Regency Deportment - acquiring it
Posted by Patsy on October 28, 1997 at 04:21:03:
In response to Regency Deportment, written by Sue on October 27, 1997 at 11:34:29
] Can anyone offer an insight into the way Regency ladies
] carried themselves ? ...snipped
What an interesting note from Sue and Jenny!
Jennie is quite correct - a wooden busk does keep you straight, and little girls were put into stays at a very young age - certainly 7 or 8 years by some accounts. (see PS at bottom).
Contemporary Regency and late 18c records reveal that girls (boys less so, I think?) were expected to have their skeletons improved (today we might say deformed) by
the long term use of backboards and shoulder straps. ( oooh, the poor things must have suffered). For evidence :
*W Thackery " Vanity Fair" First or second chapter I seem to remember
*Diary by Mary Somerville
*Most 18Cent portraits of women, if seen sideways on, how that their shoulders are BEHIND their spines. Try this today, it hurts.
*Costume sources today (can't remember, can look them up) comment on 18C dresses having small arm holes set much further back than today.
*18C stays had shoulder straps where the front of the strap goes back under armpit, thereby pulling the shoulders back, expanding the chest and narrowing the back. Again portraits show this.
*Somewhere I have seen a test of early Victorian deportment being the ability to hold a coin between your shoulder blades. (Try it!)
I know some the Regency aficionados will say the above are contemporary Regency. The Regency was short, and I am sure education / child rearing standards did not change very quickly.
PS I have seen several references to 18/19C girls being
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