Friday, March 27, 2015

Depicting sex and satire in Georgian London


© Cheryl Bolen
            Between 1770 and 1830 some 20,000 satirical or humorous engravings were published in London's print shops. The three most prominent artists (whom we think of as caricaturists) were, chronologically, James Gillray (1756-1815), Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), and George Cruikshank (1792-1878).
 

           
Titled "Fashionable Jockeyship," Cruikshank's satirical cartoon depicts the Price of Wales (future Regent) being carried on Lord Jersey's back to Lady Jersey's bed, with the prince holding up two horns as the sign of the cuckold.
 
Because these dealt with politics, international affairs, and scandals and satire of London's social elite, those who figured in the graphic satire and those who flocked to the print shops to purchase them for a shilling or more came from the middle and upper class.

            British historican Vic Gatrell uses his study of the 60-year era of graphic satire to show that before the Victorian era, London was a city of sex and laughter. The result of his interest is the stunning City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London, a nearly 700-page tome featuring 289 of these "cartoons" published (in the U.S) in 2006.

            Man, how these illustrations demonstrate sex and satire! Many of these illustrations have never before been reprinted, partly because of the bawdy subject matter.

            Since many of the social situations which inspired these satirical illustrations are unknown to most of us, Gatrell has kindly provided text to explain the background. His research and knowledge of Georgian London are astonishing.

            These 700 pages are crammed with interesting tidbits. Some examples:

·       Bachelor Prime Minister Pitt (the younger) "was stiff to everyone except a woman."

·       Public hangings were moved from Tyburn to the gate of Newgate prison in 1783.

·       Piccadilly was the first street to be lit by gas—in 1809.

·       Sedan chairs did not go out of fashion until 1820.

·       Women wearing powdered wigs washed their heads every three months.

·       Bagnios (public baths/brothels) were located in the Charing Cross area near Charles I's statue.

·       Doors to Haymarket opened at five.

·       Drury Lane boxes cost 5 shillings, and upper gallery seats could be had for a shilling.

            Because the artists slightly changed the actual names or omitted letters, the artists and printers did not get sued.

            One print, for example, shows Lady Worsley washing her naked body in the bathhouse at Maidstone while her husband, Sir Richard Worsley,  stands outside, hoisting a man up to the small window near the roof to get a peek. The story goes that Sir Richard tapped on the bathhouse door to notify his wife he was going to give Bissett a peek. Apparently, Sir Richard was an accomplice in his wife's many adulteries. The text on the drawing reads:

Sir Richard Worse-than-Sly, Exposing his Wife's Bottom – O Fye!

Many of the illustrators accepted bribes. George Cruikshank (whose father, Isaac, was also a noted caricaturist) accepted £100 from the regent to strop satirizing him. Gillray earned a £200 annual pension from George Canning in 1797 to produce propaganda against the Foxite Whigs.           

"Bums, Farts, and Other Transgressions" is the title of one of the chapters. If you ever wondered how to illustrate a fart, this is the book for you. Part of another chapter on libertines deals with the erotica Rowland illustrated from 1790 until 1810. Some of the erotica is truly graphic, even pornographic, except Gatrell explains that because they are humorous they do not meet the criteria for pornography. (Warning: Keep book out of reach of young children.)

Some of Rowlandson's erotica was costly to purchase and was prized by wealthier Londoners. These prints were also shared with women.

London in Regency times was the richest and most economically dynamic city in the world, and its residents were undoubtedly the most debauched.
Of the couple of hundred Regency research books in my library, this volume will now rise to the top five in breadth of knowledge imparted.—Cheryl Bolen’s second book in the House of Haverstock series, A Duchess by Mistake, releases on April 7 and can now be preordered.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spotlight on Regency Fashion: the pelisse

By Donna Hatch

Ladies in Regency England had more reasons to change clothes than the modern-day woman would ever believe. They had special clothes for relaxing at home, walking, riding, going for a drive in a carriage, afternoon gowns, evening gowns, ball gowns, etc. And the number of accessories is even more mind-boggling.

