Archive for September, 2006

Louis Simond, An American in Regency England, describes a meal with his host and hostess as thus:

“The master and mistress of the house sit at each end of the table–narrower and longer than the French tables–the mistress at the upper end–and the places near her are the places of honour. There are commonly two courses and a dessert. I shall venture to give a sketch of a moderate dinner for ten or twelve persons. Although contemporary readers may laugh, I flatter myself it may prove interesting in future ages.”

First course (not in order)
Oyster Sauce, Fish, Fowls, Soup, Vegetables, Roasted or Boiled Beef, Spinage, Bacon, Vegetables

Second Course (not in order)
Creams, Ragout a la Francoise, Pastry, Cream, Cauliflowers, Game, Celery, Macaroni, Pastry.

Dessert (not in order)
Walnuts, Raisins and Almonds, Apples, Cakes, Pears, Raisins and Almonds, Oranges

“Soon after dinner the ladies retire, the mistress of the house rising first, while the men remain standing. left alone, they resume their seats, evidently more at ease, and the conversation takes a different turn–less reserved–and either graver, or more licentious.”

Click on more links to food in the Regency Era:
Historic Food Links
The Food Timeline
Food and Drink in Regency England
The Art of Cookery
History of Tea in Britain

About the Art of Cookery: ‘The Art of Cookery’, written by Hannah Glasse, was published in 1747. It was a best seller for over a hundred years, and made Glasse one of the best-known cookery writers of the eighteenth century. As Glasse explains in the preface, the book was intended to be an instruction manual for servants – ‘the lower sort’ as she called them. During the 1700s there was a fashion for books of this kind, which were designed to save the lady of the house from the tedious duty of instructing her kitchen maids.”

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Without Prinny, the Regency Era (1811-1820) would have had a decidedly different character. He was a libertine and gifted wastrel who set the tone and style for the age.

George IV, The Prince of Wales lived life extravantly and was enormously unpopular for it in some circles. This Prince of Pleasure’s once tall slim frame grew heavy and corpulent from overindulgence, as you can see in the illustration above by James Gilray, who satirized the Prince in a number of unflattering cartoons.

But before the Prince Regent took over, the country was already in shambles. Louis Simond, An American in Regency England, observed in his travel journal in 1809: “One thing that surprises me more and more every day; it is the great number of people in opposition; that is, those who disapprove, not only the present measures of ministers,which have not been of late either very wise or very successful, but the form and constitution of the government itself. It is stigmatized as vicious, corrupt, and in decay,without hope or remedy but in a general reform, and in fact a revolution.

The links below define Prinny and his era even further:
1. George IV and the United Kingdom
2. The Prince Regent and His Circle: In Their Own Words
3. Prince Regent
4. Coronation of George IV
5. Prinny’s Many Mistresses
6. Prince George’s Culture Clubs: A Trail Through Regency Brighton

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