The 1880s in Fashionable Gowns: A Visual Guide to the Decade – Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews is my go-to expert for anything Victorian. She’s a fantastic resource for 19th-century etiquette, fashion, beauty, and more. It is worth subscribing to her newsletter and blog if you wish to learn more about the era. Below is a link to fashionable gowns that will make you want to throw away your jeans and tee-shirts.  Enjoy! “The 1880s ushered in an era of tailored, close-fitting gowns, some of which were almost masculine in Read More

Feminine Accomplishments (1872 Style)

“An English lady without her piano, or her pencil, or her fancy work, or her favorite French authors and German poets, is an object of wonder, and perhaps of pity.” (The Habits of Good Society: By Unknown Author, originally published 1872. Copyright 2012 Forgotten Books). Chapter VI is another fascinating look into life in 1872 as penned by someone who lived during the time period. In order to be a member of good society, young Read More

The English Victorian Wedding – 1872 Style

I am back to poking around one of my favorite books, “The Habits of Good Society: A Handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen,”  available on Amazon in print form.  Tucked on page 316 is Chapter XV. Marriage.  It begins with this quote: At a time when our feelings are or ought to be most susceptible, when the happiness or misery of a condition in which there is no medium begins, we are surrounded with forms and Read More

Edwardian Era (1900-1914 Life in Manchester/Salford UK)

As most of you know, I am somewhat obsessed with researching my family history.  My maternal ancestors were English, and my grandparents were born in Manchester during the Victorian Era. I have been transporting myself back to 1900-1914 in Salford where they lived before immigrating to Canada, through Roy Bullock’s book that I purchased on Amazon. The book is a compilation of interesting newspaper articles. Reading these accounts helped me glean information about life in Read More

The Ladies Toilet 1872 Style

“Suppose then that this first and vital standing order for the toilet be stringent, and that refreshed, and therefore energetic, buoyant, and conscious of one duty being at least performed, the lady leaves her bed and prepares to dress.” The Habits of Good Society What duty? A good night’s sleep, of course. I suppose you could call it the need for beauty sleep in a rested young lady. I am continuing to read through “The Read More

Victorian Cleanliness 1872 Style (Part 2)

“But the man who throws his clothes about the room, a boot in one corner, a cravat in another, and his brushes anywhere, is not a man of good habits. The spirit of order should extend to everything about him.” All quotes are taken from “The Habits of Good Society: A handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen.” If only the writer could see my nails. Broken, uneven, and badly needing my cuticles cut. I exhibit poor Read More

1872 – What Constitutes Good Society?

What constitutes good society? Well, in 1872 England the requisites of good society are listed in “The Habits of Good Society: A Handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen.”  They are: Good breeding, which is acquired by being taught by nurses, parents, tutors, school fellows, and friends. Education not from just finishing schools, universities or boarding schools, but education that gives you mental powers and comprehension. Cultivation of taste, referring to the arts and music and being well Read More

Balls in the Victorian Era

“The advantage of the ball in the upper classes is, that it brings young people together for a sensible and innocent recreation, and takes them away from the silly, if not bad ones; that it gives them exercise, and that the general effect of the beauty, elegance, and brilliance of a ball is to elevate rather than deprave the mind.” The quote above comes from my favorite discovery, which is a book entitled, “The Habits Read More

Arsenic & Victorian Lace

How do you commit murder? Well, in the Victorian era arsenic was a good way to do in your rivals, spouses, and enemies. Blythe Court, written under my pen name of Nora Covington, contains arsenic, and you may wonder if my use is accurate. Hopefully, you know by now I do my research, even if it really does sound extremely odd when you read the story. Arsenic, in case you need a quick education, is Read More

Breach of Promise of Marriage

One of my hobbies is searching my British ancestry on my mother’s side of the family. Part of my research includes reading British newspapers in search of articles on my ancestors. My third great uncle was a Justice of the Peace, Alderman, and successful businessman, so I’m always looking for articles regarding his life and have found quite a few (over thirty thus far). Anyway, I have stumbled across another fascinating area in the lives Read More