|Rachel at the Jane Austen Festival|
Grand Regency Promenade in September 2014
The year started with some of the worst storms I can remember. The road across from where I live in Weymouth in Dorset to the nearby Isle of Portland was shut and Chesil Beach was reshaped by the ferocious waves. It prompted me to write about the Great Storm of 1824 which caused even greater damage, washing away Weymouth promenade.
My favourite January post: The Great Gale in Weymouth and Portland
|Stone commemorating the Great Gale of 1824|
on Weymouth seafront
In February, the rain kept on falling and parts of Weymouth were flooded. I gave my first blogging workshop and wrote about the bluestockings.
My favourite February post: The bluestocking circle
Whilst in Yorkshire for a family funeral, I was able to visit Nostell Priory and admire the work of architect Robert Adam and furniture made by Thomas Chippendale. I visited the Georgians Revealed exhibition at the British Library and braved the cold to look round Georgian Leamington Spa.
My favourite March post: Regency History’s guide to Nostell Priory
|The Royal Pump Room, Leamington Spa|
I was invited to a bloggers’ event at the Queen’s Gallery in April and had the privilege of previewing the First Georgians exhibition. I researched the life of actress Mary Robinson who became the mistress of the future George IV and blogged about her.
My favourite April post: Mary ‘Perdita’ Robinson
|David and Eva Garrick by Hogarth|
on poster advertising The First Georgians exhibition
I visited the Georgian fayre at Blandford, which was nice, but not very Georgian, and the wonders of Stourhead.
My favourite May post: Regency History’s guide to Stourhead
|Stone bridge, Stourhead|
My youngest daughter turned 18 in June and I celebrated my birthday with a visit to Arlington Court in Devon to visit the National Trust Carriage Museum. I blogged about The Sylph by Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, and was fascinated by what her novel can tell us about her.
My favourite June post: What can The Sylph tell us about its author?
We had a short break in Plymouth in Devon in July and visited Saltram, Mount Edgcumbe and Cotehele. I also attended a bloggers’ event at Buckingham Palace with a special tour of the state apartments and a preview of the summer exhibition.
My favourite July post: Mary Robinson – more than Perdita
|Home-made wooden dolls that belonged to the young|
Queen Victoria at the Royal Childhood exhibition
at Buckingham Palace
As well as plenty of visits to the Sealife Centre with my grandchildren, I also found time to visit a number of historical places: Haddon Hall, Osterley Park, Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood (which the grandchildren loved), Kedleston Hall and Uppark.
Favourite August post: Georgian architecture (the first post on my site by my husband)
It was very exciting to have my own Regency costume made and I thoroughly enjoyed parading at the Jane Austen Festival Grand Regency Promenade in September, meeting lots of lovely people who shared a love of Regency history and Jane Austen. Another highlight was being filmed by KBS-TV, the South Korean equivalent to the BBC, talking about George III and the Georgian fashion of seabathing.
Favourite September post: Richard Brinsley Sheridan
|Rachel being filmed by KBS |
on Weymouth seafront
A long overdue holiday in Derbyshire enabled me to visit Chatsworth, Eyam Hall and Lyme Park as well as go down a Blue John mine. Other visits included Kenwood and The Vyne and a visit to London to join Louise Allen in an event called Writing Historical Fiction the Westminster Way.
Favourite October post: Polesden Lacey
|The Painted Hall, Chatsworth|
November did not go according to plan as we had water damage after a particularly violent storm leaving the house in a mess until we could get the roof fixed. I paid a fleeting visit to Kingston Lacy where the National Trust team were busy boxing up the outside ornaments to protect them during the winter closure.
Favourite November post: Regency History guide to Chatsworth and A photo tour of Chatsworth.
The roof was finally repaired, a new ceiling put in and we just managed to get the decorating done in time for Christmas. A few days after Christmas, we took our daughter to a wedding in Alton and stopped off at Jane Austen's House in Chawton.
This is my video of a 360° panorama from outside Jane's house:
Favourite December post: What is the haut ton?
I hope you have enjoyed my reminiscences. Have a very Happy New Year in 2015!
For 21 of my favourite Georgian posts in 2014 on my fellow bloggers' sites, click here.
All photographs © Andrew Knowles - www.flickr.com/photos/dragontomato