Boykins' Tavern Christmas Open House and RSV Party - December 14, 2013
What a delightful day we passed at Boykins' Tavern in Isle of Wight! The first part of the day was spent demonstrating and teaching period dances to guests of the Tavern's Open House. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to provide an impressive assemblage! The RSV, being only one part of this "timeline"-esque event, shared the Tavern with a very jolly gentleman who seemed to alternate between the names "St. Nick" and "Father Christmas." (We, of course, had to take our picture with him...and he assured us, with a twinkle in his eye, that we had all been good!) After the guests had departed and the Tavern closed to visitors, the RSV was fortunate to enjoy the building for our own festivities. Out came the wassail, Christmas puddings, mince pies, sugared fruits, and all manner of delights! There was more dancing, of course, and we simply could not call it a Christmas party without playing a few parlor games. We enjoyed Bullet Pudding (especially at the expense of the retriever of the "bullet"...), A Game of Sighs, and Single Answers...complete with forfeits! As we would expect, forfeits were paid with grace and humor, and it appeared that the company as a whole passed a very agreeable evening! Thank you again to Boykins' Tavern and the Isle of Wight County Division of Historic Resources for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the Tavern once more! Be sure to check out the photos on Facebook!
Historic Hope Plantation Christmas Open House - December 8, 2013
Despite the rather unpleasant weather, RSV members journeyed to Windsor, NC to put on a presentation on period dance for visitors to Historic Hope Plantation's Christmas Open House. We were delighted that so many of the visitors were willing to "put their best foot forward" and learn the figures to several English Country Dances. As ever, the hospitality at Hope Plantation was beyond reproach, and we look forward to visiting Governor Stone's beautiful home again soon! Be sure to check out some photos that were taken that day of our demonstrations by going to Facebook.
Haunted Bacon's Castle - October 26, 2013
Regency Society of Virginia volunteers teamed up with our friends at Preservation Virginia's Bacon's Castle to provide a "spooktacular" night for visitors. As the sun went down on October 26, RSV volunteers welcomed guests with hot apple cider and a warm fire while staff told of the legends and their own experiences with the supernatural at the 17th century manor. Our costumed folks also helped to lead groups through the dark halls and rooms of the house in hopes (or in fear) of running into the ghostly presences associated with Bacon's Castle throughout the evening--finishing up around 1AM! Thank you so much to Bacon's Castle for the invitation and to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped to make the event a success!
Regency Ladies Tea - October 5, 2013
While our party was small for our tea gathering at Victorian Tea Station in Hampton, we enjoyed pleasant company and wonderful food! Each lady was given her own choice of tea varieties (and allowed to change flavors later if she so desired) and we delighted in a selection of quiches, generously-sized tea sandwiches, scones with whipped cream, lemon tarts, strawberry butter cake, pumpkin bread, and chocolate mint cookies. Our hostess was so attentive and friendly and as we munched (in a wholly ladylike manner, of course...) and chatted away, we totally lost track of the time (as you do...). Some of us followed up our time together with a quick visit to Fortress Monroe for a few pictures. Altogether a delightful afternoon spent in the company of friends. Do be sure to take a peek at the pictures that we've shared on Facebook.
John Marshall's Birthday - September 21, 2013
We were delighted to be welcomed at Preservation Virginia's John Marshall House once more as they celebrated the Chief Justice's 258th birthday. Four representatives of the RSV helped to bring the house alive for visitors by occupying the parlor and passing the time by sewing, chatting with visitors about life in the early 19th century, and discussing the "latest" fashions (by "latest" we mean late summer and early fall of 1807 as the fall tour at the John Marshall house focuses on the Aaron Burr treason trial of that year). We very much enjoyed being amongst such wonderful period furnishings but the weather being what it was, we made sure to take advantage of the sun and shared a light repast out of doors. As a bonus, at the end of the day, we were able to wander towards the Valentine Richmond History Center in hopes of catching a tour of the Wickham House (built in 1812). Sadly, we were told at the desk that the last tour of the day had just departed. Our disappointment was not to last, however. Just at that moment, a gentleman (who we later discovered to be the director of the museum) happened to walk up to the desk and declared that, as we had come in the "appropriate clothing" we should certainly be afforded the opportunity to see the house and--if we were content with a very brief tour--he would be happy to take us in. We could not, of course, refuse such generosity and we were indulged with an early 19th century-centric tour of both the up- and downstairs of the very grand home. Many thanks again to our hosts at the John Marshall House for giving us the opportunity to soak up the Federal atmosphere in this lovely home (and thanks, too, to the Valentine for their hospitality)! There are a few pictures from the day on Facebook.
