Don't miss out on any of our upcoming events this year! Check out the Events page for more information.
Writing in Austen's England: Penmanship Lecture and Workshop
August 3, 2019
A perfectly-sized group of eager students gathered at the historic Alexandria Friends Meeting at Woodlawn at the beginning of August to learn all that we could about the hows, whats, and whys of written communication in the early 19th century. We were delighted to have guests attending from as far away as Pennsylvania and Nebraska! Our leader for the day, R. B. Bartgis, shared a wealth of knowledge during a one-hour lecture packed with information regarding all that was involved in writing during the Regency era, from the making of paper and ink to the process of getting a letter through the postal service of the time. Artifacts and reproductions were passed around during the lecture, to give those in the audience an even better understanding of period letter-writing. This amazingly informative talk clearly bred even more questions...so many, that we had to stop the Q and A session following lest our attendees be denied lunch! After a break to eat, we reassembled to try our own hand at writing...first by learning how to cut a quill and then by opening our copybooks and attempting Round- and Italian hand. We were also shown the proper method of folding and sealing a letter, with participants having the opportunity to choose whether to seal their letters with a common wafer or (the more elegant) wax seal. Many thanks to Ben Bartgis for an enjoyable and educational day! Be sure to check out pictures from the event from our Facebook album!
RSV Group Trip to the UK
June 17-24, 2019
We had a great group of sixteen men and women join us for our first ever international excursion featuring a selection of iconic Regency Era sites in England! There was a great deal packed into our week-long trip, starting in Bath where we met our tour guide from ECT Travel. She showed us around on a walking tour, highlighting the beautiful 18th century Bath stone architecture. We also toured No. 1 Royal Crescent, where affluent Georgians stayed when they would come to "take the waters" of Bath, and the Bath Fashion Museum, which has an extensive collection of garments from the 16th century through today. Included in the tour was a glimpse of the house where Jane Austen lived while in Bath, which sits across the street from the beautiful Sydney Gardens (behind the Holborne Museum). It was an amazing experience to walk the paths that Jane Austen also walked. Our group stayed in Bath for four days, and ten of our number event stayed in a beautiful historic house! We also took a day trip to Chawton House, where her brother lived, and toured the Jane Austen House Museum where she, her mother, and her sister lived after her father died. There we saw the actual desk where Jane sat and wrote many of her novels. Another day trip took us to Lyme Regis, a setting for the book Persuasion, and walked The Cobb--where Louisa Musgrove fell! Following Lyme Regis, we set out for Portsmouth Historic Dockyards to see the HMS Victory (Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar), HMS Warrior, and a harbor cruise. So much fascinating nautical history! Then we journeyed on to Brighton to stay for two nights, where we toured the Regency Townhouse-an in-progress restoration--and the Brighton Pavilion, where we also had a lovely tea. On to London, we had a final day of touring. Sights in the capital included the Wellington Arch, Apsley House, and Spencer House. Some places did not allow photos, but for those that did, there are several photo albums from the trip on our Facebook page!
Historic Garden Week Gathering at Bacon's Castle
May 4, 2019
Stronger Than Sorrow: The Life of Dolley Madison
March 13, 2019
RSV Annual Business Meeting
February 2, 2019
Sixth Annual Twelfth Night Dinner
January 5, 2019