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velkommen

Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.

ABOUT ME

My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.

Fuldmane

Fuldmane
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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Vexing, Fetching Victorian Weddings




We're pleased to present this guest post on Victorian weddings by our aspiring blogger friend, Josie F. Millett. As the owner of a retro clothing boutique, Josie is familiar with changing modes of fashion, but she has a special interest in Victorian styles and manners at the moment. Here's why...



My cousin Beryl is going to be married next March and, of course, she's already planning the ceremony and reception. She told me that she plans on having a "Victorian wedding" modeled on what she believes her great grandmother's wedding would have been like. Great Grandmother Beryl is her namesake, so I think that's a cool idea, but I think she'll find that planning a Victorian-style wedding is going to be an exhausting enterprise.  Not just financially, physically and emotionally, but  because, to do it right, a young woman has to try to look at the situation through a lacy film unlike anything that's manufactured anymore. What I mean is: Victorian weddings may seem to reflect fairy tale images when captured in old photographs, but in the reality of the times, Victorian marriages were no cakewalk. Just read the following excerpt on weddings from victorian-era.org.



Certain rules regarding Victorian marriage were strictly followed in the Victorian era.
               
It was illegal to marry your deceased wife's sister. You could marry first cousins, but attitudes changed towards the  end of the 19th century, and this became frowned upon. Victorians were encouraged to marry within the same class. They could marry up, but to marry down meant marrying beneath yourself.An unmarried woman could inherit money and property after she reached the age of 21, but once married, all control would revert to her husband. A woman could not have a will for her own personal possessions; since the control was in her husbands power, he could distribute her property in any way he likes, even to his illegitimate children.
                 
The marriage ceremony itself was not the romantic dream that it's so often imagined to be. A marriage etiquette book of the period outlines the details of how the bride, groom and guests should  behave  during the ceremony and when interacting with one another.
                
   

THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
The Marriage ceremony varies with the fortunes and wishes of those interested.
In regard to the form of the rite, no specific directions are necessary; for those who are to be married by ministers, will study the form of their particular church - the Methodists their "Book of Discipline," the Episcopalians their "Book of Common Prayer," the Catholics their Ritual, etc., etc. In most cases a rehearsal of the ceremony is made in private, that the pair may the more perfectly understand the necessary forms. If the parties are to be wedded by a magistrate, the ceremony is almost nominal - it is a mere repetition of a vow. The Catholic and Episcopal forms have the most ceremony, and doubtless are the most impressive, though no more effectually marrying than the simplest form.

You know who at her you know what
    There are, however, some generally received rules which govern this momentous and interesting occasion, and to these we refer all interested. When the wedding is not strictly in private, it is customary for bridesmaids and groomsmen to be chosen to assist in the duties of the occasion. The bridesmaids should be younger than the bride, their dresses should be conformed to hers; they should not be any more expensive, though they are permitted more ornament. They are generally chosen of light, graceful material; flowers are the principal decoration. The bride's dress is marked by simplicity. But few jewels or ornaments should be worn, and those should be the gift of the bridegroom or parents. A veil and garland are the distinguishing features of the dress. The bridesmaids assist in dressing the bride, receiving the company, etc.; and, at the time of the ceremony, stand at her left side, the first bridesmaid holding the bouquet and gloves.The groomsmen receive the clergyman, present him to the couple to be married and support the bridegroom upon the right, during the ceremony.



Another interesting aspect regarding Victorian wedding ceremonies are the customs surrounding food, especially the wedding cake. In Victorian times, there were three wedding cakes: one each for the bride and the groom, and another, larger cake for the guests. The bride's cake was virginal white (of course), the groom's was dark, and the guests were served a rich, heavy fruitcake with decorations and lots of scrolling on top. If the ceremony took place in the afternoon, the reception usually featured a variety of finger foods (sandwiches and scones) along with plenty of champagne and tea. If the couple could afford it there was live music of some kind. Songbooks from the era include titles such as "My Wife and I Waltz" and "The Dulcinana Wedding March." A YouTube search failed to turn up either song, but that's hardly a surprise, given the tastes of most YouTube viewers.


A modern girl
With modern pearls
Now, I hope my dear cousin doesn't think I'm down on the idea of a Victorian wedding, because I love the idea of one, especially since it means I'll be able to wear pearls, my favorite gemstone. I just hope that she and other people realize that, despite all of the beauty to be found in the Victorian era, it was a very different time and shouldn't be overly romanticized. As members of modern society, it's hard for us to imagine what was really going on behind the stiff expressions on the faces of those bridal couples in all of those faded 1800s photographs. It wasn't easy being a woman of that era. And as much fun as it will be to plan this wedding, and to come up with Victorian tidbits to make it special for my cousin and her wonderful husband-to-be, I'm glad that I'm a woman of this one.

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