Rowan Derryth waves plurkily
Icarus Ghost smiles.
Viv Trafalgar: I think that PP is a great source of wisdom and wit…
Bodhisatva Paperclip: Waits patiently for a chair 🙂
Simeon Bookmite: Mr Kiergaeten?
Serafina Puchkina chuckles at Miss Rowan’s adverb
Viv Trafalgar: and of course those same folks would attend Salon
Tepic Harlequin: i ain’t written fer the newspaper…. but it makes good insulation!
Viv Trafalgar: Mr. Kiergarten is doing double duty today
Eva Bellambi chuckles
Rowan Derryth laughs
Viv Trafalgar: perhaps I can help him out – just a sec
Saffia Widdershins nods
Saffia Widdershins: we make the volumes thick specially, Tepic!
Viv Trafalgar: Hello Hypatia
Simeon Bookmite: Mr Keirgarten!
Eva Bellambi smiles at Miss Callisto.
Icarus Ghost: Hello Miss Callisto 🙂
Hypatia Callisto purrs
Serafina Puchkina: Welcome Miss Callisto!
Tepic Harlequin: that’s good Miss, then yer got some ter stuff in yer shirt, an some ter light the fire!
Jasper Kiergarten: I’m working as fast as I can on the chairs folks, bu I’m starting to lag horribly, so if you need a chair, please IM me
Eva Bellambi smiles at friends and loved ones
Jedburgh30 Dagger: Welcome everyone, please deny your internal Baptist and step forward so as to be able to hear the speaker
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you Mr. Kiergarten 🙂
Simeon Bookmite: I do beleive we had noticed Mr Keirgarten
Eva Bellambi laughs softly
Simeon Bookmite: Ah thank you!
Viv Trafalgar: yes
Adso Krogstad: The seated-chair-walking is surreal 🙂
Viv Trafalgar: yes, we advise not doing so
Simeon Bookmite: I makes me feel like a beetle
KlausWulfenbach Outlander chuckles
Eva Bellambi: I think that the seated chair walk may even be better than imagining one’s audience in their under garments.
Charlemagne Allen: hello
Viv Trafalgar: it would be wonderful to race them at some point
Viv Trafalgar: Welcome Miss Allen
Viv Trafalgar: Would you like a chair?
KlausWulfenbach Outlander Outlander snickers
Bodhisatva Paperclip thinks the Lady Eva is a picture of romance today
Tepic Harlequin: you need quite a few fer a meal, Mr Bookmite….
Icarus Ghost hides the super-glue.
Ceejay Writer waves across the room at the Baron. “We meet again!”
Eva Bellambi smiles
Charlemagne Allen: lag lag lag lag lag
Charlemagne Allen smiles
Hypatia Callisto purrs at Miss Allen
Simeon Bookmite: Alas I I am aproaching the age where I need a bath chair
Bookworm Hienrichs‘s typist shivers as she peeks at the veritable blizzard happening outside.
Eva Bellambi waves to Mrs. Dagger.
Jasper Kiergarten: Hello everyone! Ladies and Gentlemen, Viv, Serafina, Jed and I are pleased to welcome you to the February edition of the Aether Salon – Romance!. I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today.
Tepic Harlequin thinks the water would slosh everwhere…
Charlemagne Allen blushes
Gabrielle Riel: (same here Miss Book 😦 )
Charlemagne Allen: hiya hypatia
Bodhisatva Paperclip is ignoring the freezing rain until morning
Jasper Kiergarten: As many of you know, the Aether Salon meets to discuss steam and Victorian topics on the third Sunday of each month, in Palisades and Academy, New Babbage.
Jasper Kiergarten: This is our 24th salon and I hope you are all as excited about being here today as I am.
Jasper Kiergarten: Just a few matters of housekeeping before we get started.
Jasper Kiergarten: If you are standing in the back, please move forward onto the maze so that you can be assured of hearing the speaker.
Jasper Kiergarten: Please hold your questions until the end, and as a courtesy to all, please turn off everything that feeds the lag: all HUDs, scripts, AOs and so on. Please no weapons, non-Euclidean geometry, inflammatory rhetoric, or unapproved transmat devices. Your cooperation is appreciated.
Jasper Kiergarten: Edited and unedited transcripts will be posted this week on aethersalon.blogspot.com so you can revisit today’s merriment, read transcripts of past salons, and for a laugh, peruse “overheard at the salon.”
Eva Bellambi grins
Jasper Kiergarten: Please join the Aether Salon group and receive notifications of future salon events, click the lower right hand corner of the large brown sign by the entrance. We sincerely appreciate the support we receive from everyone in the community and we humbly thank you all.
Charlemagne Allen‘s Sloggoth cries
Jasper Kiergarten: Many fine people have contributed to today’s salon: We are grateful to Miss Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings for the wonderful salon chairs. We appreciate all of you who have contributed to salon. As a reminder, all speakers’ fund jar donations go directly to the speaker.
Jasper Kiergarten: Now I will turn the stage over to Miss Jed for the introduction of today’s speaker. Jed?
Jedburgh30 Dagger: Thank you Jasper. Before I begin my introduction for our speaker today, I would like to take a moment to thank Jasper for making today’s craft, and for all he does for Salon besides give out chairs.
