Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on the 25th of January, 1759.
The date is celebrated in Scotland and by the Scottish diaspora as Burns Night.
Musick Hall in Fishacre Street, where the first performance took place.
George Frideric Handel’s English-language oratorio, Messiah, premiered in Dublin, Ireland on the 13th of April, 1742.
Messiah was composed over a period of only twenty-four days. Handel worked on the music while in London, where he had been living for some years.
Handel in 1733
The premiere in Dublin came during a series of concerts Handel presented in Ireland, and the first performance used the cathedral choirs of St Patrick’s and Christ Church.
On the 21st of March, 1788, a fire broke out in a home in New Orleans, present-day Louisiana.
856 of the 1100 buildings in the town were destroyed.
Because the fire happened on Good Friday, priests wouldn’t allow church bells to be rung as a warning to residents.
Below is a map of the destroyed area, published in 1886. X
Discover Jane Austen’s England
Immerse yourself in the vanished world inhabited by Austen’s contemporaries. Packed with detail, and anecdotes, this is an intimate exploration of how the middle and upper classes lived from 1775, the year of Austen’s birth, to the coronation of George IV in 1820. Sue Wilkes skilfully conjures up all aspects of daily life within the period, drawing on contemporary diaries, illustrations, letters, novels, travel literature and archives.
•Were all unmarried affluent men really ‘in want of a wife’?
•Where would a young lady seek adventures?
•Would ‘taking the waters’ at Bath and other spas kill or cure you?
•Was Lizzy Bennet bitten by bed-bugs while travelling?
•What would you wear to a country ball, or a dance at Almack’s?
•Would Mr Darcy have worn a corset?
•What hidden horrors lurked in elegant Regency houses?
Put on your dancing gloves and embrace a lost era of corsets and courtship!
There are many books like this one, a “travel guide” of sorts through the day to day events of Georgian, Regency and Victorian England. However, there aren’t many that pack as much information in as this one does, and so I really enjoyed it.
The thing the author of A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England does right is that she uses primary sources for her information, and quotes letters and journal entries of the time from all sorts of people. There’s no guessing about things here; everything we’re told comes from something recorded back in the day.
The anecdotes taken from day to day life in the Georgian and Regency days Jane Austen lived are interesting, taught me more than a few things, and painted a stronger picture from the era than pretty much any book I’ve read.
Any historical fiction reader worth their salt is going to know quite a bit of what is in here, especially so for fans of Jane Austen. However, there was so much I learnt that I even found the rehashing of more commonly-known facts interesting all over again.
If more authors consulted primary sources rather than learning the world of the Regency from other Regency romances, there would be far fewer mistakes (with language, for example) turning up in books, and there would be a much more historical “feel” to the stories.
An interesting read for fans of history and historical fiction.
A 1938 image depicting the First Fleet arriving in Australia on the 26th of January, 1788. This was the beginning of European colonisation of the continent, and the 26th is now called Australia Day.
From the collection of the National Library of Australia in Canberra.
Berlingske, Denmark’s oldest still-running newspaper, was first published on the 3rd of January, 1749.
Front of the first edition.
Originally named Kjøbenhavnske Danske Post-Tidender, the paper was founded by Ernst Henrich Berling and is conservative-leaning.