Don't miss out on any of our upcoming events this year! Check out the Events page for more information.
Smithfield Christmas Parade
December 21, 2019
Members of the RSV joined forces with Smithfield's Historic 1750 Courthouse group to provide a bit of the spirit of Christmas past in the Town of Smithfield's annual Christmas Parade. The easy half-mile route was lined with crowds in a festive mood and we delighted in the smiling faces and seasonal greetings with which we were met as we marched. The weather, while cold, was sunny and perfect for the occasion. We were also fortunate to spend the time prior to the parade start at an early 19th century home right on Main Street and were welcomed most hospitably by its owners, Dr. and Mrs. Hinson. It is our fond hope that we will be able to march in the parade again next year, so if you weren't able to join us this time around, be sure to watch our events page in 2020! For pictures from the outing, check out our album on Facebook.
Historic Hope Plantation's Christmas Open House
December 8, 2019
One of our favorite ways of kicking off the holiday season is by attending the Christmas Open House celebrated at Historic Hope Plantation, owned by former North Carolina Governor David Stone. Our volunteers led two dance demonstrations this time around, one in Hope Plantation house itself and one in the Visitor's Center. We were delighted with the crowd which gathered around to watch us dance as the Stones might have and were doubly pleased at the enthusiastic group of visitors who bravely joined us on the dance floor to learn "Sir Roger de Coverley"! Once our "duties" were done, we enjoyed the decorations, tours of the house and grounds, musical performances, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides. (A couple of members were even able to snatch up some great deals on some antiques that were in the gift shop!) We have no doubt that we will be attending Hope Plantation once again next year, but until then we hope that you enjoy the pictures from the event that are posted on Facebook.
History Camp Virginia
November 16, 2019
The RSV was on hand for the debut of History Camp Virginia, an "un-conference" for history enthusiasts of all kinds. History Camp itself has been around for several years but this was its first venture into the Old Dominion and--based on the fact that it sold out--will probably not be the last! Volunteers with the Regency Society of Virginia manned a table with information about our group and had the chance to attend a variety of interesting lectures from other participants. Another great aspect of the event was the fact that we had the opportunity to meet and network with other individuals and groups who loved history, too--some of whom shared our interest in the early 19th century. We look forward to attending other History Camps in the future!
November 2, 2019
Thank you to everyone who made this year's Victory Ball the best ever! We had a record attendance, with folks coming from well outside the Commonwealth to join us for an evening of Regency dance. Our gaming room upgraded to its own room this year and the change encouraged more Whist, Cribbage, Crown and Anchor, and Hazard than in the past. (We are pleased to report, however, that no estates were lost in the process!) Our excellent dancing master, Mr. Charles Steplively, was kind enough to compose and dedicate a new dance for the ladies of our fine organization, entitled, "Round and Round She Goes." Its debut was a smashing success and we look forward to it making its appearance at many Victory Balls to come! Mr. Dean Herington and Ms. Mara Shea very ably accompanied Mr. Steplively with their instrumentals (and, we could have sworn that the strains of "Midnight Hour" cheekily found their way into the traditional measures of "Midnight Ramble"...). All, it seemed, passed a delightful evening. Did you miss it? Be sure to look at the album on Facebook!
Regency Ladies' Retreat
September 26 -29, 2019
Our fifth annual Regency Ladies' Retreat can be counted a success as, once more, the distaff portion of our membership gathered at North Point Plantation in King William for a long weekend of all things Regency! We were delighted to welcome several new faces to the retreat this year, including members from our sister societies in Oregon and Washington! Virginia weather, ever uncooperative this time of year, managed to remain uncomfortably summer-like, however, there were still moments when one could venture out of doors and enjoy walks about the grounds or down to the Mattaponi River. Favorite activities like archery and Regency-themed movie watching, were joined by new delights. Our resident musicians were often found playing and/or serenading the company and there was even a murder mystery to be solved! Attendees spent a great deal of time enhancing their wardrobes through exchanges and purchases from Member-Friendly Merchants like The Lady Detalle and Miriam's Yarns and Fibers. As ever, the menus offered were top-notch, making us very sad to leave its deliciousness behind us. We look forward to welcoming another group of ladies to the retreat next year! If you would like to get a glimpse of what "retreat life" is like, be sure to check out our Facebook album!