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
*.¸.*´ <b>Kghia Gherardi</b> applauds <b>Saffia Widdershins</b> applauds <b>Marion Questi</b> applauds <b>Serafina Puchkina</b> applauds <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Hurray <b>Beq Janus</b> applauds <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b> applaus <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Hooray! <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b>: Today it is my great and distinct pleasure to introduce today's speaker. <b>Eva Bellambi</b> has been in Second Life for nearly 5 years now, and through her interests and activities has made a mark on the social life of the Steamlands. Many of us have attended her formal balls, or any of the other events that she had a hand in planning.Eva has a very long resume of involvement in many areas of life in the Steamlands, from being a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge in the Natural Sciences, the Head of Intelligence for Caledon, as well as being a very fierce ironclad captain. <b>Ceejay Writer</b> nods, impressed. <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b>: She is very active in the SL Relay for Life, and was one of the founding partners for the BoobieThon in SL. Her dedication and enthusiasm have helped both of these efforts to great success in raising awareness and money for the cause of cancer research. <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b>: Eva currently resides in Winterfell on the Isle of Skye. So, without further ado, please welcome our speaker today, the Duchess of Loch Avie, the Lady of Skye, and my very dear friend, <b>Eva Bellambi</b>. <b>Bookworm Hienrichs</b> applauds. <b>KlausWulfenbach Outlander</b> applauds <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> applauds <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: *:-.,_,.-:*'´.¸mew¸.´
'*:-.,_,.-:* <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: *mews* smiles <b>Annechen Lowey</b>:.¸.´ APPLAUSE
Viv Trafalgar applauds
Gabrielle Riel applauds
Kghia Gherardi applauds
Bodhisatva Paperclip applauds
Serafina Puchkina applauds
Beq Janus applauds
Eva Bellambi: Thank you.
Marion Questi applauds
Charlemagne Allen: bravo
Saffia Widdershins applauds
Eva Bellambi: Thank you so very much for inviting me to participate in this excellent monthly event. It has truly been my pleasure to research and prepare for our discussion of something that is so much a part of who I am.
Eva Bellambi: Romance.
Eva Bellambi: Despite any hard edge which one may find in me – Warrior Duchess and all that – I have a very soft heart and enjoy being romanced tremendously. I also enjoy being the romantic – the lover. I hope that you will find this discussion of Romance in the Victorian Age interesting, perhaps taking away a new nugget of information at the end of our time. You will, I believe, find this a discussion of propriety as well as secret (or not so secret) longings. Perhaps you may find some things a bit risqué within the context of strict Victorian etiquette. But, I believe that the emotions and actions we will discuss are very real, very human, very healthy responses to love and romance.
Eva Bellambi: With that, I would like to start with an anonymously written poem that I posted along with a few photovignettes many years ago on my blog, The Realm of the Red Rose, to get us in the mood for the lecture.
Eva Bellambi: The setting:
The gentleman has just left his beloved on the wide veranda of her home, her mother having been sitting at the table just a few feet behind them for the entire interview. Since they have been courting for most of the season, he has been permitted to sit over evening tea with the young lady and occasionally touch her gloved hand as they talk. He has brought her flowers, a lace handkerchief, and a sealed letter as gifts this day.
Eva Bellambi: As he departs, the blushing young woman looks boldly into his eyes much longer than would be acceptable in public and offeres her hand to him. The love-struck gentleman seemed to look deeply into her soul as he bowed over her hand and kissed it ever so gently…feeling the folded parchment pressed into her palm…meant for him. Both their hearts beat more rapidly. He caught his breath as she whispered, “Be well, my love. Rest this night and dream of us.”
Eva Bellambi: I read the farewell, the gentle request, and smile.
Does she not see the vast galaxy that leaves me to sort through?
So many fragments of wonders fill my soul…
Eva Bellambi: Of sitting stoically as the train pulls out of the station,
a virgin rifle across my lap,
watching as she waves me a tearful farewell through the steam.
Ceejay Writer sighs dreamily.
Eva Bellambi: Of riding through the portcullis slowly, my visor locked down as she watches bravely from the tower,
lance set to defend her honor against a foe I cannot defeat.
Viv Trafalgar smiles
Eva Bellambi: Of watching her nervously as she plays the spinet in her mother’s parlour, my hands twisting in my lap, gripping my straw boater tightly to keep from touching her flaxen hair.
Eva Bellambi: Of easing her slowly back in the tall grass, laughing together, ignoring the calls of the friends seeking us as she draws up her skirts slowly, meaningfully, offering me what we have both craved for so long.
Tepic Harlequin: blimey!
Rhianon Jameson: Oh my.
Icarus Ghost: blink
Eva Bellambi: (The fantasies of a virile young gentleman)
Bodhisatva Paperclip: coff
Rowan Derryth blushes
Icarus Ghost fans Miss Callisto.
Viv Trafalgar fans self
Beq Janus covers Tepic’s eyes
Eva Bellambi: Of cursing, coaxing more speed from the battered old engine as she bravely mans the wheel of my tramp steamer, praying that darkness and pluck allow us to avoid the German blockade.
Viv Trafalgar covers tepics ears
AlphaQueen Ceriano: Sounds like I just missed something good
AlphaQueen Ceriano: Darn
Simeon Bookmite shifts in his chair
Hypatia Callisto enjoys the breeze
Eva Bellambi: Of laying the last card of the straight flush on the green baize before leaning back dramatically, catching her eye as she rakes in the chips. The gleam telling me I had best get her to our room quickly.
Eva Bellambi: Of bowing low to her over my walking stick as she curtsies carefully so as not to unbalance her wig, swelling with pride as she sets one gloved hand lightly on my arm, the entire court watching as I lead her out to the minuet.
Eva Bellambi: Doesn’t she realise the worlds contained in “..and dream of us”?
Simeon Bookmite: swelling…
Viv Trafalgar thwaps Simeon
Eva Bellambi: From our example of the fantasies and thoughts of a proper young gentleman, we see that everything that was important to those of the Victorian era had to do with day-to-day life. Certainly literature and historical accounts would indicate to us that many men and women alike took these rituals of daily life very seriously – they focused on them. When things fell off the expected path, they were appalled and offended. Obviously this was not the case for everyone.
There were indeed rules of acceptable behavior which were known and to be followed.
Eva Bellambi: There were also very private romantic – dare we say, sensual – thoughts.
Ceejay Writer blushes.
Eva Bellambi: I should perhaps mention that I will not always read verbatum from the slides, but discuss them along with you.
