Becca heard Cayle mutter, “I will have you, Rebecca Jamison. I will not stop until I find a way.” She didn’t know whether it made her happy, or if it simply terrified her. Embracing Scandal (Scandalous Siblings) by Suzi Love. Lady Rebecca Jamison saves her family from financial ruin by investing in railways, but when a greedy syndicate murders her friend, Becca is forced to beg assistance from Cayle St. Martin, the new Duke of Sherwyn. https://books2read.com/suziloveESLooking for a new historical romance with mystery? Becca heard Cayle mutter, "I will have you, Rebecca Jamison. I will not stop until I find a way." She didn't know whether it made her happy, or if it simply terrified her.… Click To Tweet
Lady Rebecca Jamison ticked off numbers on the fingers of one revolting brown glove. “First, I’m not a thief. Second, I’m not a courtesan needing coin. Third, I’ve never been your mistress.” She looked down at her maid’s drab clothes, shuddered. “And if the women you’re taking to your bed dress this shabbily, I suggest you raise your standards.”
The Duke of Sherwyn drew several shuddering breaths. “Correct, on all counts. Now, appease my burning curiosity. What deception did you employ to hoodwink my servant?”
One shoulder lifted in the semblance of a shrug. “Oh, that! A child’s ploy. I laid coins on the fourth step and paid a street urchin to knock on your door and then run. When your gatekeeper bent to retrieve the coins, I slipped around the door and inside.”
Incredulity, then infuriation, surrendered to mirth. The simplicity of her ruse, alongside her detached style of recounting her deception, startled him into a snort of amusement.
“Huh! My ever-vigilant butler diverted by the sight of a few pennies.”
“Oh, no, not mere pennies. Gleaming new gold coins. Rest easy. Your servant’s momentary distraction cost me a high price.”
He lifted his hand to hide his smirk. Since he’d become Sherwyn, Jenner’s behavior vacillated between extreme formality due a duke or nose-lifting disdain owed to the family’s black sheep. This chink in Jenner’s polished armor pleased him.
He dipped his head, and said, “I bow to your finesse as a trickster. Now for my next pressing question. Why are you here?”
“I need your assistance.”
He grinned. “Ah, so once again your white knight is being asked to draw an imaginary sword and defend your ladyship’s honor.”
She groaned. “If only things were still as uncomplicated as in our childhood games.”
Embracing Scandal, Book 1, Scandalous Siblings Series. https://books2read.com/suziloveESSunday Snippet: "First, I'm not a thief. Second, I'm not a courtesan needing coin. Third, I've never been your mistress." #HistoricalRomance #VictorianRomance #HistoricalMystery https://books2read.com/suziloveES Click To Tweet
1818-1831 Roller Printed Cotton Furnishing Fabrics, English.
Between 1820 and 1840 textile printers began to produce designs that were based on the woven silk dress fabrics of the 1750’s. Designs showing curving trails of lace or ribbons between bouquets of flowers became as popular in the 1830s as they had been in the 18th century.
Roller Printed Cotton.
The pattern on printed cotton was made with an engraved metal roller and additional colors were built up by wooden surface roller. Roller printing on textiles was introduced in the late 18th century and at first used mainly for small-patterned dress fabrics. By the 1830s, roller printing was highly mechanized process and had largely replaced block printing for fashionable furnishings.
Materials and Making
The development of roller printing coincided with a radical transformation in the dyestuffs available for printing on cotton. Until the beginning of the 19th century printing had been based on the use of vegetable dyes. In Britain, France and Germany new chemical processes were developed and mineral colors produced that transformed the palette of colors available to the printer and made combinations such as shades of pink and orange possible.
Design and Designing
The false trails of lace and bouquets of flowers in the fabric are inspired by the patterns of woven silks from nearly a century earlier. Changing taste made this design suitable for furnishing a room in the 1830s, while the 18th-century silk that was its inspiration would have been intended for a woman’s gown.