But one of the Regency ladies' fashion accessories was practical as well as fashionable. It was the pelisse. Generally lightweight, Regency ladies wore this long over-garment to protect her clothes from dust and dirt. Since many roads were unpaved, walking and riding in a carriage produced dust and dirt that would sully a gown. And since fashionable ladies often wore white or light colors as a status symble, keeping clothing clean in a not-so-terribly clean environment must have proved challenging. Big cities such as London were even dirtier with all the soot polluting the air from burning coal.

Wearing a pelise became an indespensible part of fashion, as well as a necessary garment, outside one's home. Though pelisses didn't generally take the place of a warm coat or cloak, they also added a layer of warmth in the event the weather took a sudden turn.

I have additional pictures of pelisses and gowns on my Pinterest Regency and Jane Austen Page.


Donna Hatch is a noted Regency researcher, enthusiast, and historical romance author. You can visit her website at www.donnahatch.com
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Follow her blog at www.donnahatch.com/blog

Friday, March 13, 2015

Regency Posting Inns and Post Coaches



Over the centuries in England, post houses existed along the roads, many of them constructed at first to provide horses for the Royal Mail. The type of business determined its name: ale houses served ales, taverns served wine, inns provided rooms for travelers.

The post houses came to be known as posting inns, unlike the coaching inns that would provide carriage for hire. Eventually, public houses, which came to later be called “pubs” and were different from private houses or clubs, came into being might serve food and drink. All these establishments held to a long tradition of a memorable name, preferably one that might be made into a sign that would be easy for an illiterate person to identify. Common names included: the Blue Lion, the Pheasant, the Rose & Crown, the Feversham Arms, the Bell, Castle House, the Boar's Head, the Peacock, the Kings Head, the White Hart, the Swan, the George (a popular name after the Hanoverians took the throne). More unusual names might include the Running Footman, the Honest Layer, the Cock and Bull, or the Eagle and Child.

Initially, these posting inns or post houses provided only horses, but as the Royal Mail was changed in the late 1700’s to use mail coaches, the coaches, horses, and drivers were all supplied by contract. There was much competition for this lucrative business—a contractor earned not only a fixed regular income for the postal service, but could also charge fares for any passengers on the coach, and an inn could also hope for extra income from quick refreshments sold to passengers.



On Monday August 2, 1784, John Palmer's first coach left the Rummer Tavern in Bristol at 4:00 PM, carrying the mail and four passengers (which later became seven passengers, with four inside).  As noted, Palmer had long advocated postal reform and expansion—increased commerce, industry, and population demanded it.  After his friend William Pitt became Prime Minister, Palmer got authority to try his reform ideas. Palmer's Mail Coach reached Bath at 5:20 PM, and arrived in London at the Swan with Two Necks well before 8:00 the next morning to deliver mail to the Chief Post Office in Lombard Street.  The coach had traveled 119 miles in under sixteen hours, an incredible feat at the time.  Palmer received public acclaim and bureaucratic stone-walling, including a record of criticism which ran to three volumes of copperplate.  However, Palmer's Mail Coaches began to take hold.

In 1787, the Post Office adopted an improved mail coach design patented coach by John Besant and John Vidler. The two men soon held a monopoly on the supply of Royal Mail coaches, including their upkeep, and servicing, and all the coaches took on the distinct black and scarlet colors of the Royal Mail, with the stage number painted on the back side pannel.

From 1801 to 1808, England also had numerous private posts to carry letters between towns and manor houses.  Rates could vary from 1/2d to 1d or more for delivery.  From 1808 on, local delivery standardized at 1d per letter and post towns began to use the stamp P.P. for Penny Post.  The private posts, however, tended to be notoriously slow and unreliable.  Postmasters often went bankrupt, ending their service without much warning.  Those to whom speed carried more importance than money kept to the old practice of sending letters via servants, by the Common Carriers, or by private courier.

By 1811, approximately 220 mail coaches ran on regular schedules from London to various major cities.  These coaches used the main post roads and cross roads (post roads that did not pass through London, but which crossed the main roads), which could support the light, fast coaches.  The new process for macadamizing roads created excellent paved surfaces on the main roads, but other dangers existed, including: poor drivers (on the road and on the mail coaches), bad light from the lack of any moon at night, snow drifts, flooded rivers that had to be forded, collapsed bridges, thunder and lightning that might spook the horses, heavy fog, and rain that could be blinding. On steep hills, passengers might have to climb out and walk beside the coach going up and down to better save the horses for their primary job of delivering the mail. In addition, dust was always a problem on the road in the summer, and any lady who traveled generally wore a veil not to protect her identity, but to save her delicate skin.