Eva Bellambi: Back in the Victorian era a proper young lady had to learn the rules of etiquette everything from how to walk down the street to how to eat fruit ever so elegantly (first peeling it with a silver knife and cutting it in bite-size morsels).
Eva Bellambi: Victorian girls were trained early on in life to prepare herself for a life dedicated to home and family if she married, and charity if she didn’t. And young ladies, though advised on the importance of catching a man, were warned not to be too liberal in display of their charms. Meekness and modesty were considered beautiful virtues. As one example of modesty (multi-layered rules): A lady, when crossing the street, must raise her dress a bit above the ankle while holding the folds of her gown together in her right hand and drawing them toward the right. It was considered vulgar to raise the dress with both hands as it would show too much ankle, but was tolerated for a moment when the mud is very deep. As told by The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility.
Eva Bellambi: A young lady was expected to shine in the art of conversation, but not too brightly. Etiquette books of the era concentrate on the voice, rather than the content of speech, encouraging her to cultivate that distinct but subdued tone.
Tepic Harlequin: get good money sweepin the street in front of a lady
Eva Bellambi: Certainly many of us strong and intelligent ladies have determined that we most certainly can and should hold up our end of conversation. And speaking for myself, do not hesitate to speak frankly and with much learning as is appropriate.
KlausWulfenbach Outlander nods approvingly
Eva Bellambi: And now we share some etiquette tips for gentlemen (from the humorous to the truly enlightened)
Viv Trafalgar nods – “certainly so!”
Eva Bellambi: Do not wear too much perfume – a gentleman should be seen and not smelled.
KlausWulfenbach Outlander chuckles
Bodhisatva Paperclip takes notes
Eva Bellambi: A true gentleman tips his hat to greet a lady, opens doors, and always walks on the outside
Stereo Nacht: (Which also means: please bath regularly! 😉 )
Ceejay Writer nods encouragingly.
Simeon Bookmite: Leather is all the Scent a man needs
Eva Bellambi: According to Sarah Josepha Hale in her 1868 Book: Manners [A gentle man] “is respectful but not groveling to his superiors, tender and considerate to inferiors, and helpful and protecting to the weak.”
Annechen Lowey coughs.
Charlemagne Allen wonders if possums wear perfume
Bodhisatva Paperclip: 🙂
Eva Bellambi: According to Arthur Montine’s Handbook of Etiquette (1866) A gentleman “has a high sense of honor – a determination never to take a mean advantage of others – an adherence to truth, delicacy, and politeness [toward all].”
Eva Bellambi: The ideal Victorian male (and therefore the ideal mate) was neither a sissy nor a chest pounding gorilla, but an integrated creature prepared to take on most any challenge that the world might toss in his direction. He was composed of kindness and gentleness toward women and those less fortunate than himself, respect for others, and a virility which allowed him to act swiftly when the appropriate need (and dare I say, “desire”)
Eva Bellambi: arose.
Simeon Bookmite: A gentleman never offends someone accidentaly
Eva Bellambi: indeed so, Mr. Bookmite.
AlphaQueen Ceriano: No chest pounding at all?
AlphaQueen Ceriano: Darn again.
Tepic Harlequin: blimey, that cuts a fair few out then, don’t it?
Eva Bellambi: During the Victorian Era (generally given as 1837-1901), romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and courting became even more formal – almost an art form among the upper classes.
Eva Bellambi: For men, marriage was also a type of career move since all of a woman’s property reverted to him upon marriage. Therefore courting was taken very seriously–by both sides. Men and women were careful not to lead the other on unnecessarily. The wise father and daughter also understood that a proper match would ensure that the daughter would be cared-for in the manner in which she had become accustomed – or better.
Eva Bellambi: From the time she was young, a woman was groomed for this role in life–dutiful wife and mother. Properly trained, she learned to sing, play piano or guitar, dance and be conversant about light literature of the day. She also learned French and the rules of etiquette as well as the art of conversation and the art of silence.
Eva Bellambi: There were those who were fiercely independent and “not suited” for marriage. Some became the stereotypic spinsters, some married later in life to a gentleman who enjoyed their independence, and others managed to explore, study, and find romantic partners outside of marriage.
Rowan Derryth nods thoughtfully
Rhianon Jameson blushes
Simeon Bookmite: Africa Swarmed with such Ladies
Eva Bellambi: Coming out meant a young woman had completed her education and was officially available on the marriage mart. Financial or family circumstances might delay or move up a girl’s debut, though typically, she came out when she was seventeen or eighteen. She purchased a new wardrobe for the season, in order to appear her best in public.
Stereo Nacht: (Hard to find, for sure…)
Annechen Lowey: Hrmph.
Eva Bellambi: The debutantes attended as many events as possible in an effort to ensure as many potential suitors as possible. The goal of the lady and her family was to have an engagement agreement by the end of the season, which typically lasted from April to July.
Tepic Harlequin: i found a wardrobe once… oak it were…
Ceejay Writer thinks all those lessons are good things to know regardless.
Eva Bellambi: The upper classes held their social events throughout the season, while the lower classes had opportunities to socialize at Sunday Service, church suppers and holiday balls. Some of the upper class families arrived in town earlier if Parliament was in session.
Viv Trafalgar hushes young Tepic, smiling
Eva Bellambi: A typical debutante’s day meant she rose at 11a.m. or 12 noon, ate breakfast in her dressing room, attended a concert or drove in the park, dined at eight, went to the opera, then to three or four parties until 5 a.m–all under the watchful eye of her chaperone.
Icarus Ghost: 5 am!
Jedburgh30 Dagger: sounds like college
Tepic Harlequin: ate breakfast in the afternoon? cor….
Bodhisatva Paperclip: Goodness!
Eva Bellambi: Great care had to be taken at these public affairs, so as not to offend a possible suitor or his family.
