldiers would be able to recognize the flags of their comrades in the heat of battle.
Every year one of the Foot Guard regiments is chosen to display its flag, and this year the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards get to troop their colour through the ranks of the assembled regiments. The honorary Colonel of th…

Regency Toys and Peppa Pig

I recently discovered that the mothers of the adorable bridesmaids and page boys at Harry and Meghan’s wedding (a group that included 3-year-old Princess Charlotte) bribed their kids to behave with candy (Smarties) and promises to watch the Peppa Pig show after the wedding.
I’m proud to say that I know what, or rather who, Peppa Pig is, though I had to look up the difference between American and British Smarties


But my Peppa knowledge is fairly new, due to the influence of the 3-year-old in my life, my granddaughter.
Peppa Pig is currently her favorite thing in the world. She watches episodes of the British animated television series on the Nickelodeon channel and video clips of it on YouTube. She also has Peppa Pig storybooks, Peppa Pig t-shirts, and two Peppa Pig dolls.  

And I know for a fact that my son and daughter-in-law, like Prince William and Kate, have found Peppa Pig useful as a bribe. 
I won’t argue with my granddaughter or Princess Charlotte, but I’m not sure I trust Peppa P…