Regency food is really interesting and characters’ preferences tell us a lot about them. Their preferences for drink do too, as I tried to show in my earlier blog about what characters (Regency and modern) drank.
But this week, I’m blogging about food in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Sometimes, food in glamorous surroundings, too…
Where Regency food came from…? Meat, fish, game
There isn’t much detail of food and drink in Pride and Prejudice, but Mrs Bennet does mention preparations being made for dinners to fête Mr Bingley’s return to Netherfield.
“Mrs Nicholls…was going to the butcher’s, she told me, on purpose to order in some meat on Wednesday, and she had got three couple of ducks, just fit to be killed.”
That shows that meat wasn’t instantly available from a butcher’s as it is now. And a hostess knew and accepted that providing meat entailed killing animals. Continue reading →
Our guest blogger today is multi-published historical author Elizabeth Hawksley. She does more than write novels. Her plays have been performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, the Oxford Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival. She is currently the UK Children’s Book Review editor for the Historical Novel Society Review and also teaches creative writing via courses, workshop and lectures.
It is not surprising that she is in demand on the platform. Many writers will remember a certain Sunday afternoon at the RNA Conference. Elizabeth recited the whole of Elinor Glyn with a perfectly straight face while her audience rolled around, aching with laughter and pleading to be given a chance to catch their breath. A real tour de force.
Today, Elizabeth is writing about emotion in the shrubbery and how it figures in the much-loved novels of Jane Austen.
Jane Austen : Emotion in the Shrubbery
In the early 19th century, every house of consequence had a shrubbery: a grassy area with shrubs, a few trees, a bench to sit on, and a winding gravel path. In essence, it was the antithesis of the formal parterres, geometrical shapes and clipped box hedges at the front of the house which proclaimed the owner’s status and control over Nature. Continue reading →