The proper young lady would never approach people of higher rank, unless being introduced by a mutual friend. People of lesser rank were always introduced to people of higher rank, and then only if the higher-ranking person had given his/her permission. Even after being introduced, the person of higher rank did not have to maintain the acquaintance. They could ignore, or ‘cut’ the person of lower rank from their list of acquaintances.
Simeon Bookmite: Such hours!
Ceejay Writer: NICE hours.
Annechen Lowey: Staying out of the sun.
Simeon Bookmite: T’wold fade the blush from any rose!
Gabrielle Riel smiles and nods at Ceejay
Rhianon Jameson: The rules were developed by vampires. 🙂
Aisling Sinclair nods at Miss Writer
Eva Bellambi: A single woman was never to address a gentleman without an introduction. A single woman never walked out alone and her chaperone had to be older and preferably married. It was not uncommon for the chaperone to be her mother.
Simeon Bookmite: and those poor Chaperones
Eva Bellambi: Sadly, as mentioned earlier, it was expected that the proper young woman of the time would NOT display her intelligence openly for fear of scaring off possible suitors. And for a lady to express any political opinion openly was most certainly shocking.
Icarus Ghost: All those mixing of classes.
Aisling Sinclair: such a short season, tsk…
Charlemagne Allen: mmmm
Eva Bellambi: An interested gentleman could not simply walk up to a young lady and begin a conversation. Even after being introduced, it was still some time before it was considered appropriate for a man to speak to a lady or for a couple to be seen together. Once they had been formally introduced, if the gentleman wished to escort the lady home he would present his card to her. At the end of the evening the lady would look over her options and chose who would be her escort. She would notify the lucky gentleman by giving him her own card requesting that he escort her home.
Charlemagne Allen has to agree
Stereo Nacht: (Ah! So that’s what I am doing wrong… Too bad 😛 )
Eva Bellambi: Also if he desired a place on her dance card at the next ball, he called on her at her house, leaving his card if she were “not at home”.
Eva Bellambi: If they were willing to take the time and make the effort society (in both Great Britain and America) during the late Victorian period provided young men and women with many opportunities to meet. One method was the system of calling. A proper call, or visit, lasted no more than ten or fifteen minutes.
Rhianon Jameson: Business meetings should take that rule into account
Eva Bellambi: According to etiquette, men were expected to “retain gloves upon the hand during the call” in honor of the fifteen-minute time limit. Also, a well-bred man would never put his hat down on a chair, but would hold it in his hands at all times. This was an indication of control and responsibility. After all, if a man could not tend to his own hat for fifteen minutes, how would he ever manage a wife for an entire lifetime?
Aisling Sinclair chuckles
Ceejay Writer giggles.
Annechen Lowey snorts
Charlemagne Allen: good call
Aisling Sinclair: I’ve never heard a woman compared to a hat before
Eva Bellambi: These non-verbal communications of the era textured life with nuance.The most flirtatious of these silent languages was the language of the the fan.
The faintest movements of these lace, silk, satin, and feathery confections conveyed a world of meaning that was widely understood. But for the Victorians, life and love, like God and the devil were in the details. Simply by touching the lips with the fan, holding it in one or the other hand, drawing it across the cheek, or fanning rapidly or slowly, a woman accomplished in its grammar could hold an extensive conversation with an equally literate suitor.
AlphaQueen Ceriano: That explains why can’t pick them these days….they don’t wear hats anymore.
Eva Bellambi: The young lady could use her fan to express the passionate extremes of love and hate. She could also apologize for a tiff, ask for a kiss, or declare her heart belonged to another. A right-handed twirl warned the hopeful swain that he was being watched by a disapproving chaperone or parent.
AlphaQueen Ceriano: All we can choose from is baseball cap forward or backward…
Simeon Bookmite: It was a dive away
Rowan Derryth loves the language of the fan
Eva Bellambi: If a man requested the honor of escorting a lady home with an equally tactful cue – lifting his left forefinger to his left eye – she could accept the offer by resting the fan on her right cheek or reject it by resting the fan on her left.
Eva Bellambi: Tapping the fan with one finger meant an emphatic: “My mother says no.”
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Kghia Gherardi: let’s hope the recipient had strong eyesight
Eva Bellambi: One could communicate much with simple movements of the fan:
Fast fan – I am independent
Slow fan – I am engaged
Fan in right hand in front of face – come on
Fan in left hand in front of face – leave me
Fan open and shut – kiss me
Annechen Lowey: Resing the fan on the right cheek whil tapping the fan with her finger.. Heh.
Charlemagne Allen: morse code?
Eva Bellambi smiles with Frau Lowey
Eva Bellambi: Fan open wide – love
Fan half open – you are my friend
Fan shut – hate
Fan drawn slowly across the cheek – I love you
Touching the fan against the left ear – go away
Eva Bellambi: There most certainly were rules for gift giving during courtship. Items of apparel such as fans, gloves, and handkerchiefs were given meaning as were objects called ‘love tokens’ such as flowers, painted miniatures, or jewelry set with gemstones of particular significance.
Eva Bellambi: Gems provided an equally acceptable (if more expensive) public means for expressing private feelings. Particular combinations and sequences of stones provided a clever alphabet “code” through necklaces, earrings, rings, and pins.
Eva Bellambi: As we see from the example given, a young man could declare his love through a brooch or necklace, or some other piece of jewelry by having the jeweler place the stones in this particular order: lavender amethyst, olivine, violet sapphire, emerald.
Rhianon Jameson: “Affection” would be ungodly expensive
Bodhisatva Paperclip: snickers
Aisling Sinclair laughs
Eva Bellambi: The diamond ring which symbolizes innocence became popular as the engagement stone during this era.
Simeon Bookmite: What if she thought you mean Vole?
Tepic Harlequin: vole? where??
Eva Bellambi: You would be out of luck, sir.
Annechen Lowey: Ah, the evils of the waltz, how wonderful.
