Friday, October 19, 2012

Four Things on a Friday

It’s one of those weeks when I must beg your indulgence. A plethora of items has come to my attention, and I simply have to share them with you. So I give you four things on a Friday:

  1. Real Nineteenth Century Dancing. We often see in movies perfectly executed dance scenes depicting balls in the nineteenth century. I have often wondered whether every young lady could possibly keep all those steps in her head, and what would happen if she missed a step or, heaven forbid, improvised! I saw this clip on YouTube recently, and it strikes me as far more realistic for how early nineteenth century young ladies and gentlemen would have danced. Notice the fellow with the flair at twirling, the older lady chivvying the others along. That’s the kind of scene I like to write about.

  2. Jane Austen as Brain Food. Recent research at Stanford University has shown that reading Jane Austen’s materials actually stimulates your brain. Now you know why you’re all so clever, don’t you?
  3. Pictures from the Beau Monde. Leah Nash, a talented photographer who has had her pieces published by the New York Times, attended the Romance Writers of America conference this summer and took a number of pictures at the Beau Monde Soiree. Here are a few, used with her permission. You may recognize some of the, er, gentlemen. The darling lady in turquoise is author Delilah Marvelle. See Leah's website at for more.

  4. The Young Bluestockings Attend the Cinema. Yes, that’s right! Join us next Tuesday, October 23, for a discussion of Pride and Prejudice staring Keira Knightly, with our own Cara King. Whatever you think of this new-fangled cinema or this interpretation of the beloved classic, it’s sure to be interesting!

Have a great Friday!


Cara King said...

I just got a chance to view the dancing clip, Regina -- fun! For what it's worth, I think that's the opening bit of a fairly complicated dance (it's a triple minor) and I note the dancers are doing footwork as well as patterns (and perhaps they're not all very experienced at the footwork.)

My theory about dance in the period is that those with the money for tutors and decent brains and a bit of agility were probably delightful to watch on the dance floor (though even they could err sometimes.) But the less wealthy and less fashionable and less coordinated sorts might join in at a country ball and sort of bumble their way through it. And that leaves lots of room in the middle for individuality. (Someone might have practice but no coordination, or training but no memory.) Anyway, that's how I see it!

Cara (who has practice, some training, an excellent memory, and no coordination whatsoever)

Regina Scott said...

That makes perfect sense to me, Cara.

Regina, who has also had some practice and very little training, but has no memory whatsoever and will match you on coordination :-)