Festival of Yesteryear Regency Ball - September 7, 2013
Thank you to the Museum of Cape Fear Historical Complex for extending an invitation to the highlight of their annual Festival of Yesteryear: the Regency Ball! Several of our members made the trip down to Fayetteville, NC to enjoy the hospitality of our neighbors to the south, including our good friends the Regency Assembly of North Carolina. Accompanied by the musical trio, Syllabub, dance caller Jack Maus led the company through a great many dances which he had selected for our entertainment including "La Boulangere" and "Sir Roger de Coverley." During the breaks, one could have one's profile made by W. Rose, Profilist (a delightfully period way of capturing one's likeness!) and enjoy the delicious refreshments that our hosts had put out for us. Many members of the public also joined in the fun so there were plenty of partners to be had! Some pictures from the evening are posted on our Facebook page.
Regency Gaming Day (and Night!) -August 3, 2013
Virginians' love of sport (and ability to find a reason to place a wager on anything) was well-known in early 19th century America. The RSV, ever true to our forbearers, found an excuse to make our way back to historic Boykin's Tavern in Isle of Wight for an entire day of gaming. In the afternoon, the public was invited to tour the Tavern and then spend some time learning and playing some games from the period with RSV members in costume. Once the Tavern closed, however, RSV Members stayed on, playing such games as whist, Commerce, Hazard, and Speculation by the flicker of (LED battery-operated) candlelight. While stakes were extremely high to begin with (members were given $50 in reproduction money to wager with, if desired), the introduction of chocolate, we found, brought a new dimension to the table! We are looking forward to repeating this pleasure again in the future. Thank you once more to Isle of Wight County Museum and Historic Sites for welcoming us! Find pictures on Facebook.
Independence Day at Poplar Forest - July 4, 2013
Despite the rain and humidity, the Regency Society of Virginia had a wonderful time demonstrating Regency dancing at one of the homes of Thomas Jefferson. And, really, what better place to spend the Fourth of July than at a residence of the Author of the Declaration of Independence? Throughout the day, our volunteers showed and taught a variety of dances from the period to the public and enjoyed learning more from some of our fellow (very skillful!) demonstrators! There was also a public reading of the Declaration and the opportunity to sign a very large copy of same. An enjoyable day indeed!
Battle of Craney Island Bicentennial and Victory Ball - June 22-23, 2013
It was an event 200 years in the making, but we survived it! Reenactors throughout the region participated in this commemoration of the Battle of Craney Island's 200th anniversary. Among the featured events during the weekend were the raising of a 40-foot stepped-mast flagpole and its 15-star flag, an Anglo-American wreath laying to commemorate the American defenders (there were no American casualties) and the British men whose lives were lost in the fight, a Ladies of the Garrison Tea (sponsored by the Daughters of the War of 1812), 1813 church services in St. Paul's Episcopal (Norfolk) and Trinity Episcopal (Portsmouth) and a weekend-long encampment in historic Fort Norfolk. The RSV was heavily involved in the planning of the Victory Ball on Saturday evening--and we enjoyed it to the fullest! Our gracious sponsors, Harbor's Edge Retirement Community, provided an excellent venue and an incredible spread of food and beverage for our delectation! Our guests (Mrs. Madison among them!) enjoyed period dancing and live music. We cannot begin to express how proud our members made us; thank you to everyone who contributed their time to help with the planning and managing of the ball and to those who took the time before the ball to sew MANY, MANY cockades! Don't miss the pictures of the weekend or of the ball that posted on Facebook!