The styles considered fashionable in 1830s furnishings were widely diverse. Among the more recognisable historical references were Rococo, Elizabethan and Gothic. A design such as this seems to be relying on novelty of effect for its success.
Information via Curator of Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. collections.vam.ac.u Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.1818-1831 Roller Printed Cotton Furnishing Fabrics, English. #RomanticEra #Fabric #RegencyEngland https://books2read.com/suziloveROver Click To Tweet
1808 Fashionable English Couple, Dressed As In Jane Austen’s times. Lady in a white dress with pointed hem decorations, fitted white hat tied under her chin with yellow ribbon, yellow shawl and pink slippers. Gentleman in formal dress of blue tailcoat, black knee breeches, white stockings, black shoes, black bicorn hat, curly hair style and sideburns and a sword. Interestingly, this is English style fashions from a French magazine. Fashion Plate via Journal des Dames et des Modes, or Costume Parisien.1808 Fashionable English Couple Dressed As In Jane Austen's times. #RegencyFashion #JaneAusten #HistoricalFashion https://books2read.com/SuziLoveFashionWomen1805-1809 Click To Tweet
Richard, Earl of Winchester, might not know it… yet…but he’s Lady Laura Jamison’s perfect match. https://books2read.com/suziloveSS
Lady Laura Jamison uses her extraordinary olfactory senses to sniff out her perfect match, a husband who fits all her scientific criteria. But after she evades an assassin’s bullets, twice, while attending her sister’s wedding, she is forced to accept the protection of their family friend, and her nemesis, the Earl of Winchester. Richard evades marriage with someone as beautiful and intelligent as Laura, fearing she’ll uncover his shameful childhood secret.
The mismatched pair risks their wealth and reputations racing around London’s seedier areas in a desperate attempt to stop a madwoman before she recruits more criminals and rebuilds her illegal share trading syndicate. When they accept each other’s strengths and weakness, will Laura and Richard also discover a passion neither counted on?Sunday Snippet: Looking For A Fun Historical Romance? The Earl of Winchester, might not know it yet but he’s Lady Laura's perfect match. #HistoricalMystery #VictorianRomance #RomCom #ReadARegency https://books2read.com/suziloveSS Click To Tweet
Chatelaines and Chains History Notes Book 9 By Suzi Love. Regency Women in charge of houses wore long chains holding important household items around their waist e.g. keys, pen, notebook, sewing. books2read.com/SuziLoveChatelaines
Jane Austen’s Personal Necessities, keys, or chatelaines was a set of useful items hung from waist by decorative chain. Chatelaines and Chains. History Notes Book 9 By Suzi Love. Women in charge of households dangled long chains from their waists to keep essentials within easy reach e.g. keys, notebook and pen, watch, sewing items, vinaigrette or perfume, or magnifying glass. Early chatelaine were simple essentials. Later chatelaine were decorative and expensive. http://books2read.com/SuziLoveChatelainesWhat do you know about Chatelaines and Chains worn in Jane Austen's and Bridgerton times? Women in charge of households carried important items with them. #Bridgerton #JaneAusten #RegencyEra #GeorgianEra #VictorianEra … Click To Tweet
1802 ‘The Cow Pock or The Wonderful Effects Of The New Inoculation’. By James Gillray. Caricature depicting the early controversy surrounding Dr. Edward Jenner’s cowpox vaccination program begun in 1796 in England. Recipients of the vaccine developing cow-like appendages. Via British Museum, London, UK. britishmuseum.org (PD-Art)1802 'The Cow Pock or The Wonderful Effects Of The New Inoculation' By James Gillray. #Cartoon #RegencyEra #BritishHistory #medical https://books2read.com/suziloveROver Click To Tweet
The finger prodded her chest again. Gently yet insistently. But his voice softened. “And I, the man, and the duke, choose you. You, Lady Rebecca. Do you think I can’t decide for myself, for my family, for you and me, what’s best?”
