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Daily life

Belton House

Afficionados of the 1995 BBC TV version of Pride and Prejudice might recognise Belton House as Rosings Park, Lady Catherine’s home. This is the drive that Lizzie walked along with Mr and Mrs Collins, as he encouraged her not to worry about her dress, as Lady Catherine liked to maintain the distinctions of rank.

The approach to Belton House. The yew trees beside the gravel walk have been trimmed since the BBC filmed there.


There is a lot more detail on Belton House in P&P here for the exteriors, and here for the interiors.

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Spring is sprung in England

To be fair, spring started some time ago, but it’s only in the last few weeks that trees are starting to turn green and it really has the feel of spring in the air. So, as my Regency Romances are set (mostly) in England, and most of my readers are not based here, I’ve gathered together a few photos showing the best bits of spring in my part of the world.

(I’ve omitted the rainy days, of which we have had many this year!)

The first signs of spring for me are the snowdrops, in the woods, and in places like churchyards.

Snowdrops beneath trees
Snowdrops beneath trees

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Book Review – The Country House Kitchen Garden 1600-1950

One of my summer hobbies is visiting National Trust properties and other country houses in England and Wales (and Scotland, when I get that far north), mainly for the wonderful gardens that many of them have. In some of these gardens, the NT have maintained part of what was once the kitchen garden, so we can get some idea of what such places may have looked like when they were the main source of fruit and vegetables for the house.

I picked up this book in the shop of a National Trust property somewhere in England. If you want to see  what kitchen gardens looked like, this is not the book for you as there are only a few black and white illustrations. The book is a collection of essays, and covers everything from methods of growing different crops, how gardens were laid out at different times, the staff employed, how year-round supplies of food were ensured, and even something on cooking and using herbs for medicine.

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Writing letters in Regency times

How was writing letters in Regency times different to letter-writing today?

What did they write on?

I love reading Regency Romances myself, but sometimes I come across something that makes me think ‘that isn’t right’, and it pulls me out of the story. Something that I’ve seen more than once is a heroine writing a letter on vellum or parchment.

Parchment is made from animal skin, cleaned, bleached, stretched and smoothed. A variety of different animal skins can be used; vellum is parchment made from calf skin. Vellum is still used in the UK for printing laws, because it lasts much longer than paper. However our Regency heroines would have used paper.  Some modern writing and drawing materials are referred to as parchment and vellum, but these are modern products made from plant materials.

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