In the Victorian era, hay was made by hand with a scythe. But even today, a scythe is often used to cut grass and make hay. I love making hay with a scythe – it’s the best full body workout! Every summer, I make hay for our rabbits by hand with a scythe. Besides haymaking, the scythe is also perfect to cut grass on a hill in our garden that is too steep for a lawn mower.
‘Now, whilst the mowers are whetting their scythes, and the fragrant smell of the hay fills the summer air, let us sit on the haycock, and glance at the flowers around us.’ (English Wild Flowers, 1868)
Victorians and Edwardians were fond of traveling. ‘The Grand Tour’ – a travel through European countries – was a popular travel to finish the education of wealthy young adults. Italy and Greece were the most popular travel destinations, and some even traveled to the Far East! The advent of the railroad and steamships in the Victorian era made traveling much easier. In the Victorian era, there were already unchaperoned traveling women, such as Ida Pfeiffer – the travel blogger of the Victorian era! 😉 Continue reading Victorian & Edwardian Travel Accessories→
The ‘door was thrown open leading into the great exhibition-room. Here was a magnificent Christmas-tree hung all over with colored wax tapers; here were tables covered with white cloths, and glittering from head to foot with the most bewitching doll-babies, work-boxes, card-cases, silk dresses, rattles, penny whistles, shawls, sashes, drawing-implements, and I don’t know what all, for big and little, with a name written upon each, and ever so many funny inscriptions to make it all the more merry.’ (An American Family In Germany, 1866, p. 183) Continue reading The Victorian Christmas Tree→
‘Christmas is coming. […] Such a capering and hiding; stitching, knitting, clipping, cutting, and pasting; red paper and blue paper; spangles of gold and silver; purses, cuffs, lamp-rugs, slippers, and neck-ties; gewgaws, and filigree, and gimcracks; green trees, hung all over with colored balls, little angels, and candy horsemen; wax tapers and bits of looking-glass; such surprises hid in fancy boxes and bags, on the tops of the wardrobes, behind the bureaus, and under the sofas, for Tom, Dick, and Harry; mysterious whisperings, secret conferences, knowing looks, nods, and winks, and sudden hidings away of articles in progress of manufacture but not yet to be seen Continue reading Victorian & Edwardian Christmas Gifts – Part 1→
‘The shops are showing a marvelous array of gifts that cost small fortune and there are many of us who have to pass them by, regarding them as the fleshpots of Egypt. That is no reason, though, why we should deprive ourselves of the pleasure of giving, nor deprive our friends of the pleasure of being remembered by us. There are a thousand simple and not simple articles that can be made at home for a small cost of material. If they cost much labor, all the better. Then our friends know that we have really wanted to make a sacrifice for their pleasure. Continue reading Victorian Christmas Gifts For The Home→
‘It was the afternoon of Christmas eve. The weather was delightfully mild for the season, and the sky was without a cloud. The streets of Philadelphia were unusually crowded, and the whole appearance of the city was gay and animated. The fancy stores were resplendent with elegant ribbons, laces, scarfs, and reticules, and the shops for artificial flowers, made a display which rivalled nature in their most blooming season. It was a pleasing spectacle to see so many parents leading their children, all with happy faces; some full of hope and others replete with satisfaction; some going to buy Christmas gifts, others carrying home those already purchased.’ (The Pearl, 1830, p. 106) Continue reading Victorian Store-Bought Christmas Presents→
‘Many housewives object to Christmas decorations, fearing that the furniture and paper may become scratched and spoiled. The decorators should bear this fear in mind, for beauty at Christmas will not pay for ugliness all the year round. Holly, the very prettiest and most Christmas-like of all adornments, does undoubtedly scratch and tear; it is therefore
best used chiefly in bouquets for jars and vases. In this way it can be scattered about the room very effectively, and can also be kept in water. People are apt to imagine that holly, as an evergreen, needs no nourishment; but, like all other plants, it lasts twice as long if kept moist. Continue reading Victorian Christmas Decorations→
In the Victorian and Edwardian era, wearing mourning was a social obligation but it also helped to protect the feelings of the mourners: Every stranger would instantly recognize the mourning dress, know of their loss and wouldn’t hurt their feelings with unnecessary jaunty remarks.
The colors of Victorian mourning are black, white, gray, purple, lavender and scarlet. Black is the color most associated with mourning wear. However, not all extant black dresses are mourning dresses: Continue reading Victorian Mourning→