The Age of Innocence

 I sometimes feel as if I was meant to be born in another age.
Me in my attire for book club, putting on a hat

I may be romanticizing the "good ole' days". As a matter of fact, I know I am! I know that women had barely any rights, that there was slavery in America, that there were thousands of starving people while others simply sat and had cream tea.  
But I feel like there was always a certain elegance, and value for things. For example, nowadays everyone just goes and buys new clothes all the time, and jewelry and shoes and such. But back then, things would have not been as readily available to everyone, and everyone sewed by hand. Sewing machines didn't even go into mass production until the 1850s. So, since garments took so long to make, they would be valued more. 
Letters were still written, instead of just emails and texts and those other short robot messages that fragment your brain. People couldn't just call someone on the phone. Perhaps they would send a servant, if they could afford to keep one!

Only a couple of thing capture my 'romantic visions of the past'. Lark Rise to Candleford is one of them. It is a show set in Victorian England, about a thriving market town, Candleford, and a more lower-class hamlet village, Lark Rise. A teenage girl, Laura Timmons, leaves her home in Lark Rise to go eight miles and work in the post office in Candleford. 

Twister Turrel, from Lark Rise to Candleford
American graduation photo from 1912. Dushor, Pennsylvania.
Queenie Turrel, also from Lark Rise to Candleford

1905 - Edwardian croquet party on the lawn at Forres Cottage
 I also just love the clothes of past eras. I love the thought of wearing petticoats and pretty lace things and long trailing dresses, of wearing long aprons and straw sun hats and bonnets like Queenie's. I like thinking about how long my hair would probably have been back then. 
Madame Aline Vallandri
Miss Evelyn Beresford
 Like these girls'!

I also just love thinking about the talented poets of the times, like Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte (those two are my favorites). I like imagining what their lives were like, what inspired them.

And there was wonderful literature, obviously. Like "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton, one of my favorite books.

That "age of innocence", which I think of to be from about 1795 to the beginning of WWI, also saw the making and use of many inventions: the light-bulb and sewing machine and countless others. There was the coming of the railroad, a subject covered extensively in the BBC show Cranford. It is based off of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of the same name, and is set in early Victorian England.

A wedding from Lark Rise to Candleford

Tasha Tudor and goat
 I don't know why I like the 1800s and early 1900s so much. Perhaps it is the way the manners and etiquette were like an art, like the whole world was one big artist's masterpiece, a piece everyone played a part in. Perhaps it was the way things were treasured, and how it was still possible to live detached from the rest of the world. I also think I just liked all the change, how the women finally got the vote and slaves were finally freed in America. 
Edwardian gals
 I might also just like the lacy petticoats...

Edwardian servants


Cosmic Love

Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
A falling star fell from your heart
And landed in my eyes
I screamed aloud, as it tore through them
And now it's left me blind

The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat
I tried to find the sound
But then it stopped and I was in the darkness
So darkness I became
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
I took the stars from my eyes and then I made a map
And knew that somehow I could find my way back
Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too
So I stayed in the darkness with you
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
-Florence + The Machine, Cosmic Love
Fern Andra in Genuine

Maude Fealy

Theda Bara

Jean Howard
Ah! why, because the dazzling sun
Restored our Earth to joy,
Have you departed, every one,
And left the desert sky?

All through the night your glorious eyes
Were gazing down in mine,
And with a full heart's thankful sighs,
I blessed that watch divine.

I was at peace, and drank your beams
As they were life to me;
And revelled in my changeful dreams,
Like petrel on the sea.

Thought followed thought, star followed star,
Through boundless regions, on;
While one sweet influence, near and far,
Thrilled through, and proved us one!

Why did the morning dawn to break
So great, so pure a spell;
And scorch with fire, the tranquil cheek,
Where your cool radiance fell?

Blood-red, he rose, and arrow-straight,
His fierce beams struck my brow;
The soul of nature, sprang, elate,
But mine sank sad and low!

My lids closed down, yet through their veil,
I saw him, blazing, still,
And steep in gold the mystery dale,
And flash upon the hill.

I turned me to the pillow, then,
To call back night, and see
Your worlds of solemn light, again,
Throb with my heart, and me!

It would not do - the pillow glowed,
And glowed both roof and floor;
And birds sang loudly in the wood,
And fresh winds shook the door;

The curtains waved, the wakened flies 
Were murmuring round my room,
Imprisoned there, till I should rise, 
And give them leave to roam.

Oh stars, and dreams, and gentle night;
Oh, night and stars return!
And hide me from the hostile light,
That does not warm, but burn;

That drains the blood of suffering men; 
Drinks tears, instead of dew;
Let me sleep through his blinding reign,
And only wake with you!

- Emily Bronte

Mary Pickford


Cosmic Love playlist


Oh my gosh, it's an old film strip! Oh wait... it's just me.

I found a most amiable outfit that is very fun to wear. I love petticoats. They make me feel old-fashioned. 

 I had everything prepared to go out to the wilderness of the orchard, but then it started raining, so I managed to pin up an old shower curtain to my ceiling. But it kept falling down, which was extremely bothersome. 

I see you again... but now I'm in an old photo effect...

I am wearing a dress someone gave me from India, a hand-me-down black sash, a cloche hat from Claire's, goggles I made, clock necklace from Etsy, white cuffs I sewed, a white petticoat made from a hand-me-down dress, stockings from Target, and Doc Martens from the attic.
Victorian explorers tent
In a dim corner of my room for longer than
my fancy thinks
A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me
through the shifting gloom.
-from Oscar Wilde's 'The Sphinx'

In The Wild of The Orchard, You Can Often Spot Edwardian Girls Reading Poetry

Hello! Another steampunk outfit, this one not very steampunk. I just look Edwardian. 
I wonder how Edwardians actually sat and read poetry...
 I really like Emily Bronte's poetry. It is so beautiful and dramatic.
My favorite poetry book editions of William Wordsworth and Emily Bronte
 I picked some black eyed Susans, and put on my old wedding dress to take some photographs. 
I really like the elegance of Edwardian fashion. Something about it makes me feel like walking in the meadows, my lace shawl trailing slightly behind me...
My favorite dress EVER!

My dress actually greatly resembles this one worn by Lily Elsie!

And a walk in the meadow...
I am wearing a hand-me-down old lace wedding dress, a white shawl from the depths of my little sisters' dress up, a hand-me-down black shawl, white cuffs I sewed out of old doilies from the antique store, and thrifted black heels.

High Waving Heather
High waving heather, 'neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man's spirit away from its drear dongeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind;
Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing for ever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.
-Emily Bronte