Friday, November 6, 2009

It's been a while.

As most who read my blog know (those who know me), I am getting married soon, which may explain my lack of posts. I just went through this blog last night and remembered my original purpose for creating it. I will be starting it up again with a new layout and fresh ideas as soon as life calms down a bit. For now, enjoy this little entry.

Lady Duff Gordon traveled on the Titanic, but aside from that, she designed "naughty lingerie" (name the movie). As a bride-to-be, I am in the market for some "naughty lingerie" and came across a few of Lady Duff Gordon's designs. They are quite naughty...

What do you think, Jeffrey?

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Awakening

"The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.

"The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft close embrace."

I am thoroughly enjoying Kate Chopin's The Awakening. It is poetry in prose form.

Friday, July 10, 2009

WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots)

This last week, the very first women to fly army planes were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, more than fifty years after their service.

When I was younger, I learned a lot about these amazing women who took control of airplane transport during World War II while the men were at war. Everything that I have learned about these women astounds me. About six years ago, I became fascinated with World War II, and started interviewing pilots who flew in that war. They remembered those women more fondly than I expected.

I heard one story about the B-25 plane. The male pilots refused to fly it because they believed it to be too dangerous. General Hap Arnold figured out the solution... Have the women fly the plane. He gathered five WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) and had them fly the plane where the men could see it. They were cheering and excited until the pilots landed and they saw who was flying it. After that, General Arnold didn't have any trouble convincing the men to fly the B-25. If women could do it, so could they.

After the war, afraid men wouldn't have anything to do, the WASP program was cut without any honors. The women who had sacrificed everything to serve their country weren't even given veterans status. No benefits, no thank you. Just good bye.

In the seventies, the women were finally awarded veteran status, but it isn't until last week that they received a congressional medal of honor.

Want to know what the women wore. It is pretty scandalous... Pants! Check out an interactive WASP paper doll at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy

In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls-grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

Dim moon-eyed fishes near
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?"...

Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

Prepared a sinister mate
For her - so gaily great -
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.

And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

Alien they seemed to be:
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,

Or sign that they were bent
by paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,

Till the Spinner of the Years
Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear Lucy

Once again, I am feeling a strong desire to understand more about this amazing ship. I bought porcelain plates yesterday planning to create a neat design, though I had not decided what. Then, as I was searching for colors of paint, I came up with an idea. I want to design the plates according to the Lusitania's plate designs. At (interesting to see the rival ship companies united), they have detailed information about the patterns of the fine china. I even found a photograph of china that has been recovered from the wreck.

Then, as I continued my search, I ran into an old website I used to visit all the time. It was my least favorite Lusitania website in the past, but one of the only ones. Anyway, I found this:

A cushion from the music room that was recovered only the day after the sinking, May 8th, 1915! This may not be the most exciting thing for others, but I shouted, "Oh my!" (Afterward, I was surprised at such a silly outburst, but still!) A cushion from the Lusitania! This Lusitania site has definitely redeemed itself in my eyes. Now it can go to being the second least favorite instead of the first--I'm not sure what has taken its place. I'll let you know when I decide.

This has given me inspiration for so many things. I want to resume my novel, which I had put aside for a long time--I needed a break from the thing. I've been working on it for the past ten years. I also am inspired to create a comprehensive Lusitania website. At one point in my life I was in contact with Eric Sauder (a few brief emails when I was 18), a Lusitania historian. Wouldn't it be awesome to find contact again and receive his help in creating a historically accurate, information-packed website? If you agree, please let me know.

Monday, June 8, 2009

1920s White Star Line Film :

The following is a video from White Star Line showing Titanic's sister ship, Olympic. The ships were fairly similar, and this video is very nicely done. Take a look and let me know what you think.

1920s White Star Line Film :

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

old fashioned links

I haven't updated in a long time, and decided that while I am stressed with a lot of different things, I need to update this blog at least once this week.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite historical links:

Old Paint
Updated almost every day with paintings from the past. I love having this blog in my Reader because it is refreshing to see some of these great works of art every day. I only wish there was a historical explanation for some of the more interesting works, but I also love to draw my own conclusions. Enjoy.

The Flapper Girl
Recent find. Glamorous shots of the glamorous Flappers.

Vintage Ads
I just found this today. It has a great collection of interesting advertisements of the past. I linked this one to a very sad and interesting ad from war propaganda.

Art Deco
Very interesting art pieces. I especially enjoyed the deco from the 30s.

If you have any more feel free to share. I will add more as I find them, but for now, this must suffice. Back to finals!

P.S. Next week is the commemorative anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I will be visiting the exhibit in Idaho Falls on April 14 (the day the ship struck the iceberg) and, if I can take pictures, will add them here. If not, I will just update with my experience.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

give my regards to broadway

To go along with my previous ragtime post, I thought I would add a bit of information about Irving Berlin.

I learned just this week from a very interesting documentary about Broadway, that without ragtime, Broadway as we know it would not exist. To go along with what I said earlier, a Broadway historian said that ragtime was like rap music during that time period. Irving Berlin was the inspiration for the American musical. Before his innovative style, only European operas were performed.

Watch this great tribute to Irving Berlin from the 1982 Oscars performed by favorite Broadway star, Bernadette Peters. There are so many songs I recognize, but I did not know were written by Irving Berlin.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

paparazzi circa 1915

A random note about one of my favorite passengers of the Lusitania. Alfred Vanderbilt.