John Marshall Open House - June 1, 2013
A handful of RSV members donned their Regency clothing to enjoy (and enhance) the incredible early 19th century home of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. Most of the afternoon was spent within the confines of the home helping to bring it alive for the visitors there. We must confess, however, that the allure of the outdoors was great and we enjoyed the gardens...and a couple of rounds of Justice Marshall's favorite game, quoits! A most pleasant few hours were spent passing the time in a period home in a period manner. We very much look forward to returning to this urban gem! Take a peek at the pictures on Facebook.
Second Annual Spring Regency Picnic at Bacon's Castle - May 5, 2013
In spite of the rather dreary beginning of the day, a lovely group of ladies and gentlemen joined us for our spring Regency picnic. Our table was spread with a veritable feast of period deliciousness--from beautiful plates of salmagundy to delightful apricot pasties and a whole lot of tasty dishes in between! The children of the party made good use of the grounds, exploring just about every tree and corner on the property and playing period games of Graces, ninepins and battledore and shuttlecock. The young ladies were a picture of Regency beauty as they strolled the formal gardens and a good number of us used the opportunity of a large gathering to partake of a dance or two. Several of the party took a tour of the 17th century manor house, as well. The company was so delightful that no one seemed to notice the absence of the sun until it decided to make a fashionably late appearance as we were getting ready to go our separate ways. Several of our friends who had other plans were missed but it was a pleasure indeed to see RSV "veterans" and make new acquaintances! Make sure you check out the pictures on our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing everyone at next year's picnic!
Work Day at Bacon's Castle - March 30, 2013
RSV volunteers knocked out several projects on the grounds at Bacon's Castle on what turned out to be a beautiful Saturday. Among many of the accomplished tasks were taming out-of-control ivy around the base of one of the trees on the property, weeding the paths of the formal garden, and getting a start on removing some of the vines that were entwining themselves about many of the trees lining the garden paths. Other RSV members helped with interpretation at the house by arriving in costume and providing background during the tours as well as sharing a little about the games that Regency children might have played. It was a great day and the hard work of our stalwart volunteers was much appreciated by the staff at Bacon's Castle (and will be much enjoyed by our picnic attendees in May!).
Celebration of Pride and Prejudice - March 9, 2013
The Regency Society of Virginia teamed up with the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts to present "A Celebration of Pride and Prejudice", a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's classic work. Guests enjoyed the 2005 movie of the novel prior to listening to Margaret Sullivan, author of The Jane Austen Handbook and editor of Austenblog.com and Mollands.net, discuss the 200-plus-year publication history of Pride and Prejudice. Afterwards, we retired to the foyer for tea and cakes. It was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with fellow "Janeites"--check out the pictures of the afternoon on the RSV Facebook page and the Suffolk Center's Facebook page.
Introduction to Regency Dance - March 1, 2013
A delightful party of RSV members and friends gathered for an evening of quadrilles and English Country dances at the start of March. Beginners and experienced dancers alike joined in the fun under the direction of our friends from the Regency Assembly of North Carolina, Frans and Ruth Verbunt. Several new dances were learned and there was much laughter as we went through the figures. Did you miss it? Never fear! The Regency Society of Virginia is searching for a long-term dance venue so that we might have regular practice. (If you're not on our mailing list, make sure to sign up so that you don't miss your opportunity!)
Bacon's Castle Mother/Daughter Regency Tea - February 23, 2013
We were given the pleasure of hosting Bacon's Castle's first event of its 2013 season by welcoming several ladies to a tea. After our party had gathered, we began with a talk on tea customs in the early 19th century and proceeded to enjoy a delicious array of food prepared by Olde World Tea Company in Smithfield. The docents of Bacon's Castle then took our guests on a tour of the historic 17th century manor house. A wonderful time was had by all! See pictures from the event on our Facebook page.