Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Newer Additions to my Collection: 1811

It’s been a while since I started doing (and finished up) regular Fashion Forecasts here...and one corollary of that is that I’ve since acquired a lot more prints for any given year. Since the last time we looked at fashions in the year 1811 was back in 2009, I thought I’d post some more prints from my collection...because, eye candy.
All prints are from Ackermann’s Repository...and for once I have the original descriptions for most of them. Enjoy!

January’s cozy-looking Walking Dress is described as “A round high morning robe of cambric, with deep full-trimmed collar. A Swedish coat of lead-coloured cloth, or black velvet, trimmed entirely round with swansdown or blue fox fur. A Spanish pelerine [a short cape] of the same, fastened in front of the throat with a mother-of-pearl broach; clasps to correspond for the bottom of the waist. A traveller’s hat of black or grey velvet, or cloth, turned up on the left side with a shell ornament. Half-boots of grey cloth, laced and bound with black velvet. Chinese ridicule of grey or lead-coloured satin, embellished with black medallions and tassels. Gold chain and eye-glass.”

Someone had fun with the description of these Evening or Opera Dresses in February’s Ackermann’s Repository—truly global ensembles!  “First figure.—A round robe of white crape or muslin, with demi-traine and imperial winged frill of plaited lace. A Circassian laced bodice of American green velvet, trimmed at the bottom of the waist with a mother-of-pearl clasp. An Armenian head-dress composed of white satin, with silver antique ornament in front. Necklace consisted of a single row of large pearls, with a cross of the same, suspended in the center of the bosom; the cuffs of the long sleeve ornamented with pearl. An Eastern mantle of amber-coloured velvet, trimmed with swansdown. Shoes of velvet, the same as the bodice. Glove, white kid.
Second Figure. –A Grecian frock of celestial blue, or silver grey net, with full long sleeve, and biassed bosom; ornamented round the bottom and bosom with a vandyke border, composed of white velvet and beads; deep antique cuffs of the same. The robe worn over an under-dress of white satin. Head-dress composed of a French net veil, confined and ornamented in front of the forehead with a tiara of silver. Necklace and cross of white cornelian, and gold ear-rings to correspond. A carmelite cloak, of light purple or violet velvet, lined and bordered with white ermine. Blue kid slippers, with silver clasps; and gloves of white kid.”

I was delighted that this print of a Walking Dress from April was accompanied by its description, because I was unsure what the trim was made of—silk fringe? Fur? Nope! It’s feathers! How awesome is that?  “A Cossack coat, or short pelisse, or violet coloured sarsnet, lined with white Persian, and trimmed entirely round with an Indian border of feathers. A woodland hat, composed of the same materials, with a small Angola feather in front. Under-dress.—A high round robe of jaconot muslin, ornamented at the feet, and on the bosom, with needlework or lace; a full frill of the latter around the throat. Half-boots of violet kid; and gloves a pale tan colour.”

 A lot of these earlier Ackermann prints feature children’s outfits, which is interesting to see...as in this Opera Dress from May (though I rather doubt the child was invited to go along with Mum!)  “A white muslin robe, with long sleeves. An Algerian tunic of white satin, trimmed round the bottom and bosom with net or silver fringe, simply confined in the center with a regency broach. A Turkish cloak, or short coat, with arm-holes, composed of plain Indian muslin similar with the robe, and lined with cerulean blue sarsnet; trimmed round the back and down each side with broad lace, put on very full. The cloak thrown open in front, so as to exhibit the tunic and under-robe. A helmet cap, composed of silver net and spangles, ornamented with a cluster of the Labrador roses in front. A treble neck-chain and ear-rings of elastic Indian gold. Gloves and shoes of white kid.  CHILD’S DRESS. A short frock and trowsers of plain Indian muslin, trimmed with thread lace, or flounces of the same. A short French tunic coat of white sarsnet or cambric, with full-arched collar, tied at the throat with a silk cord and tassels, and the bottom trimmed with lace, siilar to that which ornaments the frock and trowsers. White kid gloves and slippers. Hair a tufted crop.”