“But that’s what I’ve always done. It’s always been up to me to work out the best plan for everyone and then make it happen.” “In the past, that’s what happened.”
“But even now, it’s up to me to keep everyone safe. You said yourself that neither my family, nor the society, could go on without my making these types of decisions. I’m always the one with the clear head. In time, you’ll see that I’m right to walk away from you when this is finished.”
“No, no. This isn’t finished by a long shot, sweetheart. There has to be some consolation in my life for taking on control of
Julia and my brothers, for assuming the family titles and topping up our coffers.”
“I know how hard you’re working to succeed. But it’ll never work if you have someone like me in your life.”
“I don’t want someone like you, Becca. I want you.” This time his kiss was tinged with desperation.
“Answer me one thing.” Her eyes widened. “Do you love me, minx? Do I still hold your heart?”
“Stop! It’s unfair to ask me that. Leave, please, just leave.” Turning away, Becca wished him gone before he glimpsed the fat tears collecting in her eyes. It was crucial that she remain strong. Even if it broke her heart to do so.As he reached the door, Becca heard Cayle mutter, “I will have you, Rebecca Jamison. I will not stop until I find a way.”
She didn’t know whether it made her happy, or if it simply terrified her.
Saint Nicholas Visits On Christmas Eve
Saint Nicholas, Or Santa Claus
The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 3rd or 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children.Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.
After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas, and then Santa Claus. After his death around 340 A.D., he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas’ popularity throughout Europe. His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop’s mitre.
In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors. In France, the patron of lawyers. In Belgium, the patron of children and travelers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.
After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas, and then Santa Claus. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children. hence Santa Claus bringing gifts to children who have been good.
Christmas: Saint Nicholas Visits On Christmas Eve #Christmas #holidays #Traditions #Customs https://books2read.com/suziloveHOCP Click To Tweet
A Visit from St. Nicholas By Clement Clark Moore
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads:
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,—
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So, up to the house-top the coursers, they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, —and Saint Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedlr just opening his pack.
His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, whe he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, —a right jolly old elf—
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Christmas Crackers And Their Fascinating History
First made in 1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith who decided it would a fun idea if his sweets and toys opened with a crack when their fancy wrappers were pulled in half. In early 1830, Tom Smith started work in a bakers and ornamental confectioners shop in London, selling sweets such as fondants, pralines and gum pastilles. He worked hard and took particular interest in the wedding cake ornaments and decorations, experimenting and creating new, more exciting and less crude designs in his spare time. Before long he was successful enough to leave and start up his own business in Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, East London. On a trip to Paris in 1840, he discovered the ‘bon bon’, a sugared almond wrapped in a twist of tissue paper. He brought the ‘bon bon’ to London and they sold extremely well, but in January demand virtually ceased and once again he was reliant on sales of cake and table decorations and ornaments.
Anxious to stimulate sales, Tom placed a small love motto in the tissue paper and encouraged his regular customers to take supplies. Tom took a risk and concentrated on developing it further, while still running the wedding cake ornament and confectionery business. The majority of ‘bon bons’ were sold at Christmas so Tom thought up ways to capitalize on this short, but very profitable, season. It was the crackle of a log as he threw it on his fire that gave him the flash of inspiration which eventually led to the crackers we know today. A ‘ crackle’ added excitement to his novelty ‘bon bon’ so he experimented to find a compound which gave a satisfactory bang. He perfected his chemical explosion to create a ‘pop’ caused by friction when the wrapping was broken and the trade jumped at Tom Smith’s latest novelty.
