Yes, you read the title correctly! I have something new on the market. Whoot! This time around (as I continue to work on my novel) I created a non-fiction picture and history book. A “coffee table” book of sorts, simply not as ginormous as the usual tabletop display photo book. Better yet, my book is beautiful and a delightful conversation starter for guest, but won’t take up all the surface space. LOL!
What did a Regency lady do all day? In between changing her clothing and sitting for her necessary toilette, surely she sought a variety of amusements to relieve the boredom in a world without television or the internet?
Magazines from the period contained colorfully detailed hand-painted prints of women and men wearing the latest fashions. Oftentimes the drawn models displayed the garments while engaged in daily activities or popular entertainments. What a marvelous way to peek into the past and answer the above questions!
REGENCY PRINTS REFINED: A LADY’S DIVERSIONS is a photo book with 36 prints from Costume Parisien, La Belle Assemblée, Ackermann’s Repository, and other magazines published from 1790 to 1825. With the marvels of modern graphic design, each print has been painstakingly freed from the impurities of time, beautifully revealing the original precision and elegant taste. They have been refined!
Gorgeous full-page images from the era of Jane Austen, and a bit of history too. Fabulous! How can one resist?
I hope you won’t resist!
I am very proud of this book. I know readers are anxious for a new novel from me, specifically the second part of my betrothal period duo. It will come in time! And now I can make that statement with more confidence. Embarking on this non-fiction, graphic book has been wonderfully therapeutic, and restored my passion in a marvelous, surprising way. Rather than delve into that, let me share how this book (and hopefully a series) originated.
As most of you are aware, I am a Pinterest addict. Indeed, I have 71 boards and nearly 12,000 pins! Sharon’s Pinterest. One of my boards is dedicated to “Regency Fashion Plates & Drawings.” It was this collection, and my skills in digital design, that prompted me to volunteer to tackle a project for the 2015 JASNA Annual General Meeting (AGM) hosted by the Greater Louisville JASNA Region, of which I am a proud member. (*The conference is scheduled for this October, and it isn’t too late to come. Info here: 2015 JASNA AGM*) Coordinators Bonny Wise and Alana Gillett wanted to decorate the luncheon and banquet tables with Regency prints specifically depicting people engaged in activities of some sort, as per the AGM theme “Living in Jane Austen’s World.”
I was happy to take on the task, but never dreamed the simple behest to re-size and polish twenty-five plates for 5×7 framed photos would lead where it did. Before I finished the AGM project I had accumulated over 650 prints on my Pinterest board, and refurbished 105 plates so that each table will have a unique print! Plus, I discovered a new passion!
The bummer, as I saw it, was that the 105 superbly reimagined prints resembling weeks of painstaking work would be seen and enjoyed by no one, other than the JASNA AGM attendees. Oh, the tragedy! That is where the idea of this book came from. How about a full-color photo book? Fabulous idea! To make it extra special I’ve added a bit of history and fashion descriptions for each print. Here is an example–
The book entry on this plate: A lady in a morning dress holding a parrot. Exotic pets were prized acquisitions. I am not a bird-as-pet lover, but my sister has a feathered menagerie, so I can appreciate the unique bond forged between humans and intelligent bird species, such as parrots.
The description in the magazine is as follows: “A loose robe of line cambric or worked jaconet muslin, over a petticoat of the same, flounced with French trimming; long full sleeve, confined at the wrist with treble drawings and ornamented with corresponding trimming. The robe, negligée, of demi-length is gathered into a Vandyke ruff, and is worn with a coloured silk handkerchief tied carelessly round the neck. A mob cap, composed of net and Brussels lace, decorated with a cluster of flowers and bows of satin ribbon. Slippers or sandals of pale tan-coloured kid.”
There you have it! 36 such prints with descriptions from the magazines (when available), my thoughts, and tidbits of history. I could have easily added more prints and details, but wanted to keep the book at a reasonable price. Full color printing into a fine quality book isn’t cheap! With that in mind, my hope is to continue the Regency Prints Refined series. Each book would have a theme – gentlemen’s fashion, more women, children, couples, playing games, and so on. That will depend on how this first installment fares.
NOTE: This book is designed for perfection as a printed photo book. However, it is available as an eBook at the usual places. Keep in mind that the prints are in color and large. Older devices, or those only in B&W will not look as nice, or may not work at all.
And, because these refined prints are, IMHO, awesome, I have them available in my Image Gallery for purchase individually. Create greeting cards like the one on the right, and other items (totes, puzzle, playing cards, mugs). Have an image printed for framing and display. Lots of options!
FIVE Regency Prints Refined: A Lady’s Diversions (print and signed)
FOUR 5×7 cards from Image Gallery store, each winner’s choice of print
THREE Regency Prints Refined: A Lady’s Diversions (eBook, international or US)
TWO 5×7 photo prints from Image Gallery store, each winner’s choice of print
ONE mug (white or black) with winner’s choice of print.