James Monroe's Highland American Girl Tea
August 24, 2019
Volunteers from the Regency Society of Virginia once again attended the American Girl Tea with Elizabeth Monroe, hosted by Highland, the site of the fifth President's home. This annual event welcomes children to bring their American Girls, dolls based on the characters from the historical fiction book series of the same name, to enjoy a light repast and a variety of activities that help visitors learn more about life in the early 19th century. Our volunteers manned two tables: one with clothing and accessories from the period, and one where guests could color their own Federal/Jeffersonian era paper dolls. Thank you so much to the volunteers who took time out of their weekend to enhance this wonderful event and thank you to Highland for the invitation! If you would like to see pictures, be sure to visit the Facebook album!
Writing in Austen's England: Penmanship Lecture and Workshop
August 3, 2019
A perfectly-sized group of eager students gathered at the historic Alexandria Friends Meeting at Woodlawn at the beginning of August to learn all that we could about the hows, whats, and whys of written communication in the early 19th century. We were delighted to have guests attending from as far away as Pennsylvania and Nebraska! Our leader for the day, R. B. Bartgis, shared a wealth of knowledge during a one-hour lecture packed with information regarding all that was involved in writing during the Regency era, from the making of paper and ink to the process of getting a letter through the postal service of the time. Artifacts and reproductions were passed around during the lecture, to give those in the audience an even better understanding of period letter-writing. This amazingly informative talk clearly bred even more questions...so many, that we had to stop the Q and A session following lest our attendees be denied lunch! After a break to eat, we reassembled to try our own hand at writing...first by learning how to cut a quill and then by opening our copybooks and attempting Round- and Italian hand. We were also shown the proper method of folding and sealing a letter, with participants having the opportunity to choose whether to seal their letters with a common wafer or (the more elegant) wax seal. Many thanks to Ben Bartgis for an enjoyable and educational day! Be sure to check out pictures from the event from our Facebook album!
RSV Group Trip to the UK
June 17-24, 2019
We had a great group of sixteen men and women join us for our first ever international excursion featuring a selection of iconic Regency Era sites in England! There was a great deal packed into our week-long trip, starting in Bath where we met our tour guide from ECT Travel. She showed us around on a walking tour, highlighting the beautiful 18th century Bath stone architecture. We also toured No. 1 Royal Crescent, where affluent Georgians stayed when they would come to "take the waters" of Bath, and the Bath Fashion Museum, which has an extensive collection of garments from the 16th century through today. Included in the tour was a glimpse of the house where Jane Austen lived while in Bath, which sits across the street from the beautiful Sydney Gardens (behind the Holborne Museum). It was an amazing experience to walk the paths that Jane Austen also walked. Our group stayed in Bath for four days, and ten of our number event stayed in a beautiful historic house! We also took a day trip to Chawton House, where her brother lived, and toured the Jane Austen House Museum where she, her mother, and her sister lived after her father died. There we saw the actual desk where Jane sat and wrote many of her novels. Another day trip took us to Lyme Regis, a setting for the book Persuasion, and walked The Cobb--where Louisa Musgrove fell! Following Lyme Regis, we set out for Portsmouth Historic Dockyards to see the HMS Victory (Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar), HMS Warrior, and a harbor cruise. So much fascinating nautical history! Then we journeyed on to Brighton to stay for two nights, where we toured the Regency Townhouse-an in-progress restoration--and the Brighton Pavilion, where we also had a lovely tea. On to London, we had a final day of touring. Sights in the capital included the Wellington Arch, Apsley House, and Spencer House. Some places did not allow photos, but for those that did, there are several photo albums from the trip on our Facebook page!
Historic Garden Week Gathering at Bacon's Castle
May 4, 2019
Stronger Than Sorrow: The Life of Dolley Madison
March 13, 2019
RSV Annual Business Meeting
February 2, 2019
Sixth Annual Twelfth Night Dinner
January 5, 2019