Promenade Dresses from June...I rather like the pelisse at left in violet!  “A round robe of plain jaconot muslin, with a border of needle-work at the feet. A Roman coat of violet shot sarsnet, with pointed cape; binding and tassels of jonquil silk. A Parisian cap of sarsnet, same as the pelisse, ornamented with a broad braid of jonquil silk, and a fancy flower placed toward the left side. A veil of fine white lace, thrown negligently over the head-dress, shading the throat, and falling on the shoulders. Half boots of violet silk or French kid. Gloves of jonquil kid.  A round high walking dress of fine oblique corded muslin, with high arched collar, trimmed with a narrow full edging of muslin or plain net lace, and finished at the feet with narrow tucks. A Roman helmet of sea-green sarsnet, terminated with a Tuscan band of cut white velvet. A short winged veil, or under cap of transparent net, caught up in the center of the forehead. A Grecian drapery scarf of sea green sarsnet; parasol to correspond. Shoes of similar coloured kid. Blossom coloured ridicule, and primrose or pale tan gloves.”

In this Opera Dress from July is another child’s costume. Perhaps, since it is July and most fashionable society has left London, it was not frowned upon to bring children to theatrical performances?  The description reads, “A round robe of imperial violet net-crape, or leno, with a long sleeve of the same, worn over a white satin under-dress. A cottage vest, or boddice, of Chinese crape, tabinet, or satin, laced and tagged with correspondent cord and tassels. Under-dress shading closely the bosom ad shoulders. A large unella veil, confined in front with a gold tiara, and a simple rose on one side, flowing in negligent folds over the rest of the figure. Neck-chain and bracelets of finely carved amber, or oriental elastic gold. French repeating watch, with elastic gold chain and seals. Bouquet on the left side of the bosom. White satin slippers; and gloves of white kid.  YOUTH'S DRESS.  A jacket and trowsers, à la militaire, of Windsor grey cloth. White Marseilles dimity waistcoat, ornamented to correspond; collar and frill in the antique style; hair a waved crop. The pomposo, or Moorish half-boot, of yellow or black Morocco. This latter dress was furnished by Mr. S. Clark, tailor and ladies’ habit-maker, No. 37, Golden-square."

But now that August has arrived, it’s time to hit the beach in this Walking Dress: I love her turban-style hat and bobble-fringed short cloak with matching parasol, which seems to be mightily entertaining the young man with her (and what a practical boys’ outfit that it!)

I rather like the hat for this Promenade Costume (September):  “A round high robe, with large long sleeves, and deep falling collar, edged with lace or needle-work, composed of jaconot muslin. A small capuchin mantle of green shot sarsnet, lined with white, and trimmed with Chinese silk fringe or corresponding shades; deep Spanish pointed cape, trimmed with the same. White satin hat, of the Spanish form, with rim the colour of the mantle, ornamented with a demi-wreath of corn-flowers. Roan shoe of green morocco. Gloves of lemon-coloured kid; and parasol corresponding with the cloak, with deep Chinese awning."

Also from September is a Morning Dress, “A Chinese robe with full long sleeve, composed of fine imperial, or plain cambric muslin; trimmed round the throat and wrist, and down the front, with a full plaited border of plain muslin. A French foundling cap, formed of alternate stripes of lace and white satin, ornamented with blossom-coloured ribbon, and autumnal flowers to correspond. A pelerine of spotted muslin or net, trimmed entirely round with lace or muslin, and thrown loosely over the shoulders. Shoes and gloves of lemon-coloured kid. These dresses are furnished by Mrs. Gill, No.1, Cork-street, Burlington-gardens; whose extensive and elegant assortment of millinery, robes, &c. &c. has rendered her so justly eminent in her line.  

Well, I think that catches us up for 1811. Do any of these dresses catch your fancy?

And in other news...my SKIN DEEP was just announced as a finalist in the 2017 New England Readers' Choice Contest in the paranormal category--hurrah!  It's also still on sale for 99¢ (ebook only) for one more week at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, and Kobo, so now's your chance...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Jewelers: That Special Gem

File:Corona di sant'Edoardo.jpg
I’m not much of a jewelry fan. I wear clip earrings and my wedding ring, I have a few favorite necklaces, and that’s about it. But during the Regency, a lady and gentleman had to put on much more of a show, particularly for special occasions. Jewels, and jewelers, were required.

