Monday, January 28, 2013

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions

I've been doing some research for a story I am writing and a lot of that research has been on the Victorian period. To be honest, I didn't really read the book on Victoria and Albert like I wanted too, and I didn't get The Writer's Guide to Everyday life in Victorian and Regency England finished before it was due back at the library. At least that latter is on my Amazon wish list and I can check it out again next time it becomes available.

However, I've stumbled across a neat book called Mrs. Sharps Traditions: Nostalgic Suggestions for Re-Creating the Family Celebrations and Seasonal Pastimes of the Victorian Home, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It's a fun look into how the 'proper' Victorian woman should run her house (at least how Mrs. Sharp thought during her time- lots of advice and ideas), very crafty, very family oriented, and pulls all that Mrs. Sharp wrote forward in time for the modern woman.

The first half of the book talks about Mrs. Sharp's life, how she adjusted to her husband getting sick and having to run the house on her own. How she became short and cranky with her children from being a full time working mother. Being that this was a different time period and the fact that Mrs. Sharp and her husband were of some means monetarily and not living pay check to pay check like most of us do, she was able to quit her job and stay at home with her children when she saw what her working was doing to them and herself. There's some other factors in there but I won't mention it in case anyone wants to read the book.  Oh, and also in this first part, she talks about how a woman needs to make the home the happiest place for everyone living in it and very much a stable environment.

The second half is about every month of the year and what little celebrations and crafts you and your family can do together as well as some of the traditions from the Victorian time period. There are even some recipes and lots of little craft ideas from major holidays to rainy days.

The book has already given me some craft ideas of my own as well as some ideas of what I could add to my story/characters to make things a little richer. And believe it or not, there's a lot that I agree with as far as Mrs. Sharp's thoughts on child rearing and homemaking go. Not everything mind you, but there is a lot of stuff that just rings true. 


  1. Hey some of the best ideas are the older ones ^_^ I'm glad you found this book. I've seen you pouring over it all excitedly. Might be one to own one of these days.

  2. There is no 'might' about it. I will own it, it's already on my wishlist.