Category: Victorian Life

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ursula lecoeur

Dining on Haviland

Mary Reporting. Tour any Victorian home and invariably there’s an elegant dining room, with every inch of the table’s surface covered with fine china and silver flatware. In the adjacent butler’s pantry, the guide never fails to note that the lady of the house generally washed her own dishes and put them away. She took […]

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ursula lecoeur

New Year’s: Will You Go to Your Cellarette?

Mary Reporting. What more fitting day than New Year’s Eve to discuss the cellarette, that piece of furniture once found in American homes to house adult libations under lock and key.  Today, we might grab a bottle of champagne from the back of the fridge rather than opening an elegant mahogany or burled walnut cabinet. […]

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Ursula LeCoeur

Harper’s Bazar Takes Me Back 127 Years

Mary Reporting. My mother once accepted a phone solicitor’s offer to receive 15 magazine subscriptions for three years for only X dollars a month. My father was horrified by the expense, but we soon became a family of magazine readers. Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Esquire, The Saturday Review of Literature (remember that […]

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Ursula LeCoeur

Field Trip: Old Absinthe House

Helen reporting. Modern readers think of absinthe as the nectar of poets and artists. Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Charles Baudelaire were among the many luminaries said to enjoy the green fairy in copious amounts. Even today, rumors abound about absinthe’s hallucinogenic properties, partly because these artists experienced high levels of creativity, delirium, epileptic-like […]

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ursula lecoeur

Fear of Fears: Neurasthenia, a Victorian Malady

Mary and Helen Reporting. In Love Lessons, our work in progress, we needed a secondary character in great distress to pull Carine Botoloph and Vespasian Colville apart. We created Evelina Levert, a young lady who has lost both parents and lives with her older brother, who is her guardian. The problem is, Evelina thinks he […]

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