The role of jeweler was to set precious stones. Usually these were natural, like pearls or diamonds. But for the right price, some jewelers were amenable to setting cut glass or paste reproductions (should your family have fallen on hard times but needed to keep up appearances). They might set these stones in rings, lockets, tiaras, cravat pins, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or items like snuff boxes or vinaigrettes.

File:Sovereign's Sceptre.jpgLocating a jeweler was as easy as journeying to Bond Street in London, although most major towns had at least one. I was amused to find that a jeweler was one of the earlier shops in pioneer Seattle. I’d certainly like to know what he was setting! There weren’t enough ladies to be needing wedding rings, and I’m having trouble imagining my burly loggers sporting a jeweled cravat pin or snuff box. Perhaps watches?

Regardless, the British jeweler in the Regency might work in gold or silver, setting gemstones from around the world—pearls from the Orient, diamonds from Africa, opals from Australia. He might also have to recut the stone to improve its brilliance. Prince Albert had the Koh-i-Noor diamond at the center of the Queen Mother’s Crown recut for that reason in 1852. According to the jewelers who managed the feat, the effort took 3 weeks, was overseen by the Duke of Wellington, and involved visits by state dignitaries. The final stone weighed 105.6 carats. Yowsers! The pictures show a replica of what it looked like before and after.

The more prestigious the client, the more prestigious the jeweler. Garrad & Co, which recut the Koh-i-Noor diamond, has the distinction of being the oldest jewelry house in the world. They have served as Crown Jeweler since Victoria granted them a Royal Warrant in 1843.

You might say they’re a cut above the rest, a real gem.

The Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons images of the diamond are from the user Chris 73 and are freely available at //commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koh-i-Noor_old_version_copy.jpg and //commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koh-i-Noor_new_version_copy.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 3.0 license.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Such Language! Part 16

More fun with 19th century slang and cant, courtesy of that giggle-worthy compendium of all bygone bad language, the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Enjoy!

Apothecary: To talk like an apothecary; to use hard or gallipot words: from the assumed gravity and affectation of knowledge generally put on by the gentlemen of this profession, who are commonly as superficial in their learning as they are pedantic in their language. (It’s easy to tell from his apothecary speechifying that Edward is very conscious of the fact that he has just finished his first term at Oxford.)

Chitty-faced: Baby-faced; said of one who has a childish look. (My cousin Chester is desperate to be considered one of the Corinthian set, only he’s so chitty-faced that he usually gets mistaken for someone’s tiger.)

Chirping merry: Exhilarated with liquor. (By the time he arrived at Covent Garden last night for the opera, Chester was chirping merry enough to try to sing along with la Catalani, and almost started a riot in the pit.)

Chouse: To cheat or trick. (Isabel always keeps a few extra fish up her sleeve as she always chouses at lottery tickets.)

Dangle: To follow a woman without asking the question. (Uncle Norbert has dangled after Lady Lavinia so long that he’s acquired the nickname, “the Tassel.”)

Fresh milk: Newcomers to the university. Cambridge slang. (The pickpockets in Trumpington Street are always on the lookout for fresh milk come September.)

Tweague: In a great tweague: in a great passion. (Chester was in an enormous tweague that his little sister used watercolors to black his books; Isabel was in an even more enormous one because they were her watercolors.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

The One and Only Margaret Munroe

Writers have favorite characters (sh—don’t tell the others!). Every once in a while one truly leaps off the page and refuses to let you go. Take my Lady Emily or Vaughn Everard; they would not rest until their story was told. As their author, you can only hope others will react to them the same way.

Another such heroine is Margaret Munroe in The Marquis’ Kiss. She was one of my earlier heroines, back in the days when I often based my heroines on women I knew. I have told you about Hannah Alexander of Secrets and Sensibilities being based on my late dear friend, Nancy. Margaret is also based on a friend. With her verve, vim, and vigor, I thought she would make a marvelous Regency lass. I asked her permission first, of course, and when Kiss was first published, she accused me of peeking in her windows the characterization was so spot on.

Image result for The Marquis' Kiss Regina ScottBut many people struggled with Margaret, including the Art Department at Kensington, where the book was first published. You see, she is prematurely turning gray, and gray-haired heroines were not in vogue. But my friend had strands of gray hair when I met her at a summer camp when she was seventeen and I was nineteen. I was very glad when the first cover showed a young lady in the moonlight. I like to pretend the silver in her hair is from more than the moon.

