Category: Victorian Life

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Ursula LeCoeur

A Lap Desk Held a Victorian Lady’s Treasures

Mary and Helen reporting. Today, our personal laptops are never far out of reach. A lady in the 18th and 19th centuries owned something very similar—but far more elegant—a lap desk. A fancy lap desk is an authentic accouterment of a fashionable Regency or Victorian lady. Made of mahogany, Brazilian rosewood—or of pine veneered with […]

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Hope in a Jar: Victorian Ladies Made Themselves Up

It’s no secret Cleopatra wore green eye shadow and blackened her brows and eyelashes with kohl, a mix of lead, copper, ash and burnt almonds. The Greeks and Romans favored white lead paint on their faces with rouge of crushed mulberries. In England in the 1700s, the fashionable outdid themselves with powdered wigs, powdered faces, […]

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Victorian lady's hat

Why Put a Heroine in a Hat Shop?

Mary reporting. In this century when everyone except the British Royal Family has given up head coverings, it’s hard for us to imagine how important hats were to fashionable ladies in the 1880s. A hat offered the crowning touch to a lady’s ensemble. An expensive, often custom-made accessory, it was a wardrobe essential. A lady […]

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Victorian Gentleman's (L) and Lady's (R) Chairs

The Tiny Waist Leads to the Armless Chair

Mary reporting. In my grandmother’s home, the Victorian gentleman’s chair had graceful mahogany arms on each side, ideal for resting his forearms while reading a book or a newspaper. The smaller lady’s chair had no arms. The wood curving around the chair’s back simply stopped at the velvet upholstered seat. Such inequality in home furnishings […]

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