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Author Archives R.S. Fleming

Young Lady Katelyn Elizabeth, Adventures & Tribulations

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Below you will find links to the chapters covering events in Kate’s life, from her thirteenth birthday to her débutante presentation at court to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. These were originally posted as blog articles but have been converted to pages. Unfortunately, the pages cannot be commented on, and …


Hussars, Dragoons, & Lancers; the glorious British cavalry of the mid 1800s

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“Horses are taught not by harshness but by gentleness.” Cavalry: Its History and Tactics, Captain L.E. Nolan, 1853. Anyone who reads my articles will probably notice a leaning toward the military and in particular the cavalry; a tendency certainly understandable for a retired soldier with a love of horses. I …


What a Delightful Habit; lovely Victorian ladies and their horse riding clothes

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Mankind’s love of horses is older than recorded time and continues today. Nothing compares to a gallop; your mount gliding swift and even, barely making contact with the …


Victorian Fashion Terms; N ~ Z

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Please refer to the previous article, Victorian Fashion Terms; A ~ M, for an introduction. Nonchalantes were the first elasticized corsets, marketed around 1850 as travelling corsets. Rubber had been used in clothing for about twenty years, and started to be less smelly and more durable. However, these early elasticized …


Victorian Fashion Terms; A ~ M

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. When reading 19th century diaries, literature, and magazines, one might come across something like this: “Basquine of black velvet trimmed with narrow galloon, which is edged with lace. …


Victorian Make-up Recipes; powders, lip salves, creams, & other cosmetics of the 1800s

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Due to the popularity of my article about Victorian cosmetics, and requests from curious readers, this composition will provide a handful of the hundreds of make-up recipes available …


British Currency During the Victorian Era; knowing your farthings from your florins

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. In 1971 British currency went through a decimalization process (100 pence in a pound) simplifying notation, pricing, and spending. This article will provide a breakdown of the old …


Cane Guns; Victorian concealed firearms of gentlemen & cads

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. The common accessory of the Victorian gentleman was a cane, walking stick, or umbrella. With the improvement of metallurgy and precision firearms came the development of cane guns. Many were …


Incredible Victorian Inventions & the Roots of Steampunk

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When writers like Jules Verne (1828-1905) and artists such as Albert Robida (1848-1926) began dreaming up the first works of science fiction, they were wondering what might be possible based on the fantastic creations of the Victorian era. Most people today aren’t aware of what the daring inventors managed to accomplish, …


British Infantry Swords & the Royal Navy Boarding Cutlass of the the early to mid 1800s

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. As standing armies formed, gentlemen outfitted themselves with whatever weapons they preferred and could afford. The rank and file were provided with arms and uniforms by their parent regiment, often …


British Cavalry Sabres of the early to mid 1800s

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. The development of cavalry sabres had a great effect on the uniforms worn by the armies of the 18th and 19th centuries. The stiff headdresses, neck stocks, reinforced …


A Note For Students; in regards to book reports and projects

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If you’ve selected Kate Tattersall Adventures in China for a book report I’m flattered, thank you very much. I hope this article will help, and you find the mid 1800s a very interesting era to study. The adventure is over 41,000 words, so it should be long enough to meet …


Victorian Feminine Ideal; about the perfect silhouette, hygiene, grooming, & body sculpting

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Warning: This article contains nudity, depicted through fine art and early photography. I’ve received several notes asking about various details of the feminine ideal during the Victorian era, …


Military Rifles in the mid 1800s

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During the early 19th century, muzzle-loading flintlock muskets were the weapon of choice for the infantry. These firearms were crafted long, so even when three ranks deep there was no danger of shooting a cohort in the back, and could be fixed with bayonets for close combat, again taking the …


Early Victorian Nightclothes; casual cosy attire for ladies

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. In the mid 1800s a wealthy lady might easily spend twelve hours of every day in her nightclothes. Indeed, she could spend weeks inhabiting her boudoir and dressing …


Royalty, Nobility, Gentry, & Titles; a matter of Victorian ranks & precedence

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. One of the most confusing aspects of reading anything written in the mid 1800s is the way titles, ranks, and names were used, and who took precedence in …


Victorian Women in Trousers, Pants, Breeches & Pantaloons

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Despite the popular belief, women did wear trousers in the 1800s. A search will find dozens of records of diarists who noted British and European members of the …


Chinese Opium Trade; as it was in the mid 1800s

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In the 1840s Britain grew wealthy on the sale of opium. It had been prescribed for decades in various forms by medical practitioners as countless remedies, usually in small doses. However, the narcotic was also abused, and created pitiful addiction for the users. It was legal to ship and sell …


Mourning Dress During the Early Victorian Era

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Anyone who was wealthy enough to afford it was expected to wear mourning dress when a family member or friend passed away. During the early Victorian era the requirements weren’t …


Roots of the British Secret Service

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Officially, the British Secret Intelligence Service formed in 1909 under the name of Secret Service Bureau, in a response to the perceived threat caused by activities of the Imperial German Government. However, international intrigue is clearly documented well back over five centuries. Perhaps one of the best examples is Sir …


Early Victorian Era Make-up; cosmetics & embellishments

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Like any fashion, make-up went through highs and lows of popularity through the centuries, indeed, from decade to decade. This article will concentrate on Britain in the 1800s, up to …


Spatterdashes, Gaiters, Spats; for protection, warmth, & disguise

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. The term spatterdashes (also spatterdashers) goes back to the late 17th Century, referring to long leather leggings worn to protect stockings and trousers from spatters of mud while dashing about …


Parasols During the Early Victorian Era

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. The history of sunshades goes back thousands of years, but it was during the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century that umbrellas and parasols were introduced to Europe. At first …


