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BRIGHTON’S REGENCY HOUSEKEEPER flies in the face of CONVENTION when it comes to MARMALADE (and other important matters)

Mrs Finnegan, housekeeper of The Regency Town House and advice giver to multitudes,  does not actually court controversary, but does ask it to wipe its feet and sit down.

BREAKFAST is the finest meal of the day, but our confounded cook refuses to make marmalade the way the way it should be made which is with thick shreds that your teeth can sink into up to the gums. She’s a very good marmalade-maker in every other respect, but goes and spoils it by slicing the peel into aggravatingly thin, weedy sticks. The blasted woman turns manly marmalade into a namby-pamby foppish thing.
What to do, Madam, what to do?

Agitated of Ealing (Major)

Be grateful.

Any CLUMSY CHEF can wield a cleaver to chop chunks out of A DEFENCELESS orange. It takes real knife skills to hone peel into golden threads of delight.

I know MANY will DISAGREE, but Fine Cut is the ONLY MARMALADE.


ALL DAY and half the night I am expected to sew, mend and alter all manner of garments for my lady and her all too large family. But I am finding it hard to see the stitches and everything is getting a little blurry.

My best friend says that I probably need eye glasses. I can’t bear to think about it. Eye glasses are surely going to put off any young man who may, if I was lucky, glance my way. What shall I do?

Short-sighted of Shoreham-by-Sea

Of the half dozen dressmakers of my acquaintance, most use SOME form of eyesight assistance. All those who have reached the AGE OF 35 YEARS wear glasses all the time. My dear, it is not so much an occupational hazard more of an occupational necessity, especially if you work by CANDLELIGHT.
Why worry?

Sweetly pretty, don’t you agree?

They lend a certain nobility and GRAVITAS to the face together giving it a CHARMING SERIOUSNESS of purpose which imbues a GENERAL AIR of sophistication on the wearer that will not go unnoticed by discerning suitors. (I speak from PERSONAL experience.)

I am convinced that one day soon they will become a FASHION ACCESSORY amongst the clear-sighted. Mark my words, there will come a time when a girl will no more go to a ball without her spectacles than she would leave her GLOVES behind.

I imagine swift movements might cause difficulties

And for gentlemen, there are all kinds of possibilities open to those of an inventive nature, but I’m not ENTIRELY CERTAIN these will catch on.


I’m not defending bad smells but….

O I’M SICK to the teeth of people who go on and on about washing your hands. It’s utter nonsense! How can soap and water do any good when it’s bad smells that make you ill, not a bit of dirt. My sister wants me to wash my hands before cooking the dinner. I pretend I do, but I’m not giving into her finickity ways. Hand washing is annoying and makes my skin feel dry. What we need is more lavender and sweet smelling herbs.
Perfumed Lily from Pease Pottage

I myself favour the washing of hands between tasks and ask maids in my charge to do it properly. (Hands, water and soap should be in vigorous contact for the same amount of time it takes to sing Two verses of God Save the King.)

Evidence that they washed hands even in the ‘olden days’

In the spirit of honest enterprise and fair DEALING I ask you to consider the follow questions.
Does it HARM YOU to do as your sister requests and FOLLOW my example? (And no, dry skin doesn’t count, although I do happen to have a VERY GOOD recipe for hand lotion I can send.)
If you are right AND I AM WRONG, is there ANY CHANCE that I will have injured anyone AT ALL by washing my hands?
BUT if you are wrong, COULD YOU have injured your sister OR SOMEONE ELSE in the household by not washing your hands? However, remote is it a POSSIBILITY?
Dear Lily, I believe I have said enough.

Yours Respectfully
Mrs Finnegan

There is no PS this week.
For explanation please see last week HERE. I have not entirely recovered.

Mrs Finnegan is the creation of Bridget Whelan  and Paul Couchman, The Regency Cook 
Sign up to the SPECIAL MESSENGER SERVICE  which delivers each and every episode of The Finnegan Chronicles to you fresh EVERY Tuesday

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2 comments on “BRIGHTON’S REGENCY HOUSEKEEPER flies in the face of CONVENTION when it comes to MARMALADE (and other important matters)

  1. beth
    January 5, 2021

  2. bridget whelan
    January 5, 2021

    A campaign that needs to be waged?

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2021 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .


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