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Jobev
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Pat, I notice the lack of veggies, too. They did turn up in side dishes, but as you say, usually in sauces. However, they did relish the best seasonal veggies, like fresh peas and asparagus. However, a housewifery book I have lists many veggies in season. For June it lists carrots, celery, cabbage, asparagus, beans, peas, artichokes, cucumber, radishes. In July she adds cauliflowers, lettuce, endives, spinach and sweet herbs. Also onions, garlic, salsify, and red beet, plus tomato, which she says deserves to be brought into universal practice, so it probably wasn't much used. So really, as I said in another comment somewhere, it's odd that our manly heroes are rarely seen to be eating their veggies as the best ones in season were probably the prize dish on the table. :)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Regency Diet at Word Wenches
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I enjoy Lee Child too, Anne. I was surprised by that as I don't usually like hard-bitten action/suspense. I think it's because of Jack Reacher. He doesn't go looking for trouble or picking fights just to show how tough he is. My variations are SF and F with some cozy mysteries. You might enjoy Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden universe books. www.korval.com. I'm never sure where to tell people to start as they've written forward and backward in their timeline, but Local Custom is one of my favourites and it's a romance.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Jaded Readers at Word Wenches
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Fascinating blog and comments! I confess that it never occurred to me that some readers would be so uncomfortable with smoking in an historical context. Perhaps it's because I grew up when it was common and most evening events would be in a fug. Perhaps it's because it is part of the times, especially the pipe. And snuff. To leave them out entirely is rather like everyone being vegetarian. :) I agree about smoker's breath, but also with whoever mentioned morning breath. We seem to be willing to suspend reality there so I'm happy to do it with the smoking -- and the drinking though that doesn't bother me at all. A brandy kiss can be quite delightful. As a reader I'm willing to go with the flow on a lot of things. Characters, especially men, really don't eat many vegetables in books but I don't worry about their health over that. The coal fires could harm the lungs, especially with a slightly smoky chimney in a well-draft-proofed room. In most places the water wasn't safe to drink, but characters down it greedily instead of getting some small beer, which was safe and low alcohol. The idea of hookahs is interesting. I think some people associate them with illegal drugs but generally they use tobacco and might carry less risk. I'm sure they were used in Britain, brought back from Italy et al on the Grand Tour, and from the Middle East and India by merchants and diplomats.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2015 on Regency tobacco and How to Puff It at Word Wenches
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I like the Annual Registers too, Nancy. I bought have all the Regency ones long ago and they've proved useful and interesting.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Glenda
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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I've decided they have to have used the equivalent of a press release. In the case of royalty I think it was considered the public's right to know where they were and what they were doing, especially at a time of national crisis.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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As my MIP is right in this period, it might turn up in my book. Don't have any balls planned yet, but as you say, tempting. :)
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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That's right, Elinor. I thought the formality of the item in the paper was interesting, though.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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You're welcome, Rose. I love the old papers, too. It's like peeping through a window into the past.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2015 on Friday January 9th, 1818 at Word Wenches
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When doing research I like primary sources, and I often glance at newspapers of the time of my books. If you wonder how, my local library has a subscription to the Times Archive online, which includes other papers, including a database of 19th century British ones. Check out your own library's online resources. They're wonderful and accessible from at home. Though most of the content of these papers is of little interest they do give a flavour of the time and occasional items are enlightening. I've been particularly intrigued lately as the calendar for 1817, the year of my work in hand, The Viscount Needs a Wife, was the same as 2015. So recently I was reading and writing about events in December 1817 whilst living through the same days in 2015 Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at Word Wenches
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Definitely mince pies. I make my own mincemeat. I'm not sure the portions were that small. I remember being stuffed!
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2015 on What's for dinner? at Word Wenches
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I like Christmas pud, but these days it's just too much after a Christmas main course. Don't do that, either, but if I did.... When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud -- with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings. How did we survive?
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2015 on What's for dinner? at Word Wenches
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Interesting, Jo. She'd have been 32 at her second marriage, and he'd have been 36.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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Alexander is a good name, Carolyn. Yes, the couple do look careworn. To me, the man looks tough and I worry he could have been a bully.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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Andrea's recent post is here, Sue. http://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/2014/12/reflect-and-resolve--1.html
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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I think he's a bit too hawkish for Francis, Pamela. But perhaps he's Hawk? (Hawkinville from The Devil's Heiress.) Yes, tomorrow is when the new year really starts, and with luck I'll get my act together then.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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Are you thinking of the Duke of Avon, Vicki? (These Old Shades.) Put him in Georgian plumage and that could be.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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Good point about Darcy, Mary Jo. Definitely a haughty touch. I think they're in their late thirties/forties, which would make it the second marriage.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2015 on The confusions of January. at Word Wenches
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It's that calendar switch over time that does me. Does anyone else get confused by it? I write upcoming things at the end of December, but when I put up January I sometimes forget to sync the two. Then there's the double trouble of holidays that aren't weekends. Not that weekends mean much to the hermit-like writer, but there is a difference that usually makes itself felt. But with holidays in the middle of one week, then the middle of another, I don't know where I am! Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2015 at Word Wenches
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Bird navigation is fascinating. They used to think it was just magnetism, but now they're discovering so much more. Other animals, too, from eels to butterflies.
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2014 on The robin redbreast at Word Wenches
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Yes, geese are a Christmas symbol, too. I thought it was because goose was the traditional Christmas bird before turkey, but perhaps not.
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2014 on The robin redbreast at Word Wenches
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Yes, it's natural to name things after similar ones. I do wonder if they were surprised that the robin didn't do what they expected!
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2014 on The robin redbreast at Word Wenches
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European robins certainly like plucking those worms. They'll often sit nearby when someone's digging in the garden, waiting for their chance.
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2014 on The robin redbreast at Word Wenches
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The robin is a symbol of Christmas in Britain, though I'm not sure why. It lives here year round, but it's not the only bird to do so. There are explanations. One is a connection with early postmen, who wore red coats -- therefore robin red-breasts on cards. It's not completely convincing. Another is a legend about the robin keeping the fire going in the stable to keep the baby Jesus warm and its breast catching fire. A sweet tale, but the association of the robin with Christmas seems to come in Victorian times. Perhaps it's simply because it's a friendly (to humans, at least) little bird with a cheerful colouring in that red breast. Except that its breast isn't red. It is, if you look, distinctly orange! Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2014 at Word Wenches
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Lovely, Nicola. I suppose I was a chorister, as I was in the choir at secondary school. As that was a convent boarding school, lots of religious music. I love plainchant. I like all the traditional carols, but one unusual favourite is I sing of a maiden. It's one of those medieval ones that don't quite rhyme in modern English that Sylvia mentioned. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_syng_of_a_mayden We used to sing it in the Middle English, with a simple medieval-sounding melody. I've just been cruising the 'net looking for it, but nothing with that tune.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2014 on A Christmas Carol at Word Wenches
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