Toll roads were constructed during this time period—roads that were the enterprise of local contractors or postal concerns, and the toll was meant to pay for the construction work. Mail coaches had the advantages of not having to pay tolls, which could be worth as much as six pounds to the contractor.

The Royal Mail coach was faster than any stage as the mail only stopped for delivery of mail, and sometimes did not stop at all but only slowed to allow the mail to be exchanged with a quick toss. The coaches were drawn by a team of four, and had seating inside for four passengers, and outside for two or three more to sit with the driver. A seat inside for the Royal Mail from London to Bristol cost about 2 pounds and 10 shillings, while one outside cost about 1 pound.  In general, Royal Mail ticket costs were about one penny (1d) per mile more than would be charged by a privately operated stage. (Stage fares averaged about 2d  to 3d a mile for an outside seat, and 4d to 5d for an inside seat.)
Mail coaches averaged 7 to 8 mph on hard summer roads, and up to 10 mph on a good, straight road with no hills, but in poor winter conditions this speed went down to about 5 mph. Fresh horses were supplied every 10 to 15 miles. Unlike stage coaches, which were operated by private companies, the limit on passengers and luggage on the mail prevented the common danger of overturning due to excessive or top-heavy weight. The mail coaches also traveled mostly at night when roads were less busy and the coach might make better time.

But the heyday of the posting inns and mail coaches wasn't long. In the 1830's the first delivery of mail by rail took place between Liverpool and Manchester, and by the early 1840's London-based mail coaches were being withdrawn from service. The last mail coach service to London ended in 1846--the age of rail had taken over. Many posting inns closed as traffic moved from road to rail. A few regional mail coaches continued active service into the 1850's, but these, too, were being replaced, and many posting inns fell into ruin, with only those in the main towns surviving
.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Palmerston Papers Rival Bosworth's, Walpole's in Historical Significance


© Cheryl Bolen

The second Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802), whose son served as Prime Minister in the 1850s and 1860s, exemplified the late Georgian aristocracy. He served for many years in the House of Commons and was at the center of society. He traveled extensively abroad, always with an eye to adopting Continental architecture and artifacts into his own beloved Broadlands, his country home in Hampshire.
In the late1700s the 2nd Lord Palmerston hired both Robert Adam and Capability Brown to "modernize" his beloved Broadland, located in Hampshire.

What makes him stand apart from other effulgent aristocrats of his day, though, is the rich legacy of letters (1,400), travel journals and appointment books (100 books) he left behind — some million words in all, a sixth of which is presented in Connell’s work.

It was through a most circuitous path that these papers saw publication. Since the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston had no legitimate issue, Broadlands fell to the second son of Palmerston’s wife, the widow of Lord Cowper, whom Palmerston did not marry until she was fifty. That son, William Cowper (said to have been sired by Palmerston), left no issue, so Broadlands passed to the second son of his niece, Evelyn Ashley. The estate eventually passed to Ashley’s granddaughter, who became the Countess Mountbatten.

The Countess Mountbatten found the papers at Broadlands in the mid 1900's while renovating the mansion and asked Brian Connell to edit them. His labors resulted in Portrait of a Golden Age: Intimate Papers of the Second Viscount Palmerston, Courtier under George III, published in 1958.

Critic Virginia Kirkus said their discovery “rates with the Boswell papers and the Walpole letters, and that recaptures a personality and period as vividly as does Cecil’s Melbourne.”

From Palmerston’s engagement diaries, it is possible to know with whom he had dinner every night of his adult life. His range of friendships included an astonishing roster of the great names of his era from Voltaire to Lady Hamilton to Prinny. His works are rich with records of prices he paid for items as well as serving as a glossary of medicinals of the era. Palmerston himself prefaced his diaries, “As these books may be considered as the anals of a man’s life, and may be of use even after his decease, they ought by all means to be preserved.”

