Scroll to Top
Author Archives R.S. Fleming

Facing Mortality

1 Comment
 

Haverholme Priory, Lincolnshire, 8 July 1848 “I hope this goes well,” Lord Beaufort murmured to no one in particular as he glanced out a rain-streaked coach window. Kate, sitting across from her father, perceived the concern in his voice and closed her book. She raised an eyebrow and stared at …


Another Midsummer Steeplechase

Leave a comment
 

Somersetshire, 21 June 1848 Hoof beats thundered all around. Kate glanced through her mud spattered veil over a shoulder. Four… no, six riders in close pursuit. Their mounts look tired. A large man on a superb chestnut stallion rode to her side. I recognise him and his horse from last …


Cruel Streets

1 Comment
 

London, early June 1848 “There they are!” Kate exclaimed, shifting forward in her seat. “Stop here!” “Where, my lady?” “Here!” Kate insisted. She craned her neck to catch another glimpse through the traffic. “They’re on the other side of the street. Please stop and let me out!” “I don’t see …


Of Mice, Cats, & Lions

Leave a comment
 

London, 14 May 1848 “I think, perhaps… I should stay home.” “Don’t be ridiculous. Why?” “Because…” Kate turned away from her step-mother and examined herself in a mirror. Since the Lovelace’s dinner party almost three weeks previously she had felt apprehension whenever venturing outside of their London house. They had …


Dinner & Dancing Troubles

Leave a comment
 

London, late April 1848 “And one and two and three and four and pause, and turn – no, t’other way – and back now. And one and two and three and four, and face. Pause… no, don’t bow – you’re not a man. There. You’re… improving.” Kate took a shaky …


Tea, Hearts, & Men

3 Comments
 

London, late March 1848 Kate tried not to rattle the strainer on the cup, but did, and spilled a couple drops off the spout of the teapot, again. She found her bodice a bit constricting, which wasn’t helping matters. “You’re trying too hard,” Jane said, judging Kate’s efforts out of …


Heartbreaking Mercy

Leave a comment
 

Quantock Hall, early March 1848 “What’s wrong?” “It’s your old dog, my lady.” From her position at the threshold of the front door, Kate looked fireside, Cinders’ usual spot of repose. She knew something was amiss as she entered from her morning ride, by the upset expressions of Smythe, the …


Curious Confrontations

1 Comment
 

Farleigh Castle, Part II, mid February 1848 “The ginger beer should be settled by now,” Kate said as they climbed from the crypt and into the churchyard. “Would you like a drink, and a sandwich? Are you hungry?” “Yes, almost always,” Hugh replied with a wink. “Me too!” Kate exclaimed …


A Curious Outing

1 Comment
 

Farleigh Castle, Part I, mid February 1848 Kate slid the toe of her left boot into the stirrup, stepped off the mounting block, hooked her right leg on the top pommel, settled into the saddle, then twisted around to recheck her various leather bags while quickly arranging her skirt and …


A Chance Encounter?

2 Comments
 

Bath, mid February 1848 “Those are lovely,” Kate said, pointing to a set of blue glass goblets in a store window. “Yes, my lady,” Isabel agreed. “I like the pink.” They strolled slowly along Milsom Street with little purpose other than inspecting shop fronts, the wares displayed, and the fashions …


A Garden Adventure

Leave a comment
 

Bath, mid February 1848 “This is excellent,” Kate said as she hopped down from the first class carriage onto the platform. “You’ve been here before,” Jane stated plainly. “You act as though it’s new to you.” “We’ve come by coach, and by water from Bristol,” Kate explained. “This is the …


A New Year; Life & Death

1 Comment
 

Quantock Hall, Somersetshire, 5 January 1848 “That is sad news. Have arrangements been made?” “Yes, my lord,” Smythe said while taking the earl’s hat and coat. “Thank you.” Between fussing over her dogs, Ebony and Cinders, and taking off her bonnet and coat, Kate hadn’t heard what their butler related to …


Young Lady Katelyn Elizabeth, Adventures & Tribulations 1847

Leave a comment
 

Below you will find links to the chapters covering a year in Kate’s life, from her thirteenth birthday to Christmas celebrations. These were originally posted as blog articles but have been converted to pages. Unfortunately, the pages cannot be commented on, and the encouraging notes that existed previously are archived. …


Adventures & Tribulations of Young Lady Katelyn Elizabeth

2 Comments
 

“Tales as extracted from her diaries, beginning with her thirteenth birthday, and following through to her presentation as a débutante to Queen Victoria.” For some time I have been considering posting a series of short stories about the two and a half years in which Kate grew from childhood to …


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

4 Comments
 

“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

8 Comments
 

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

6 Comments
 

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

4 Comments
 

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

12 Comments
 

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

8 Comments
 

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

8 Comments
 

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

8 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

8 Comments
 

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

4 Comments
 

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

18 Comments
 

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

9 Comments
 

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

7 Comments
 

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

9 Comments
 

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

13 Comments
 

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

4 Comments
 

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

6 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

25 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

9 Comments
 

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

7 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

4 Comments
 

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

20 Comments
 

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

4 Comments
 

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

6 Comments
 

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

11 Comments
 

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?

5 Comments
 

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

6 Comments
 

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

14 Comments
 

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

14 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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

5 Comments
 

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 …