Author Archives:

Jane Austen and Charity, by Diana Oaks

Jane Austen and Charity, by Diana Oaks

Charity is a theme woven into each of Jane Austen’s six novels, with various facets of this virtue woven into characters and communities in ways that illuminate the best and worst of its meanings. We’ll take a look at a few examples of these themes in her works, including the contradictions inherent in her illustrations.… Read the full blog post …

Pertaining to Cows: Vaccination in Jane Austen’s time, by Diana Oaks

Pertaining to Cows: Vaccination in Jane Austen’s time, by Diana Oaks

Was Jane Austen vaccinated against smallpox? I expected that the answer to this question was a simple internet search away. I was wrong. After extensive searching, I am answerless. I located no mention of her ever having received either the smallpox variolation or vaccination procedures online. Although many of her illnesses were documented, there are… Read the full blog post …

Products of the Stillroom: Mincemeat Filling and Christmas Pudding, by Diana J Oaks

Products of the Stillroom: Mincemeat Filling and Christmas Pudding, by Diana J Oaks

When we hear that Christmas trees and decorations didn’t go up before Christmas Eve in the Regency household, it might lead us to assume that Christmas celebrations involved little advance preparation. The reality belies that supposition, as stillroom work for Christmas would actually begin up to a year in advance. This early activity is because… Read the full blog post …

Products of the Stillroom: The Regency Medicine Cabinet, by Diana J Oaks

Products of the Stillroom: The Regency Medicine Cabinet, by Diana J Oaks

Take a look in your medicine cabinet and consider with awe the treasure it truly is. Whether we are referring to prescription medications or over-the-counter treatments, you know that the products have been standardized, and must at least meet minimum standards for safety and efficacy. But where did these products come from?  A phrase in… Read the full blog post …

Reduced to a Tweet. The Lost Art of the Social Call, by Diana J Oaks

Reduced to a Tweet. The Lost Art of the Social Call, by Diana J Oaks

Social connection. It’s the pulse of civilization, the foundation of community, and a deeply held human need.  You might have guessed that I’m not necessarily talking about networking with influential people here. I’m talking about friendship, camaraderie, recognition, love, and belonging.  Jane Austen was particularly adept at infusing the relationships in her novels with an… Read the full blog post …