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Penny Hampson

Food Glorious Food: John Simpson, Regency Cook to the Nobility

May 19th, 2024

As an author of Regency novels, I consult a lot of 19th century sources to ensure that the details of my stories are accurate for the period. Naturally, not everything ends up in my stories – that would be far too boring for my readers – so I enjoy posting snippets of interesting facts here […]

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Escaping the Guillotine: French Émigrés in England

April 30th, 2024

Gabrielle, the heroine of my forthcoming Regency novel, An Adventurer’s Contract, is a French émigrée living in London. The inspiration for her story was an article that appeared in the February edition of The Monthly Magazine for 1810. You can read my post about it here. The article set me thinking about what life must […]

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An Abbey and a sad tale

October 7th, 2023

A brief break from my writing this weekend when I visited Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire. Dorchester-on-Thames is a small town situated on the confluence of the River Thames and the River Thame. The abbey is beautiful building with its origins in 12th century. Little did I know the sad tale that this visit would lead me […]

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A Scottish Adventure: Trains and Boats and Rains

July 3rd, 2023

Although I lived in Scotland for seven years I never made many trips to Edinburgh. That was rectified this year when my husband and I decided to have a Scottish adventure and get to know that city better. Our journey started with the overnight sleeper train from Euston. We travelled light with one small suitcase […]

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Adventurous Females Part 2

May 10th, 2023

On a previous post I spoke about women who had occupations not usually associated with the ‘fairer sex’. Most of those employments, such as accompanying the army or working down the mines were undertaken out of economic necessity. Today I’m looking at ladies who don’t quite fit that category; in fact, at least one of […]

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The weaker sex – a myth? Surprising female occupations of the past.

January 4th, 2023

I’m sure many people today believe that women in the past didn’t do much outside of the domestic sphere. Up to fairly recently it was almost a given that a woman’s place was in the home. Women have been called the weaker sex. We often hear how it took World War I to change things. […]

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With Love From Me to You: Love Letters from the Past

November 28th, 2022

Love letters are nothing new. For as long as people have been writing there have been those who expressed their feelings to a loved one in written words. Abelard and Heloise In the 12th century, we have Peter Abelard and Heloise d’Argenteuil. Abelard was already a famous scholar when he was employed by Heloise’s uncle […]

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Action and Adventure in India: My Review of Sharpe’s Triumph

August 30th, 2022

A few days ago I went off-piste with my reading matter; instead of my usual Regency romances I decided to try a different genre set in roughly the same era. I’ve been meaning to read Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe Series for some time, having read and enjoyed Harlequin, an historical adventure set during the Hundred Years […]

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Cutting Edge Advice for the Regency Traveller: Mariana Starke and Her Guidebook

June 13th, 2022

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to purchase a copy of Mariana Starke’s (1762-1838) Information and Directions for Travellers on the Continent. The edition I now proudly own is the 6th edition of her work published in 1828. Mariana was born in Epsom and was the eldest daughter of Richard Starke who had […]

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