Margaret is also open-hearted, giving of herself to everyone she meets, from a royal duke to a reformed prostitute. Some people thought she should have been more attuned to the class system of Regency England. I never questioned that. Margaret knew it was there. She simply refused to abide by it, and she was ready to take the consequences.

Finally, Margaret is honest, to the point of embarrassment. She says what she thinks, with very little filter. Reviewers commented that she couldn’t possibly behave that way. One went so far as to say that no human being ever born behaved like Margaret Munroe.

Shall I introduce you? Here’s a taste.

The marquis was already sitting properly on one of the arm chairs when she arrived. He was probably the only person in the world who could look comfortable and in command on the stiff furniture. He was arrayed in a splendid coat of camel-colored superfine and tan chamois trousers tucked into gleaming Hessians.

He rose as she entered, and she did not think it was her imagination that he looked relieved to see her. She wondered what her stepmother had been saying to him. Mrs. Munroe was glowing possessively. Margaret and the marquis had no more than greeted each other and seated themselves before Mrs. Munroe made the flimsiest of excuses and quit the room with a knowing glance at Margaret.

She was giving the marquis a moment to propose. The idea was so ludicrous that Margaret’s nervousness evaporated in amusement.

“I’m now supposed to captivate you with my stimulating conversation,” she informed him in the silence that followed her stepmother’s precipitous departure. “As we both know this visit is a sham, perhaps we could just dispense with the formalities.”

He frowned. “I’m not sure what you mean by sham, Miss Munroe. Are you under the impression that my intentions are less than honorable?”

Having both heard of and been witness to his proper lifestyle, she could not help but chuckle. “Oh, no, my lord. I’m sure your intentions, if you had any, would be entirely honorable. I simply thought it best that we be honest with each other from the beginning and acknowledge the fact that you are here only because of Lady Janice.”

He rose and walked to the window, but not fast enough to hide the fact that he had paled. “Have the rumors spread so quickly?”

“I have no doubt the gossip is flying,” she replied, refraining from mentioning her cousin’s stream of it. “But I was there at the ball when she jilted you, remember?”

She thought his shoulders sagged in his relief and wondered suddenly whether there was more to the story of Lady Janice’s refusal than she had thought. If he did stay in her life long enough, she might have to have a talk with the lady. Surely Lady Janice would tell her the truth of the matter.

“You are very good at being forthright,” he said to the window.

“Painfully so,” she acknowledged cheerfully. “And I do expect the same of others. So, out with it, my lord. You are only here to prove to Society that you were not trifling with my affections. Let us have a decent conversation and set you free from this onerous duty.” She knew the words sounded like a challenge and steeled herself for his concurrence. He stiffened as if making some resolution then strode back to her side. Sitting beside her on the sofa, he took her hands in his. Margaret looked up in surprise at the intensity of his gaze.

“Miss Munroe, you must believe me. I would not be here if I were not sincere in my admiration of you.”

She would have given anything to hear that speech and believe it. She snatched her hands away from him, leaning back against the opposite arm of the sofa to put distance between them. “Rubbish! Do you think me so feather-brained? You have not spent more than a half hour in my company since the day we met over a year ago. During that time, you sincerely courted two other women. You cannot admire me. You don’t even know me.”

He swallowed, lowering his gaze. “You are right, of course. I did not mean to imply that I had formed an attachment in so short a time. That would be quite unseemly.”

Though she had known the truth, his statement still hurt, for her own attachment had been formed quickly and surely. “Not unseemly, my lord. Just unlikely.”

“Agreed. I know very little about you, as you noted. However, I must insist that what I know is wholly admirable. You are sharp-witted; you seem to have a joy of life I have seen in few others; and your laugh is altogether delightful.”

“Really?” she squeaked, then swallowed the astonishment and pleasure that was preventing coherent thought, much less speech.

“Really,” he said with a smile that lit his eyes with blue flame, like brandy around a plum pudding. It both warmed and thrilled her.

“I will not claim to be courting,” he continued, “but I see no harm in a friendship. Will you allow me the opportunity to get to know you better?”