Few of the entries are intensely personal, but the following one chronicles the death of his first wife, who died in childbed two years after their marriage:

Lady Palmerston was taken ill with a feverish complaint. Two days afterwards she was brought to bed of a dead child. She was tolerably well for some days, but a fever came on suddenly which made a most rapid progress and on the fatal 1st of June terminated the existence of a being by far the most perfect I have ever known; of one who possessing worth, talents, temper and understanding superior to most persons of either sex, never during my whole connection with her spoke a word or did an act I could wished to alter.

These diaries shed so much light on the practices of the day. For example, weddings were no big deal. Families often did not attend. The well-placed Lord Palmerston wrote the following to his mother prior to his first marriage:

I should have wrote to you a little sooner but could not have given you any certain notice of the time of my being married, but have the pleasure to tell you that before you read this, you will in all probability have a most amiable daughter-in-law, as I believe I shall be married tomorrow.

We should all give thanks to Countess Mountbatten and to Brian Connell for giving us such a work.
 
Her Broadlands—which the 2nd Lord Palmerston so lovingly restyled in the Palladian manner favored by the Georgians—has been closed for several years for restoration. It now belongs to her grandson, Lord Brabourne and will reopen to the public during the summer of 2015. Many of the family archives have reportedly been sold to the University of Portsmouth. What a privilege it would be to see both Broadlands and the archives!—Cheryl Bolen's second book in the House of Haverstock series, A Duchess by Mistake, releases on April 7 and can now be preordered.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Regency Spring



It's spring--almost! With Valentine's day here, you can read up on a History of Valentine's Day over at Jane Austen's World.

But let's look ahead to March and the coming of spring.

January was not always the beginning of the year—an older tradition began the year in March.

In March, Lady Day, March 25, was the traditional day for planting and hiring farm laborers for such work. In the church calendars, this day was set as the Feast of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary to tell her about her upcoming role. This was also the traditional day for when yearly agreements might end or need renewal—it was the old day for the first day of the year. This made it one of the main quarter days.

The quarter days were when servants were hired, rents were due, and assizes were held in the Assizes Towns, over Assizes Week. Assize comes from the Old French and meant that judges traveled the seven circuits of England and Wales, setting up court.

The English quarter days (also observed in Wales and the Channel Islands) are:

March 25       Lady Day
June 24         Midsummer Day
Sept 29          Michaelmas
Dec 25           Christmas

Cross-quarter days that fall between the quarters, adhere to older Celtic holidays:

Feb 2              Candlemas
May 1             May Day
Aug 1             Lammas
Nov 1              All Hallows

In Ireland, prior to 5th century AD, the old Celtic quarter days were observed:

Feb 1              Imbolc
May 1             Beltaine
Aug 1             Lunasa
Nov 1             Samhain

The old Scottish term days, and the quarter days in northern England until the 18th century, were:

Feb 2              Candlemas
May 15           Whitsunday
Aug 1             Lammas
Nov 11           Martinmas

(For more information on quarter days and cross-quarter days, visit Almanac.com.)

St. David's Day, the Welsh patron saint, came on March 1, and tradition held that all good Welshmen should wear a leak—a vegetable readily available from winter fare.

March also brought Lent, and very often Easter (in March or April).

You may think that colored eggs and rabbits are modern inventions, but these are actually ancient traditions associated with Easter. (It’s only the chocolate Easter bunny and the bunny with eggs in its basket that are new.)

Eggs have been associated with fertility and new beginnings for a very long time. And the hare is also an ancient symbol used since the Middle Ages by the Church. In 1290, King Edward I of England actually ordered 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts.

Pace Eggs are hard boiled eggs with patterned shells, and are traditional made in northern parts of England.

At Biddenden in Kent at Easter, the Biddenden Dole—bread, cheese, beer, and cake—is distributed. Since the late 1700’s, the cake given out bears an image of two women said to be the founders of this charity, a pair of Siamese twins who were born in 1100 and died within a few hours of each other at thirty-four.

Hot Cross Buns are also an old tradition in England. It is said they were made by Saxons to honor their goddess Eostre, with the bun represented the moon and the cross the moon's quarters. But at Easter the cross symbolizes the crucifixion. They’re traditionally served warm on Good Friday.

In Shropshire and Herefordshire, Simnell Cakes made with saffron were made for the Easter season. But in many parts of England, the Simnell Cake is made at the end of Lent, the period of forty days before Easter (starting with Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday).

