Regency Science and Invention: London’s Gaslights

rowlandson-gas_lights

Leigh’s new picture of London; or, A view of the … British metropolis, 1818 Gas lights in London during the Regency were a thing of wonder rather than commonplace.  1807 saw experimental lamps installed in Pall Mall to celebrate George III’s birthday and by 1813 the Gas Light and Coke Company lit up the Westminster Bridge (https://web.archive.org/web/20151225124433/http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/dec/25/londons-last-gas-street-lamps).  By 1826 almost every large city and town … Expand

Joan Smith: Blossom Time

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME One of those dashing rogues too attractive to ignore, Lord Harwell featured largely in Rosalind Lovelace’s fantasies. But she had too much common sense to let dreams color her reality. Harwell was a friend and neighbor–and destined to marry some Incomparable. However, she was quite aware of his budding interest in her now that her poetry had won the … Expand

Regency Villains: James Hadfield

The New Newgate Calendar: Being Interesting Memoirs of Notorious …, Volume 4 Hadfield sustained a severe head injury at the Battle of Tourcoing in 1794, being struck eight times on the head with a sabre.  Upon return to England, he became convinced that the Second Coming of Jesus would occur if he were killed by the British government, and so conspired to murder the King … Expand

Carola Dunn: Crossed Quills

When Wynn Selworth implores Prometheus, a supposed male literary essayist who is actually Phillippa Lisle, to help him, Phillippa poses as Prometheus’ liaison since she is determined never to reveal her secret, and together they embark on a madcap adventure of love. The hero is an aspiring politico, who although a successful secret gothic novelist, sucks at writing speeches.  Enamoured of the work of political … Expand

Regency Science and Invention: Coffee and the Art of Preparing It

Appearing in the February 1813 edition of the Philosophical Magazine, the improved coffee pot purported to make better coffee than pots of the past. DH and I are converts for the last decade to the French Press after years of drip coffee and a couple of years experimenting with an early home espresso machine.  I, however, fondly remember growing up hearing the familiar sound and … Expand

Regency Pastimes: The Great Parachute Experiment of 1802

A popular spectacle to attend during the Regency era were balloon ascensions.  The French were the leaders in balloon experimentation, leading to the first hydrogen balloon ascensions in the late 1700s.  The first balloon ride with living creatures occurred in 1783 when the Montgolfier brother sent a sheep, duck and rooster up before a crowd at the royal palace in Versailles.  A few days later … Expand