Dec 262017
 

Hello, dear readers! I hope all of you who celebrate enjoyed a very Happy Christmas!  Mr. Bingley and I had a lovely holiday break so far – lots of time together, and we enjoyed spending the whole of yesterday with my family! Here is a little after-Christmas treat for you – a lovely guest post from Victoria Kincaid!!  I absolutely adored Ms. Kincaid’s Christmas novella A Very Darcy Christmas last year.  I can’t wait to read her newest release – Christmas at Darcy House.  Victoria is here to share a little about the tradition of mistletoe and an excerpt from Christmas at Darcy House!! 

Thank you for hosting me, Meredith! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and all your readers.

While some Regency Christmas traditions are familiar to us, many of them are not ones we practice today. Few people try to keep a Yule log burning all night, for example. However, one tradition that has survived is mistletoe, although today’s version is likely to be artificial.

The practice of gathering mistletoe began in the second century BC in ancient Britain, when the Druids saw it as a symbol of good fortune and fertility. But mistletoe did not come to be associated with kissing until the 18th century. Balls of mistletoe, tied with ribbon, would be hung in doorways and from ceilings. An unmarried woman could not refuse a kiss if she was underneath the mistletoe.

With every kiss, a man would pluck one of the mistletoe berries, and when there were no more berries, the ball was retired for the year. The superstition was that women who were never kissed could not expect to get married in the coming year. Mistletoe was not readily available in every part of England, so people would frequently send it to relatives or friends in parts of the country where it did not grow. Continue reading »

Dec 152017
 

Hi friends!  Are you in the midst of Christmas preparations and celebrations?  This Christmas season has seen a lot of lovey new holiday Austenesque releases and two of them are from author Maria Grace!  I can tell Maria Grace has a fondness for the Christmas season, she has published several stories taking place during the Christmas season.  In addition to the three Christmas stories mentioned in this post, there is also A Jane Austen Christmas and Twelfth Night at Longbourn, which is about Kitty Bennet! Maria is here today to share about gift-giving traditions during Jane Austen’s time.  We hope you enjoy!

Thanks so much for having me Meredith! I’m so excited to be with you this Christmas season! It’s been a doozy of a year in these parts, so much that it calls for not one, but two Christmas books. The two books go along with The Darcys’ First Christmas, kind of forming bookends to the story. Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 tells the behind the scenes story of what might have happened during the Christmastide Darcy spent in London, while the militia (and Wickham!) wintered in Meryton. From Admiration to Love tells the story of the Darcys’ second Christmas. Imagine trying to hold Georgiana’s coming out at the Twelfth Night ball as Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh descend as very unwelcome guests. The story was such fun to write, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Interestingly, one of the thing that does not figure prominently in the story is gift giving. That’s not to say no gifts are exchanged, just that the traditions were different in the Regency era. St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Day and Twelfth Night were the most likely days for gift exchange, although old traditions called for gifts to be exchanged on New Year’s Day. Continue reading »

Dec 132017
 

Matchmaking, Mistletoe, and Christmas Magic with Jane Austen’s Characters!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

I’ve enjoyed so many Austen-Inspired anthologies these past few years and yet, I still beg for more! 😉 I was elated when I saw the authors featured in this collection; I’ve read and loved several works by each author, and I know they are one talented and imaginative group! In addition, I love that this anthology features stories set during the Christmas season – don’t you love seeing Jane Austen’s characters celebrate the holidays and and witness their Christmas traditions? I love Regency Christmases! (No commercialism there!)

There are four stories in this collection ranging from 20 to 79 in length. I hope you find this breakdown helpful! Continue reading »