craft

Crafts of the Regency Period

A blog by Felicity Miller…

Crafts were the gentlewoman’s skill of the time

…young ladies can have the patience to be so very accomplished… They all paint tables, cover skreens and net purses.”

As romantic as the crafts of the period sound, basically without Netflix or social media, the ladies of the Regency era were quite bored and had to find something to keep themselves busy until they found a man of good fortune.

In modern times, needlework and painting are hobbies, to be enjoyed during leisure time. Admittedly, all of a gentlewoman’s time in the Austen era was leisure time, but these crafts served many practical purposes as well. Despite not being part of the workforce, women were still expected contribute to the household in their own elegant way. Their mending, production and embellishment of clothing and household goods was seen as their provision for the family, along with the eventual production of sons. Some of the items produced by young ladies were purely decorative, allowing women the chance to exhibit their skills with covered screens or embroidered cushions …

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Picnic at Pemberley: Other Physical Games

Whilst it may seem at a glance that there are many more physical activities available for gentlemen in company than there are for ladies, the fair sex is well catered for. What follows is a sampling of  suitable games for young ladies.

Archery

Toxophily is an ideal activity for both sexes. It builds patience, coordination and poise in a healthy outdoor setting. What better model for young ladies than the modest Diana, goddess of the hunt and archery.

Blind mans bluff and  hide-and-go- seek are excellent entertainment though the area of the play should be defined beforehand and the bufferting of the “blindman” should not be tolerated. To avoid scandal young women should not go into a hiding spot with a man unaccompanied.

Rolling of Hoops and skipping with a rope are also healthy ways for young ladies to gain exercise.

Under no circumstances should young ladies play at “hot cockles” with members …

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Picnic at Pemberley: The Game of Siam

Reportedly introduced by the Siamese ambassador to the court of his majesty king Louis XIV of France the name of the game betrays its exotic origins. The game is for two players and requires a ball and nine pins or skittles. The skittles are set out in a circle of eight with the ninth pin at the centre. The pins should be spaced twice the length of a pin apart.

Each skittle is worth one point, except for the three at the end of the circle farthest from the players; the two outside of which are worth 4 points and the middle one 5 points. The pin in the centre of the circle is worth 9 points.

Each player rolls or tosses the ball to knock down the pins and tallies their score. The first to reach 19 is the winner. If a player tallies more than 19 they have BURST and cannot win. If a player knocks over the centre pin they score 9 points; provided no other pin is thrown over at the same time. If the centre …

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Picnic at Pemberley: To Play at Pall

Pall Mall is a delightfully simple and uncomplicated pastime. Players form two teams, each player being identified by a coloured band on the ball.

Players start with their ball no more than a mallet’s head from the starting post. Each player takes a turn striking their ball with their mallet through the alley of hoops, the mall, until they reach the end post and then return in the reverse sequence. The correct sequence of hoops can be ascertained by counting the number of ribbons affixed to each hoop. The winning team is the one where both players have reached and struck the end post and returned through the hoops to strike the starting post.

Pall-Mall is a suitable game for both sexes as form and skill rather than brute strength is called for. As it is commonly played in pairs it is ideal for young ladies with chaperones.

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