Pistol Duelling during the Early Victorian Era

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. By the 1840s pistols were the weapon of choice for duels in Britain. Learning to properly defend oneself with a sabre took far more practise and skill. It also required …


Sabre Duelling during the Early Victorian Era

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A matter of honour, settled with sabres, was still somewhat common during the Early Victorian era (1837 to 1861*). In the German States it had evolved into duelling clubs, mostly based at universities, where young men gleefully slashed at each other regularly over any slight, wanting to receive wounds as …


Duels and Duellists, an Early Victorian View; Introduction

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When examining duelling during the 19th century, a clear division must be made between sabres and pistols. When it came to swordplay, combatants could agree to first blood, or to the death. Pistols, on the other hand, immediately indicated a desire to kill your opponent, as any wound was more …


Penny Dreadfuls; the Victorian era adventures for the masses

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Story papers, also known as penny dreadfuls, penny horribles, penny awfuls, penny numbers, and penny bloods, were started in the 1830s becoming immensely popular and, of course, sold for one …


“Coming Out” During the Early Victorian Era; about debutantes

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. During the Regency and into the Victorian era, the London social season was particularly busy from April to the end of June, but events were held throughout the …


Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 3, wear whatever you like

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Often when people write about fashion they will quote one source and seem to think there were hard and fast rules followed. In truth, the artwork of any era reveals …


Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 2, for sun & riding

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. While bonnets were the most common choice throughout the early Victorian era, a wealthy lady could purchase hats of countless varieties. I don’t intend to cover them all here. Likewise, …


Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 1, concerning bonnets

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. It seems no one would be caught outside without a hat throughout the 1800s, in particular the wealthy, who could afford different head wear for every occasion. The unwashed masses …


Boots for an Adventuress; what did Kate Tattersall wear?

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When we started looking at drawing images of Kate we referenced fashion plates from the era. However, the women’s feet were generally hidden by the long skirts of the times. Research shows there existed many styles of footwear: plain buttoned ankle brogues, to high-heeled knee-high laced decorated boots, and everything inbetween. …


Steam Power in the mid 1800s

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The first “horseless carriage” to be demonstrated in London was constructed by Richard Trevithick in 1803. It was designed as a passenger vehicle and averaged between 4 to 9 mph (6.5 to 14.5km), similar to a trotting horse. While the propulsion system seemed to be fine, and perhaps could have …


19th Century False Teeth; or why Kate Tattersall practised good dental hygiene

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. In one of Kate’s adventures she wrote about entering a dentist’s office, passing jars of teeth and several sets laid out on a table. I learned teeth were extracted from …


Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 3, pantalettes, pantalets, drawers, & bloomers

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If you enjoy this website, and would like it to remain open, please make a donation to Kate Tattersall Adventures. Click here. Drawers were not generally worn during the early 19th century by most British women. It was more convenient to wear long hose, stockings, and layers of petticoats under …


Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 2, chemises, camisoles, and a little on stays & corsets

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. The chemise of the mid 1800s varied a great deal. Most were fairly shapeless, short sleeved, hanging straight from the shoulders, perhaps all the way to the knees, commonly made …


Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 1, luxurious silk hose, colourful stockings, & socks

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Kate Tattersall often referred to hose, stockings and socks. I thought they were all the same thing. Then I came to a passage in which she wrote about wearing hose …


Early Victorian Undergarments; an introduction, and about silk

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When Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837 the Romantic Era was still affecting fashion. Styles between 1837 and 1856 are sometimes known as Early Victorian, ending with the Crimean War and the invention of synthetic dyes, and it is a subject I never gave much consideration. It was only confusion …


Early Victorian Eyeglasses; what did Kate Tattersall wear?

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Eyeglasses in various forms date back to the 1200s. By the 1850s they had evolved into a wide array of styles and many of the wealthy enjoyed wearing intricate versions. …


Links of Interest for Victorian Era Enthusiasts

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Victoriana Magazine. Victorian London by Lee Jackson. The Victorian Web. Correct Forms of Address by Laura Wallace. Fashion & Courtship in The Victorian Era by Fragrance X Library. Victorians on the BBC website. 19th Century Fashion from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Health & Medicine in the 19th Century from …


Early Victorian Handguns; Part 3, Kate Tattersall’s pistols

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What was special about the weapons Kate carried on her missions? They were the creations of her brother, Jack Beaufort, a brilliant inventor who drew from the skills of others and combined them for startling results. The descriptions and technical drawings are similar to any number of pepperbox revolvers which …


Early Victorian Handguns; Part 2, problems with design

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There were some surprisingly good handgun designs by the early 1850s. While many of the finest were produced in London, an outstanding model was designed and manufactured by Samuel E. Robbins and Richard S. Lawrence of Windsor, Vermont, from about 1851 to 1854. A total of about 7,000 of these …


Early Victorian Handguns; Part 1, a time of great change

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The need to stop many men at once was a problem gunsmiths had been working on for some time. Volley guns, whether long arms or hand held, were developed in the 1700s. First as flintlocks, then as percussion cap and hammer, these weapons fired (or misfired) all the barrels at …


Kate Tattersall; a little bio

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If you enjoy this website, and would like to see it remain open, please purchase Kate Tattersall Adventures in China. Kate (Katelyn Elizabeth Beaufort) was born on the 11th of January 1834, her mother died a few days later. Her father was an earl, and she had five older brothers, …


Kate Tattersall, Victorian Adventuress Extraordinaire

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For a few years I’ve been sorting through a set of diaries and bundles of letters that were kept by my ancestor and crafting them into readable accounts. It has been a challenge as she often refers to certain aspects of her life which requires research. I have determined that …