Eva Bellambi: One of the most popular forms of communication and contact among courting couples in all economic classes was dancing. This was in spite of complaints by those who thought that such amusements would distract young women from meeting their family responsibilities. Critics who worried about the “fleeting and unsubstantial pleasures of the ballroom” did not find a sympathetic audience with young men and women who wanted the physical closeness and private conversation which dancing so easily allowed.
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Eva Bellambi: Dancing was as controlled by etiquette as every other activity, and certain traditions had to be followed.
Simeon Bookmite: I am all in favour of Acceptable contact
Eva Bellambi: When she arrived at a dance, for example, each young woman received a dance card on which young men signed up for the various dances. Some of these might include the two-step, the one-step, or the waltz. The successful social strategist filled her dance card at the start of the evening with the names of men she liked. An unanticipated opening on her program was considered embarrassing, especially for a popular young lady. Sometimes even the most fastidious girl danced with fellows she didn’t favor, just to avoid being thought a “wallflower.”
Eva Bellambi: To quote Mrs. Humphry in her book, Manners for Men (1897), “The delight of the average hostess’s heart is the well-bred man, unspoiled by conceit, who can always be depended upon to do his duty. He arrives in good time, fills his card before very long, and can be asked to dance with a plain, neglected wallflower or two without resenting it. He takes his partner duly to the refreshment-room after each dance, if she wishes to go, and provides her with whatever she wishes. Before leaving her, he sees her safe at her chaperone’s side.”
Annechen Lowey: or hiding in the library.
Eva Bellambi: As I stated earlier, it was the goal of all debutantes (and their families) to ensure that a relationship was cemented by the end of the social season. The couple did not necessarily need to have become engaged at this point, but there was generally an understanding that had developed.
Eva Bellambi: Because the main purpose of this discussion is romance, I will leave out the stunning details about financial checks, ancestral lineage inspection, and political connections exploration in favor of talking about increased intimacy and romance.
Tepic Harlequin: eeewwwww…….
Eva Bellambi: The couple could become a bit more intimate once they were engaged. They could stroll out alone, hold hands in public, and take unchaperoned rides. A hand around the waist, a chaste kiss, a pressing of the hand, were allowed. They could also visit alone behind closed doors. But they had to be dutifully separated by nightfall, or overnight at country parties. Thus, if the engagement was broken, the girl suffered the consequences of a ruined reputation because of her previous behavior. An honorable man never broke an engagement, so as not to cause the girl discomfiture.
Annechen Lowey raises an eyebrow at young Tepic.
Simeon Bookmite: Ah true Vole
Eva Bellambi: The topic of weddings during Victorian times could become its own presentation, but we will briefly address some of the romantic traditions today.
Rhianon Jameson: Heh
Eva Bellambi: The wedding itself and the events leading up to the ceremony are steeped in ancient traditions still evident in Victorian customs. One of the first to influence a young girl is choosing the month and day of her wedding. June has always been the most popular month, for it is named after Juno, Roman goddess of marriage. She would bring prosperity and happiness to all who wed in her month. Practicality played a part in this logic also. If married in June, the bride was likely to birth her first child in Spring.
Eva Bellambi: Brides were just as superstitious about days of the week. A popular rhyme goes:
Eva Bellambi: Marry on Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for crosses,
Friday for losses, and
Saturday for no luck at all.
Eva Bellambi: Sunday was out of the question.
(Makes me wonder about modern day traditions of marrying on the weekend….)
Aisling Sinclair: no weddings on Sunday?
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Eva Bellambi: Once the bride chose her wedding day, a prerogative conferred upon her by the groom, she could begin planning her trousseau, the most important item of which was her wedding dress.
Eva Bellambi: Color of the gown was thought to influence one’s future life. Ever since Queen Victoria wed in 1840, however, white has remained the traditional color for wedding gowns and bouquets. A woman then used her dress for Court Presentation after marriage, usually with a different bodice.
Stereo Nacht: (For lower classes, certainly; the boss would not allow to take days off on workdays!)
Eva Bellambi: The following description of Queen Victoria’s wedding attire comes from Victoriana Magazine.
Eva Bellambi: “Queen Victoria’s dress was of rich white satin, trimmed with orange flower blossoms. The headdress was a wreath of orange flower blossoms, and over this a beautiful veil of Honiton lace, worn down. The bridesmaids or train-bearers were also attired in white. The cost of the lace alone on the dress was £1,000. The satin, which was of a pure white, was manufactured in Spitalfields. Queen Victoria wore an armlet having the motto of the Order of the Garter: “Honi soit qui mal y pense,” inscribed. She also wore the star of the Order.
Eva Bellambi: The lace of Queen Victoria’s bridal dress, though popularly called Honiton lace, was really worked at the village of Beer, which is situated near the sea coast, about ten miles from Honiton. It was executed under the direction of Miss Bidney, a native of the village, who went from London, at the command of her Majesty, for the express purpose of superintending the work. More than two hundred persons were employed upon it from March to November, during the past year.
Bookworm Hienrichs whistles.
Eva Bellambi: The lace which formed the flounce of the dress, measured four yards, and was three quarters of a yard in depth. The pattern was a rich and exquisitely tasteful design, drawn expressly for the purpose, and surpasses anything that has ever been executed either in England or in Brussels. So anxious was the manufacturer that Queen Victoria should have a dress perfectly unique, that she has since the completion of the lace destroyed all the designs. The veil, which was of the same material, and was made to correspond, afforded employment to the poor lace workers for more than six weeks. It was a yard and a half square.”
Rowan Derryth smiles
Viv Trafalgar: wow
Eva Bellambi: The men and women of this time, particularly the women, were considered to be prudish. However, during the 20th century, several surveys and research conducted during the era, along with discovered love letters would indicate very clearly that the warm-blooded women of Victoria’s time were anything but frigid mummies stoically doing their duty to procreate.