The Vanderbilt family was well known, and their name is still synonymous with wealth and prosperity. Alfred lived an interesting, paparazzi-filled life. To the chagrin of his family, Alfred divorced his first wife after she publicly accused him of having an affair with another married woman, Agnes Ruiz. Agnes committed suicide that same year, ashamed of the scandal.

Alfred then married a fellow divorcee named Margaret with whom he had two little boys. Because he traveled often, he never said goodbye to his children anymore, and most likely had other women on the side.

He was a frequent sailor on the Lusitania, and actually had a good relationship with Captain Turner. An interesting fact about him is that he was due to sail on the Titanic, but at the last minute decided to cancel. Three years later, however, he sailed on the fated

There are many rumors of his heroic acts during the sinking. It is said that he gave his life jacket to a woman passenger, giving in to what he saw as his inevitable fate. Although Alfred was extremely athletic, he could not swim, and most believe he drowned as a result.

Alfred Vanderbilt
October 20, 1877 - May 7, 1915

Saturday, February 21, 2009

titanic exhibit

I have been hoping for the chance to go to a Titanic exhibit. I was thrilled to find out, through Titanic Encyclopedia (my news resource for Titanic), that the Museum of Idaho is showing this exhibit beginning in March! I hate to admit it (or maybe I don't), but I will be attending at least three times... maybe more. Luckily, it will be there until September. Maybe I can volunteer...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

gimbel's fashion catalog, 1915

I found this gem about two years ago on I've always wanted a fashion catalog from the Edwardian Era, and I think I'm going to continue looking for more. It is so fun to read and use as research for my writing.

I'll show you a few of my favorite pages. I've searched all over the place to find out about the inflation rate and how it compares today. I read on a discussion board that a dollar today was like 5 cents in 1915. It was on a discussion board, though, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt... Here are some interesting prices:

$7.95, $15.00, $15.00, $10.75
The prices for the cover picture (shown above) from left to right

"Boys' Cool Wash Suits for Vacation Days"
"Intermediate and Junior Girls' Dainty Dresses"
"Bath Robes and Charming Negligees"
$1.50-10.00 (a full dress)
"Cleverly-Planned Maternity Wear"
"Wonderful Blouses of Silk and Lace"

"America Combines Empire and Victorian Modes" (my favorites)...

(Left to Right)
15.00, Beautiful Combination Dress (My Favorite)
Made of "soft, clinging chiffon-stripped, corduroy, and fine voile... Finished with Persian silk belt." Shades of rose or Copenhagen.
$15.00, Dancing Dress(MY VERY FAVORITE)
Chiffon sleeves with Empire waist with corded shirring and enriched by a rose corsage. Shades of orchid pink, blue, or Nile green.
$13.75, Afternoon Dress
Made of taffeta and sheer voile (?). Shades of new brown, rose, or Copenhagen.
$10.00, Dancing Dress
Made of chiffon and satin. Shades of light blue, maize, pink, or Nile green.

I loved some of the titles of the pages:
"For Carriage, Auto or Seashore Wear, a Coat is Indispensable"
"Floral Mounts--The Queen of Summer Millinery Trimmings"
"Have you a Penchant for Your Particular Birthstone?"
"Modest Prices and Much Merit are a Gimbel Combination"
"This is an Interesting Page as to Goods and Values"

There you have it. If any one else wants to me to post more from this catalog, especially pictures, let me know.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the lusitania... need i say more?

Okay, I'll admit it. I am obsessed with the Lusitania and Titanic. I hate to say it, but this blog is going to be filled with information I have learned and continue learning about both ships, but mainly the Lusitania, since it is way more interesting for me to study.

The above is a tea cup created by Cunard Line. A line I plan to sail on one day. According to my research, this tea cup was used in the Verandah Cafe. A beautiful cafe on the Lusitania that was half indoors and half outdoors with a garden feel--first class passengers only, of course.

If any one's looking for a gift (Valentine's perhaps, Jeffrey?)--this would be perfect! ;) I found this image on Ebay, I believe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I think I'm going to have way too much fun with this blog.

As I was looking at MyPlaylist for songs to fit my new historically romantic blog, I came across ragtime music. How I love ragtime! If I could dance, I would learn ragtime dancing--maybe I will anyway.

If you've ever thought about music, there is an endless repetition of scandal. Beginning, as far as I can tell, with the waltz in the 1800s--too close! Then, in the late 1800s, early 1900s, came ragtime. An awesome precursor to jazz, then rock and roll, (both words, my English professor tells me, used to be slang for sex), then the Beatles (gasp!), and eighties music... a category all its own... And rap... To think that one hundred years ago parents were complaining about the scandalous ragtime! What would be a parent's reaction today if a child listened to that kind of music? My dad's was: "You're weird." Hm... history is so interesting.

Here's some great instructions directly from the Castles.

(I know the images are small, but click on them to see the full instructions.)


I have always been intrigued by blogs with an actual theme, and while I was thinking about a topic I could use, I thought, what am I passionate about?

Immediately the answer came. History, reading, and writing.

This is the beginning of my theme blog, Historically Romantic. Here I want to post anything historical I may be studying, and hopefully, connect it to my writing. I also love creating graphics, and will be using my favorite historical paintings, photos, art, etc., to create something... artistic...?

This image I colored using Paint Shop Pro. It was a black and white image of Lillian Gish, one of my favorite moving picture actresses. Yay for United Artist founders!