Journey to the Ball . . .

I am still completely snowed under with edits, so my other dear long-distance friend, Rebecca Bingham, has agreed to guest-blog.  She, along with Pat, has also agreed to help organise the Ball which is proving more fun than we could possibly have imagined and heavens knows its imagination that is oiling the whole machine.

Let me introduce Rebecca . . .

“My invitation to the masquerade ball included a special invitation to pen a few words on Mesmered. Accepting this honor with some trepidation, I began to think about the ball I would be attending and the persona I would choose to inhabit. Would I choose to be myself (at some point in the age continuum – not necessarily this one), a favorite fictional or historical character, or someone entirely new to me? Hmmm… Possibilities abounded, but eventually I chose. After making my decision, I began write my draft and, simultaneously, to think about what visuals I might include. Embracing the spirit of procrastination that writing always seems to stimulate, I decided to search for pictures first.

At the Fashion-Era site ( I found a plethora of detailed information about attire during the Regency period and beyond. Among the topics was a section on undergarments, which  made for interesting reading but yielded no pictures as appealing as the leaf green corset Pat Sweet describes in her Building a Blog: Part I post on this site. Visit her Bo Press Miniature Books site for a charming miniature book filled with fantasy corsets.

What was meant to be a fleeting stop at the Republic of Pemberley ( – a Jane Austen site par excellence – became a lengthy visit that I had to force myself to truncate, but I am certain I will be returning many times. The site contains all things Jane and Jane-related.

In following a Jane-related link I came across a Georgette Heyer forum (Almacks) and was moved to join it.

Georgette Heyer

I’ve been a Heyer fan for many years and had to spend some time with a continuing favorite. Of course, as with many beloved things, when they cycle back to your consciousness it’s necessary to spend some time with them. Coincidentally, March 2010 is the month for Georgette Heyer on tour ( Billed as a “virtual tour of the blogosphere,” this event has a series of scheduled (at least one per day) stops at web logs around the internet.

I visited numerous other sites along the way and none of them were related to fashion, costumes, or masked balls, until I visited The Regency Collection (, where I found – among the information on cooking (Vinegar Pie!), coaching, gardens, and Georgian marriage – the text of a small book on the art of tying the cravat.

Tying knots.

In addition to describing 30 styles of cravat (all named), the author offers a history of this precursor to the necktie. This history includes a recounting of one occasion where a general who had been shot in the neck emerged unharmed because the many folds and layers of his highly starched cravat entrapped the bullet! This fascinating treatise is likely to become the basis of a future project.

In the meantime, I am reminded that I have a masked ball to attend. And before I do that, I must select a costume and don a persona. If you plan to attend this highlight of the social season, perhaps you should summon your dressmaker as well. The month of May will soon be upon us.”