He quickly refined his product by dropping the sweet and the ‘bon bon’ name, calling his new crackers Cosaques, but he kept the motto and added a surprise gift. Delighted at his overnight success, Tom took his cracker abroad but an Eastern manufacturer copied his idea and delivered crackers to Britain just before Christmas. So Tom designed 8 different kinds of cracker, working his staff day and night and distributing stocks in time for Christmas. He lived to see the new branch of his firm grow to swamp the original premises in Goswell Road and the company moved to Finsbury Square in the City of London where it remained until 1953. When he died he left the business to his three sons, Tom Henry and Walter. A few years later, a drinking fountain was erected in Finsbury Square by Walter Smith in memory of his mother, Mary, and to commemorate the life of the man who invented the great British Cracker.
His three sons developed the cracker designs, contents and mottoes. Walter Smith, the youngest son, introduced a topical note to the mottoes which had previously been love verses. Special writers were commissioned to compose snappy and relevant maxims with references to every important event or craze at the time from greyhounds to Jazz, Frothblowers to Tutankhamen, Persian Art to The Riviera. The original early Victorian mottoes were mainly love verses. Eventually these were replaced by more complicated puzzles and cartoons, and finally by the corny jokes and riddles which characterise our crackers today.
Walter also introduced the paper hats, many of which were elaborate and made of best tissue and decorative paper on proper hatmakers stands and he toured the world to find new, relevant and unusual ideas for the surprise gifts, such as bracelets from Bohemia, tiny wooden barrels from America, and scarf pins from Saxony. Some were assembled in the factory, like the thousands of tiny pill boxes filled with rouge complete with powder puff.
A six foot cracker decorated Euston Station in London, and in 1927 a gentleman wrote to the Company enclosing a diamond engagement ring and 10 shilling note as payment for the ring to be put in a special cracker for his fiancee. Unfortunately he did not enclose an address and never contacted the Company again; the ring, letter and 10 shilling note are still in the safe today. In the early days, there was a large variety of specialist boxes, including Wedgwood Art Crackers from original designs by permission of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, and designs such as Japanese Menagerie crackers containing the latest novelties from Japan, including animals, birds, reptiles and mottoes in Japanese.
Crackers were created for the War Heroes, Charlie Chaplin, The Wireless, Motoring, The Coronation and even the Channel Tunnel in 1914. Exclusive crackers were also made for members of the Royal Family and still are to this day. During the Second World War restrictions were placed on the production of cracker snaps.
The Ministry of Defence commissioned Tom Smith to fold and tie bundles of three to six snaps together with special string and regulation knots. These bundles were then used by soldiers in training as, when the string was pulled, they mimicked the noise of machine gun fire. After the war, vast quantities of these surplus cracker snaps were released back into the cracker trade. As the demand for crackers increased, Tom Smith merged with Caley Crackers in 1953 taking over their headquarters and factory in Norwich, East Anglia.
Tom Smith Group Limited currently hold a royal warrant from: HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II Ê 1906: Tom Smith were granted their first Royal Warrant by the then Prince of Wales which entitled them in 1909 to become members of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. 1910: In December, the reigning monarch, King George V granted Tom Smith his warrant as suppliers of Christmas Crackers. Tom Smith still holds the honour of producing special crackers each year for the Royal Household.
In the countries that now use them, a cracker is set next to each plate on the Christmas dinner table and a colourful party hat, a toy or gift and a festive joke falls out when the cracker is pulled in half with a loud bang! The party hats look like crowns, supposedly to symbolise the crowns worn by the Wise Men.
Another British company strongly associated with the cracker business was Batger and Co. Like Tom Smith, they sold a wide variety of crackers in highly decorated boxes and once again many were themed or in commemoration of a special event. Batger’s Gretna Green Crackers for the famous place for eloping lovers where couples in the Regency period ran off in a carriage to Scotland to be married at the blacksmiths forge at Gretna Green.
Crackers were an incredibly expensive luxury at the time costing from 14 shillings to 30 shillings a box. Others were Peerless Crackers and Mead and Field Crackers. Cabaret Girl from the Peerless series of Christmas crackers, from 1933, which promises that each cracker contains ‘both a juvenile costume and fancy hat or cap, amusing joke or riddle, a good snap.’