Eva Bellambi: Even a confirmed spinster like Emily Dickinson penned the words, “Wild nights – Wild Nights! / were I with thee / Wild nights should be our luxury.” to some imagined – or longed for – lover.
Ceejay Writer nods approvingly.
Eva Bellambi: And according to research conducted by Linda Lichter, even Queen Victoria, who is considered the icon of prudery, together with Albert bought nude portraits for one another. She also apparently drew a few.
Rhianon Jameson: Oh my!
Jedburgh30 Dagger: You can’t fight biology
Aisling Sinclairr raises her eyebrows in surprise
Eva Bellambi: That consuming yearnings were also felt by the young women they desired came as no surprise to the men who courted them.
Eva Bellambi: In an 1853 letter to his intended, one man wrote that he assumed his wife would be his “equal with flesh and blood, with magnetism, electricity, passion.”
Eva Bellambi: And another gallant swain assured his fiancee that he would not take premarital advantage of the “roused and throbbing nature of your woman’s heart, which in its sweetly awakened passion might feel tempted…to throw reasons to the wind and give life, love, through, being destiny — everything — to the lover who holds you in his arms.”
Simeon Bookmite: Throbbing
Annechen Lowey: The passion was there, just not flaunted in the street and stage.
Rhianon Jameson wonders about all those premature births…
Eva Bellambi: Carl Degler, historian, discovered an extensive survey or married women born between 1850 and 1880, which was conducted by a Stanford University professor, Dr. Clelia Mosher, a highly respected female physician. Dr. Mosher began her research in 1892.
Eva Bellambi: Someone hold Tepic’s ears…..
Bodhisatva Paperclip covers his own
Eva Bellambi: These women freely admitted that they had sexual feelings, enjoyed intercourse with their husbands, and usually experienced what they called “voluptuous spasms.”
Viv Trafalgar blushes
Ceejay Writer gasps. And writes that down.
Bookworm Hienrichs is glad her camera is hiding her blushes.
Rhianon Jameson covers her ears
Eva Bellambi: Quite an evocative term, don’t you think?
Gabrielle Riel can not help but laugh in RL
Bodhisatva Paperclip: What a bunch of spazzes
Jedburgh30 Dagger: Wow.
Stereo Nacht: “Petite mort”? 😉
Aisling Sinclair: Extremely.
Eva Bellambi: oui!
Charlemagne Allen: victorian medicine oh my
Eva Bellambi: Other respondents to Dr. Mosher’s surveys were equally glowing:
One claimed that she felt a sense of completeness, a spiritual oneness, which is not gained any other way.” Another described her private time with her spouse as “the extreme caress of love’s passion, ‘ whose “habitual bodily expression has a deep psychological effect in making possible complete mental sympathy and perfecting the spiritual union.”
Adso Krogstad: All hail the spasm.
Tepic Harlequin: oh that… well. yer can’t grow up in the slums without knowing THAT, it gets quite crouded, you know…
Rowan Derryth grins
Simeon Bookmite: THe lack of such resulted in Hysteria
Eva Bellambi: During this era, romance and intimacy were regarded as just that — intimate, personal, and very private.
Tepic Harlequin: ha! only fer the toffs! hehe
Eva Bellambi: William Wordsworth wrote: “Strange fits of passion have I known: / And I will dare to tell, / But in the Lover’s ear alone, / What once to me befell.”
Eva Bellambi: Perhaps it was this forbidden open expression of romance and intimacy in Victorian public life that ensured a coveted, privileged meaning for romance and passion in private. Perhaps it made secret languages of romance even more titillating, and the meaning behind the fan, the gifts, the shining eyes even deeper.
Eva Bellambi: Perhaps it is best described as an exotic perfume made all the more alluring by its subtle presence.
Icarus Ghost surreptitiously passes a note to Miss Callisto.
Eva Bellambi: And now I’d like to thank you all for attending. I’ll be posting my slides along with bibliography and other references on my blog at some point in the near future (and will happily provide the slides to the salon’s blog if desired).
Viv Trafalgar: THank you Miss Bellambi!
Bookworm Hienrichs applauds.
Eva Bellambi: I’d be pleased to entertain any questions at this time.
Rowan Derryth: Wonderful!
Kghia Gherardi: applauds
Rowan Derryth: claps loudly Kimika Ying: applauds Stereo Nacht:
*.¸.*´ <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> applauds <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: We will take questions in the usual manner - please IM me! <b>Annechen Lowey</b>:.¸.´ APPLAUSE
Adso Krogstad applauds
Gabrielle Riel applauds!
Marion Questi applauds.
~ * APPLAUSE!! * ~
Beq Janus applauds
Eva Bellambi smiles
Serafina Puchkina applauds
Viv Trafalgar: Also we wish to remind you that all speakers funds go directly to the speaker
Jedburgh30 Dagger applauds
Icarus Ghost: What a thoughtful and thought provoking presentation.
Viv Trafalgar: The Salon does not take a cut.