In the 17th century, Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent, became the day when those in service were allowed a day off to go and visit their mothers. Girls would bake their mothers a Simnell cake as a gift.

In England, Maundy Thursday, is the beginning of Easter celebrations and commemorates the Last Supper. The name comes from the Latin, mandatum (relating to Jesus’ commands to his disciples). Up to 1689, the king or queen would wash the feet of the poor in Westminster Abbey. Food and clothing were also handed out to the poor. Maundy coins—specially minted—were also given out to pensioners.

From the fifteenth century on, the amount of Maundy coins handed out, and the number of people receiving the coins, was tied to the years of the Sovereign’s life and given to celebrate specific events. The Yeomen of the Guards carry the Maundy money in red and white leather purses on golden alms trays on their heads.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Torrid Life of Lady Caroline Lamb


The facts of Lady Caroline Lamb’s life are presented in this 2004 biography from Paul Douglass, but as an English professor (at San Jose State University), Douglass is more interested in Lady Caroline the author than Lady Caroline, lover of the great Romantic poet Lord Byron.

Lady Caroline Lamb


The biographical information includes information on her birth and the privileged set into which she was born. She was the only daughter of Frederick Ponsonby, Viscount Duncannon and his wife Harriet, the youngest daughter of the first Lord Spencer. The Duke of Devonshire was Lord Duncannon’s first cousin; the Duchess of Devonshire was Lady Duncannon’s sister. Because Lady Duncannon was caught up in the fast lifestyle of the Whig ladies of the era, she had several lovers, among them Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the playwright and great Whig orator. Douglass suggests the possibility that Sheridan might actually have been Lady Caroline’s father, but he also says, “Sheridan’s amazingly facile tongue, moodiness, and tendency toward self-destructive behavior all find echoes in Lady Caroline’s personality, though it is unlikely they were related by blood.”

Born November 13, 1785, Lady Caroline spent most of her early years abroad and could speak and write fluently in French and Italian. In 1793 her father succeeded, becoming Earl of Bessborough. Though she was very close to her mother, Lady Caroline — always a high-strung child — was also close to her maternal grandmother, Lady Spencer, who attempted to counteract her own daughter’s influence with piety.
William Lamb


At age nineteen, Lady Caroline married William Lamb, the second son of Lord and Lady Melbourne, though he was almost certainly sired by his mother’s lover Lord Egremont. Caro had known him all her life. He wrote that he had been in love with her for four years but could not hope for her hand until he became Lord Melbourne’s heir when his elder brother unexpectedly died. As heir, he would be a suitable match for a high-born girl like Lady Caroline. Had she not fallen in love with Lamb, she was destined to marry either her cousin who would be the sixth Duke of Devonshire or the cousin who would be the third Lord Spencer.

Though she was madly in love with Lamb before the marriage, she was extremely moody the first few weeks of her marriage. It is believed she was shocked over what went on in the bedchamber between a husband and wife. Seven months later she gave birth to a premature girl, who died shortly after her birth. The following year she gave birth to her son Augustus Lamb. She adored her infant son, but as he became older it was clear he was mentally handicapped. Douglass said Augustus was retarded, but he gives no examples and scarcely mentions Augustus after his birth. (From other sources, it appears the boy may have been autistic.) Douglass does say that Caroline insisted that the boy not be put away but always stay with her or his father.

Having befriended Byron’s publisher John Murray, Caroline read Byron’s "Childe Harold" before its publication and — instantly captivated — told Murray she had to meet Byron. (By then, Lady Caroline had already conducted at one flagrant love affair.)
Lord Byron


Her affair with Byron began the month of Childe Harold’s publication, March, 1812, and like a flame burned with torrid intensity before it was snuffed three months later. During the tempestuous days of their liaison Lady Caroline flung discretion to the wind. Small and thin, she dressed as a page and sneaked into Byron’s chambers for passionate bouts of lovemaking that may have been even too wild for Byron. At first, his passion rivaled hers, but because of the disgrace she was bringing to her husband and family and because he needed to marry an heiress, he backed away from Caro. In an effort to make her despise him, Byron told her of unpardonable acts he had committed. Douglass suggests that Byron admitted to incest with his sister Augusta Leigh and to having sex with boys. Douglass even suggests he forced anal sex on Caroline to make himself loathsome to her.

