A #Love Token Of My Affection

We think of #Valentine’sDay as a time to exchange cards, flowers and Godivas. But as David Copperfield, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, so vividly remembers, the Victorians had a special way of showing their devotion: a common coin, sanded then engraved with all manner of sentimental designs such as entwined initials, hearts, doves and roses, even entire pastoral scenes, usually made by a man and presented to his beloved.  They lasted longer than a bouquet and were easier than scrimshaw! It became popular to sell premade love tokens at country fairs–to any gentleman who lacked the time or … Continue reading A #Love Token Of My Affection

Take It or Leaf It: Japanese Street Art

Hester Prynne, of The Scarlet Letter fame, is the only Puritan character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. As autumn comes to New York City, Hester keenly registers the turning of the leaves; as they drop she dreads the winter to come. Puritans viewed Nature as a hostile force (well, ok, they pretty much viewed everything as a hostile force..but Nature especially). They knew America would hold for them “a sharp and violent winter” (in the words of #Mayflower survivor William Bradford), in which sickness and starvation would be rampant. However, in modern day #Japan there are no such worries. A … Continue reading Take It or Leaf It: Japanese Street Art

Jane Austen’s Cherry

Cherries, native to Asia, became popular in Europe in the late Middle Ages. The tasty red orbs were brought to America by the first colonists. Back in the Regency era of #MrDarcy, the hero of both Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre Gets Real, the most popular types of cherry included Flemish, carnation, black, white, duke and of course English. Though made into tarts and pies one of their most popular uses was in ratafia, an old receipt for which can be found in Robert’s Guide for Butlers & Other Household Staff, published in 1828: Into one quart of brandy pour half a pint of cherry … Continue reading Jane Austen’s Cherry