*.¸.*´ <b>Simeon Bookmite</b>: excelent presentation <b>Saffia Widdershins</b> applauds <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Thank you. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Should you wish to Also support salon, there are posters outside. <b>Eva Bellambi</b> smiles broadly <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b>: Most interesting. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Now who wishes to begin with questions? <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Perhaps you are all just going to go home and practice a bit? <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> giggles <b>Icarus Ghost</b> smiles. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: I do have one, should I start us off? <b>Ceejay Writer</b> bites lip. <b>Tepic Harlequin</b> raises a hand <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b> smiles <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b>: ...and take a bath... <b>Bookworm Hienrichs</b> coughs. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Oh Tepic, do! <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Go ahead, please <b>Stereo Nacht</b>: I believe most ladies are just trying to steady their voice before raising them! ;-) <b>Aisling Sinclair</b> raises her hand <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Tepic, then Miss Sinclair following <b>Eva Bellambi</b> listens as Miss Viv calls on the questioners. <b>PJ Trenton</b>: This Salon did leave a streetcar outside steaming ;-) <b>Tepic Harlequin</b>: errrm.... do you know what the flowers mean, cus when this bloke asked me to take some to his girls, i saw some dog roses an added em,,, she never spoke to him again! <b>Ceejay Writer</b>: Named Desire? <b>Jasper Kiergarten</b>: doh <b>Viv Trafalgar</b> chuckles <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: That is a most excellent question, Tepic. <b>Aisling Sinclair</b> nods at Miss Writer and winks <b>Eva Bellambi</b> laughs <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: I did not specifically research the flowers for this presentation, but one does need to be equally adept at sending flowers as one would be at sending gems.... <b>Tepic Harlequin</b>: flowers is cheaper... <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: you really must know the language in order to say what you want to say. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Indeed they are, master Tepic. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Dog roses must mean something indeed <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: I would happily post some information on the language of flowers when I post my slides. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Miss Sinclair? <b>Ceejay Writer</b>: That would be nice, Eva. <b>Aisling Sinclair</b>: the prohibition against weddings on Sunday...were they religious? cultural? superstitious? <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Religiious. <b>Tepic Harlequin</b>: thank you Miss, could avoid future... complcations... <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: The actual language was "no weddings on the Sabboth" <b>Viv Trafalgar</b> nods <b>Kghia Gherardi</b>: not to mention the difficulty in getting a church on Sunday <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> thinks Tepic is sweet on a young lady but doesn't want to admit it <b>Aisling Sinclair</b>: yes, thank you <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: This would primarily be Sunday in England at the time, but I am assuming that other religious groups would have had a similar rule. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Other than Christian, I meant to say. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Miss Bellambi, you mentioned "light reading" as acceptable for ladies - would that include novels? I've heard them much decried by certain members of society. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Unfortunately most novels were discouraged for young women. <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: One of your remarks made me think of a lovely line from, I think, Lady Windermere's Fan. <b>Adso Krogstad</b>: And Principia Mathematica was right out. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: What sort of light reading was appropriate? <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: The thought was that it would take them from their duties around the home. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Primarily etiquette books, cooking and home making <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: ahhh <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: the Bible. <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: "Not love at first sight - but love at the end of the Season - which is SO much more satisfactory!" <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: (light stuff) <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Frau Lowey had a question, I believe <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Oh Saffia - wonderful line. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: That is a wonderful line <b>Rowan Derryth</b>: Much of what I've read used the term 'useful' in regards to what women should strive to be, did you come across that in your research? <b>Eva Bellambi</b> snerks at Adso's comment earlier <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: Light Reading, in that if they threw the book at their husband, it would not mar the wall when they missed. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b> laughs <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Chuckles at Frau Lowey. <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> snickers <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: If you use the OED, make sure of your aim. <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b>: Paperbacks only <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Are there other questions about? <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: I have two. <b>Aisling Sinclair</b>: make sure of your biceps, rather <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Rowan -'useful' was a term widely used. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: please do go ahead <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b> raises his hand <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: One of my favourite Victorian authors is Charlotte M Yonge, whose work was very popular for young women. She gives a fascinating insight into middle class life for women <b>Rowan Derryth</b> nods. A lady must not be too specialized, lest she not be useful. <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: Do you still have your bibliography handy for this, to be inclued with your slides? <b>Rowan Derryth</b> smirks <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Frau Lowey and then Bodhisatva <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Yes - I have quite a bibliography to go with this. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: It will be posted on the blog <b>Ceejay Writer</b>: This transcript will be *quite* popular. <b>Eva Bellambi</b> grins <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: :-) <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: One always hopes <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: Lovely! and how many notations did you find of young women having to go through more than one Season? <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: oh good question! <b>Bookworm Hienrichs</b> grins over at Sera, furiously scribbling away. <b>Icarus Ghost</b>: Miss Trafalgar, I have a question for Lady Eva. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Interestingly very few, Annechen. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Mentioned, but rather swept under the rug. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Certainly Mr. Ghost, following Bhodisatva <b>Annechen Lowey</b>: Do you think it was just not talked about, or they made the best of what was presented? <b>Eva Bellambi</b> hopes she did not miss the Professor's question. <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b>: Thinking of no-one in specific, might it have been the, erm, complexity of remaining in polite society that made travelling abroad in the name of Science! appear not so much effort after all? <b>Eva Bellambi</b> smiles <b>Viv Trafalgar</b> grins <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: I think that travelling has always been an option when love is not found. <b>Saffia Widdershins</b> raises a hand <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: But how wonderful that science can be there for us during such times. <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b> nods <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Miss Widdershins will follow Mr. Ghost <b>Icarus Ghost</b>: Lady Eva, do you have a novel or author of the time that you particularly enjoy and find relates to the topic of romance? <b>Eva Bellambi</b> has just noticed that Simeon has turned his back to me. <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b>: tsks <b>Marion Questi</b> raises his hand. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Mr. Ghost.....there are so many. <b>Simeon Bookmite</b>: oh dear <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Perhaps I should add that to my bibliography as well. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Novels of note <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Mr. Questi will follow Miss Widdershins, following the reply to Mr. Ghost <b>Icarus Ghost</b>: What a delightful idea. <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> nods her appreciation at the growing bibliography <b>Eva Bellambi</b> makes note of her homework. <b>Bookworm Hienrichs</b> chuckles. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Miss Widdershins? <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: ( I may need a deadline extention, Saffia. ;) ) <b>Simeon Bookmite</b>: Forgive me I am no gentlman <b>Eva Bellambi</b> smiles <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: I thought it was a sociology experiment, perhaps. <b>Saffia Widdershins</b> laughs <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Miss Widdershins, did you have a question? <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: I was going to say, wasn't it the case that conventionally, only one daughter at a time could be "out" unless they were VERY close in age <b>Eva Bellambi</b> sips some water <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: so if one daughter was unmarried, she had to retire to make way for her younger sisters <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Yes - that was indeed the case. <b>Simeon Bookmite</b>: I was thinking of Eizabeth Von Arnim's claim to have been Kissed under every tree for twenty Miles when sh was being wooed. <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> suspects something other than water graces Lady Eva's glass. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: If a younger daughter married while an older daughter was still out....oh the shame. <b>Saffia Widdershins</b>: hence the shock that all five Bennett sister were "out" <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Precisely <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: It's always the twittering mothers' faults. <b>Jedburgh30 Dagger</b> nods <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: One last question from Mr. Questi and then we will put today's craft out <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: you are encouraged to stay and talk for as long as you like <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: But this is apparently an accurate description of debutantes of the day. <b>Marion Questi</b>: We've been talking pretty much about the UK and the Commonwealth. Were things very different in the US? <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: One. at. a. time. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Actually, much of my research also dealt with the Americas at that time. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Particularly the rules about gentlemen holding their hats during a call. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: The US did generally adhere to the same set of rules in the larger towns and cities. <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: go into the wilds, though..... <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: well - we just can't say for sure. <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: Thank you all for your fantastic questions and to Miss Bellambi for her amazing, breathtaking even, talk on Romance <b>Bookworm Hienrichs</b> applauds. <b>Eva Bellambi</b> smiles <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: We are very grateful to her for joining us today <b>Bodhisatva Paperclip</b> applauds <b>Rhianon Jameson</b>: Indeed. <b>Kghia Gherardi</b> applauds <b>Rhianon Jameson</b> applauds <b>Hypatia Callisto</b> applauds <b>Gabrielle Riel</b> applauds! <b>Marion Questi</b> applauds. <b>Adso Krogstad</b> applauds <b>Charlemagne Allen</b>: very interesting lecture thank you <b>Eva Bellambi</b>: Thank you for inviting me to be here today. <b>Rowan Derryth</b>: wonderful! <b>Viv Trafalgar</b>: The Salon is on Spring Break in March. Please plan to join us in April for Miss Bookworm, in May, and in June for an extraordinary discussion of Libraries (glows in Dame Kghia's direction) <b>Charlemagne Allen</b> applauds <b>Simeon Bookmite</b>: applauds <b>Annechen Lowey</b>:.¸.´ APPLAUSE
Jedburgh30 Dagger applauds
Viv Trafalgar: I’ll pick up the speakers’ fund in a moment
Saffia Widdershins applauds
*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE.¸.´APPLAUSE `.¸.´
~ * APPLAUSE!! * ~
Kghia Gherardi doesn’t make eye contact
Viv Trafalgar: We look forward to seeing you again soon – and hope that you will enjoy the salon’s gift to you today
Tepic Harlequin: time fer bed, methings….
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you once again to Mr. Kiergarten for the chocolates!
Ceejay Writer: Thank you – this was delightful!
Ceejay Writer: CHOCOLATES.
Tepic Harlequin: it were a good talk Miss, bit soppy, but good…
Jasper Kiergarten: make sure to grab your Aether Salon craft before you go
Bodhisatva Paperclip: Thank you! A very enlightening presentation
Eva Bellambi: mmm – thank you, Jasper
Bookworm Hienrichs: Thank you!
Hypatia Callisto: thank you Lady Eva 🙂 🙂
Rhianon Jameson will drown her sorrows in the chocolates.
Eva Bellambi hugs Adso
Eva Bellambi: So glad you could make it today!
Icarus Ghost: Thank you Eva. 🙂
Stereo Nacht: Very… entertaining to this “old maid”! X-D
Eva Bellambi: Thank you, Icarus
Saffia Widdershins: 🙂
Icarus Ghost: And good day to you, Miss Callisto, and to all.
Eva Bellambi smiles at Miss Nacht
Hypatia Callisto purrs and waves
Stereo Nacht: And the typist needs to take care of RL, I worry. Good night all!
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you all for joining us today! Especially our guests from elsewhere in the steamlands
Saffia Widdershins: Thank you!
Viv Trafalgar: as well as those from right here in New Babbage
Saffia Widdershins: I fear I must run!
Eva Bellambi: I really should introduce Adso to those of you who don’t know him
Eva Bellambi: He is my RL husband.
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you for coming Saffia
Eva Bellambi: and we don”t get to spend nearly enough time together in world.
Ceejay Writer: Take care all… I must be off for my evening!
Bodhisatva Paperclip: How do you do
Gabrielle Riel smiles at the Professor
Viv Trafalgar grins – so glad you could join us Adso!
Ceejay Writer smiles and flits!
Adso Krogstad: My pleasure!
Aisling Sinclair: that was a wonderful presentation, thank you so much!
Rhianon Jameson: Pleased to meet you, sir.
Jedburgh30 Dagger waves at Adso!
PJ Trenton: Very nice to meet you Adso
Jasper Kiergarten: bye Ceejay
Rhianon Jameson: And now I shall bid a good evening as well. Dinner calls. 🙂
Rowan Derryth: Yes, very nice to meet you!
Eva Bellambi: Good night to those leaving us.
Bookworm Hienrichs must leave as well.
Aisling Sinclair: good evening, everyone
Aisling Sinclair: I must be off, as well
Adso Krogstad: I’m glad no one is using fans that I’d have to misinterpret 🙂
Bodhisatva Paperclip wishes everyone a good evening, bows and departs
Marion Questi: Nice to see you hear Mr Paperclip.
Eva Bellambi laughs
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles and waves.
Simeon Bookmite: Farewell everyone
Eva Bellambi: Thank you PJ
Bodhisatva Paperclip: You, too, Mr. Questi
PJ Trenton: You are very welcome
Rowan Derryth: I’m hold my fan partially open at my hip. What does that mean?
Jedburgh30 Dagger laughs
Eva Bellambi: I can’t say in polite company.
Adso Krogstad: I should fear for my life, as it is a surrogate marker for the lady packing a pistol?