In September, her parents demanded she and her husband go to Ireland with them. Though Byron would write and inform her he no longer loved her, Caroline never could free herself of the debilitating love she felt toward him. She lost all pride. In her twisted sense of intimacy, she exchanged locks of hair with him, but she sent pubic hair.
 
She never stopped writing to him, never stopped begging for meetings with him. In a letter she wrote him two years after their affair she captures her own persona better than any biographer: “I lov’d you as no Woman ever could love because I am not like them — but more like a Beast who sees no crime in loving & following its Master — you became such to me — Master of my soul more than of anything else.”

In her obsession over Byron, she became adept not only at copying the style of his poetry but also of copying his handwriting and manner of scratching out words in his writings. She used this to forge a letter to Murray authorizing Caroline to take possession of a Byron portrait that was at Murray’s publishing office.

If she could not have Byron, she wanted his portrait – and his writings, writings, which she studied and emulated for the rest of her life. Four years after their affair she published her novel Glenarvon. Hugely popular, it went to several printings but instead of gaining the critical acclaim she so desired, its satire of her own class caused her to be ostracized.

But she would not be deterred in her obsession to be an author. She wrote lyrics, poetry, and two more novels.

Her relationship with Lord and Lady Melbourne, with whom she was forced to live, had been tenuous ever since the blatant affair with Byron and as her outrageous behavior (throwing crockery, coming to a ball dressed as Byron’s "Don Juan," shamelessly flirting with the Duke of Wellington) increased, they urged William to separate from her.

But the cuckolded William stuck by her. As she slipped into alcoholism in the 1820s he, too, began to be disgusted with her, and he made arrangements to live apart.

It was at this time the Melbourne family came to the conclusion she was insane. William would not commit her, but he did hire “keepers” for her. He never divorced her and was at her side when she died at age forty-two. Her death was brought on by her alcoholism.
 
William Lamb, Lord Melbourne (Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister)

Lady Caroline would never become Lady Melbourne. In a cruel irony of her life, William succeeded to the title and became prime minister after her death.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Regency Sun Protection

Regency fashion plate, parasolby Donna Hatch

Unlike the sun-kissed tans admired by some women today, (and let's face it, chalk-white legs just aren't coveted) a pale complexion was a fashion statement during much of England's history. Since laborers often worked long hours outside, their skins got tanned and weathered from exposure to the sun and the elements. A lady with a creamy complexion loudly proclaimed, without uttering a word, that she was wealthy enough not to have to spend a great deal of time out of doors. But since a lady's skin could become unfashionably brown simply by walking outside, even with the protection of a hat or bonnet, she had to take measures to protect her skin from the sun.

During previous eras, ladies and gentlemen of the upper classes powered their faces to maintain a pale complexion.  But by the Regency Era, people abandoned the powder, rouge, lipstick, and powered wigs, as well as ostentatiously ornate clothing, in favor of a more natural, comfortable look. They also started bathing on a regular basis, which I think is not a coincidence.

Regency fashion plate and parasol
What was a lady to do if she wanted to spend time outside but keep her skin alabaster white without the use of powder? Sunscreen, obviously, was not the answer, since it had yet to be invented. Bonnets and hats certainly helped but there were times when those failed to protect a lady's face from all angles of the sun.

Enter the parasol. Made of natural fabrics such as cotton and silk and often embellished with lace, these functional little beauties became so popular in England early in the 19th century that they became part of a fashionable ensemble.  Depending on how they were made, they could even protect a lady from a light rain.

Winter Collection, 6 historical short storiesSo the next time your Regency lady goes for a walk, make sure she brings her bonnet and parasol to keep her face un-freckled and white, and her gloves to protect her hands, lest she fall under criticism of becoming "brown." Horrors!

For more pictures, feel free to check out  my Regency Accessories Pinterest Board with lots of images and fashion plates of parasols, fans, shoes, and other fun Regency accessories.

Laura Boyl on Jane Austen Center has some lovely pictures of ladies and children carrying parasols.

Louise Allen, on her blog, History of Costume, has a great collection of pictures as well as how the "correct" way to hold a parasol evolved.

Sources:
http://janeaustenslondon.com/tag/history-of-costume/
http://www.janeausten.co.uk/parasols/