She could only nod, overcome by the tumult of emotions. A friendship was more than she had thought possible, yet how insipid it seemed. Her cousin Allison had inspired an offer of marriage after only a few encounters, and the best Margaret could do was a friendship? The second-rate Munroes were a dismal second this time. Yet even as she sighed, she felt a tingle of hope. Stranger things than friendship had led to romance.

I am very happy that Margaret’s story is available once more. I hope you find it does her justice. But I’m not sure I’ll ever be a good enough writer for that.

You can find The Marquis’ Kiss at fine online retailers such as

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Accessories: Parasols, Part 7

We’re back for another installment in our fashion series on NineteenTeen focusing not on dresses and gowns (gorgeous as they are) but on the little things that complete a fashionable ensemble—hats, shoes, gloves, purses, and other accessories.

Our accessory of the week is the parasol, vital for the preservation of a lady’s clear, un-sunburnt complexion—don’t forget, sun worship is a twentieth century phenomenon. And that isn’t all they were good for: they could be a tool for flirtation (or a useful item for fending off too determined a suitor!) And aren’t they just plain fun?

I’m dividing our look at parasols into two posts, though they were much more popular an accessory earlier on than they were into the 1820s and 1830s. Look for lots of images rather than commentary, though I’ll try to supply original text if I have it—the point is to be able to examine multiple examples of each item. Images are drawn from my collection of prints from British publications including Ackermann’s Repository and La Belle Assemblée. However, Ackermann’s had the most detailed plates, so the majority of images you’ll see will be from that publication.  These date from 1806-1815.

Happy accessorizing!

Kensington Garden Promenade Dresses, La Belle Assemblee, June 1806.

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, July 1809.  You'll notice in these earlier prints that most of the parasols match some aspect of the dress or pelisse/wrap. I love the net trim on this one.

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, August 1809.  Aren't the tassels adorable?

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, September 1809.

Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, October 1809. One thing that has interested me is that in many of these prints, the parasol was held by the top rather than the handle when not actually open.

Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, June 1810.  The text describes this as a "Chinese parasol, with deep awning of white silk." 

Promenade Dresses, Ackermann's Repository, July 1810.  I imagine that going out for a walk with a friend might be dangerous if you were both carrying parasols.

Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, August 1810. This one appears to have a double flounce. Notice also the shaped handle. It is a "Parasol of green Chinese silk, with deep awning."

Promenade Morning Dress, La Belle Assemblee, August 1810. A plaid parasol!

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, June 1811. Very natty, green with white trim.

 Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, August 1811. That's one way to keep the kids amused...

 Promenade Costume, Ackermann's Repository, September 1811. "...parasol corresponding with the cloak, with deep Chinese awning."

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, July 1812. Note the little hook at the end of the handle--the first we've seen in these prints.

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, August 1812. "...parasol of correspondent shot sarsnet, with deep ball-fringed awning."

Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, September 1812. "Parasol of blue shot silk, with deep Chinese frings." 

 Morning Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, July 1813. Note that while the handle is straight, there's a little hook on the end of this parasol! Useful for retrieving a dropped reticule, I suppose.

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, September 1813. "A large Eastern parasol, the colour of the mantle, with deep Chinese awning."  This may be my favorite parasol--it's so architectural! 

Promenade Dress, Ackermann's Repository, October 1814.  Here's something we've not yet seen--a carrying loop at the top!

Walking Dress, Ackermann's Repository, May 1815. "Parasol of straw-coloured silk."

We'll have a look at parasols from 1815 through the 1830s in our next Accessories post...and now I'll go lurk in the corner and have quiet parasol envy. ☺

Friday, February 10, 2017

The By Jove party continues: Book View Café

I’m still happily celebrating the re-release of my contemporary fantasy, By Jove, into the world...and thought you might be interested in learning a little about its new publisher, Book View Café...because, as BVC’s  motto reads, you can never have too many ebooks.

Book View Café is really a pretty cool concept: it’s a cooperative publisher, meaning that the author-members of BVC fill all the roles of a trade publisher—we edit, proofread, format, create book covers, do marketing, distribution, and publicity, maintain social media accounts, and even run an on-line store— www.bookviewcafe.com—to sell our books (though they’re also available at ebook retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Some books are also available in print editions. The only thing BVC does not do is accept submissions: all books published by the cooperative belong to members.

