WordPress has been wacky the last several days. Coupled with the final book of Harry Potter calling my name from its spot on the nightstand, I have been terribly naughty, dear gentle reader, about reporting the latest on hist-ro and all things Regency.
But never fear, Harry Potter has at last been finished and I am now ripping through the final pages of the new Mary Balogh series…
So stay tuned for my full report.
In the meantime, do you ever wonder why widows weeds never seem to apply to the opposite sex in the tomes of Regency?
A Bachelor’s Cupboard elucidates the gentlemen’s mourning ritual for us:
“A man wears mourning for a parent, sister, or brother for six months or a year, as he prefers. The crape hatband is adopted for this dress, but should be much narrower than that of a widower. First mourning consists of complete suits of black, dull black leather shoes, black gloves, and cuff-links of black enamel. Second mourning should be gray or black clothes, black and white silk ties, gray or black gloves, and black and white linen. Men do not, as a rule, carry black-bordered handkerchiefs. Few men wear mourning for grandparents or other relatives. The wearing of a black band on the coat sleeve is condemned by the best people. It is a custom borrowed from England, where it was originally introduced for liveried servants whom it was not thought necessary to fit out in complete black liveries. The worst thing about a band is that it is unclassifiable, since a man may wear it for a near or a distant relative. If a man cannot afford or does not approve of mourning, then he should abjure the entire livery of grief, for the compromise of a black band betrays a painfully economical mind.
After mourning, a man may resume his social duties in from three weeks to two months. While wearing a broad band on his hat for a near relative a man should not attend the theater, opera, or a ball.”