Because Book View Café was founded by a group of fantasy and science fiction writers as a way to republish books to which they’d gotten publication rights reverted, you’ll notice that most of the 300+ books available in BVC’s lists are genre fiction—in addition to science fiction and fantasy you can find romance, mysteries, thrillers, young adult, and a smattering of non-fiction and memoir as well as a number of short story compilations by BVC members...some of those members being science fiction luminary Ursula K. Leguin, Vonda N. McIntyre, Sarah Zettel, Sherwood Smith, Laura Anne Gilman, Patricia Rice, and more—lots more.

So the next time you’re looking for a good book, you really can’t do better than to stop by Book View Café.  But when you do, give yourself an hour or two to get lost in the books...

Thank you for celebrating with me!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Happy Book Birthday to Me! (again)

I am delighted to announce that By Jove re-releases today from Book View Café!

Here's the bee-yoo-tiful new cover!

And here’s the new blurb:

After three soul-destroying years of teaching unenthusiastic middle-schoolers, Theodora Fairchild is thrilled to be a student again, pursuing her doctorate in Latin. She’s sure John Winthrop University will be the intellectual home she’s always longed for, the place where she’ll finally fit in. But her teaching days aren’t quite over: Theo starts giving "humanities" lessons to sweetly nerdy post-doc Grant Proctor--and loses her heart.

But nobody in the Classics Department is quite who they seem . . . not even Grant. Theo's arrival rekindles an ancient rivalry between two powerful enemies, and Theo herself is the prize. After she unwittingly betrays Grant to his oldest foe, she’s determined to rescue him—and herself— before it’s too late.

Because even gods can die—or wish they were dead.

By Jove was first released in 2014. But I was able to get publication rights back from its first publisher, and have shaped it a little more to my taste as well as giving it a bit more of a polish, and I’m delighted with the result. I’m also able to market it more clearly: though it does contain a love story and a happily-ever-after ending, it really isn’t a romance—it’s as much about how my protagonist, Theo Fairchild, grows into and learns to understand herself as it is about her relationship with Grant...and of course, about a strong heroine learning to trust herself and save the day, because that is the type of story closest to my heart.

So if you haven’t had a look at By Jove before, I hope you’ll do so now. It’s available from Book View Café in both MOBI and EPUB formats as well as from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple ibooks, and Kobo.  A new print edition will be coming in April.

And...as part of my celebration,  I’ve put Skin Deep on sale for 99¢ for the month of February at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Apple and Kobo...so if you’re curious about my non-YA, non-historical works, now is a good, easy-on-the-pocketbook time to check them out.

Thank you for celebrating with me!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bond Street Beaux

Bond Street. Those fond of stories set in the early nineteenth century in England are apt to know the name as synonymous with shopping. It was the Rodeo Drive of Regency London, the place where you went to see and be seen, where the finest purveyors of the finest goods had their establishments. It remains a favorite shopping mecca today. And some of the stores there now have been in those locations or at least along that street since the Regency or before.

Take Chappell & Co. (now Yamaha Music London). Founded in 1810 by Samuel Chappell and two London music professors, it had showrooms for pianos and floors of sheet music, published by the store. Supposedly, even Beethoven remarked favorably about the shop.

Then there’s Russell & Bromley, bootmakers in the Regency, now an upscale shoe store. The website states that the shop does not stock “sale items.” Buyer beware.

My personal favorite, however, is Truefitt and Hill, gentlemen’s hairdressers since 1805 (although the “and Hill” was added in 1935). The “World’s Oldest Barbershop” as recognized by Guinness World RecordsTM, the shop was started by Francis Truefitt. Truefitt seemed to understand the mind of the Regency gentleman. Everything was first class, sophisticated, and well made, and service was impeccable. Besides cutting hair, he made and sold his own products, including gentlemen’s perfume. He was a royal warrant holder (the shop in London still is) and is said to have made wigs for Prinny.

Truefitt’s is mentioned in Dickens and Thackery. King George III, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron, and that arbiter of all things fashionable Beau Brummell are said to have availed themselves of his services. So, to my amusement, have American royalty John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Cary Grant.

I think I just found one more item to add to my “When I next go to England” bucket list.