Thursday, October 24, 2013

What is a Joliffe-shallow?

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Loretta reports:

As many of my readers are aware, I came to Georgette Heyer rather late in my career.  This means quite a number of her works are new to me.  One I recently read described a a passing gentleman who wore a “Joliffe-shallow.”

After all these years’ study of the era, I can usually make an educated guess about unfamiliar terms.  This one left me blank.  So of course I Googled it—and came upon a wonderful book, Lloyd’s Treatise on Hats.
Read online here


Lloyd offers us a Joliffe* and a Shallow.  Apparently, the hat Georgette Heyer had in mind had curled-up sides like the Joliffe and a low crown like the Shallow. Or else she was making the whole thing up.

Once upon a time, everybody wore a hat, and it was an important article of dress.  Though Lloyd’s Treatise is in the arch/facetious style we encounter in so much writing of this time, it still helps us understand what people saw when they saw a hat, and what it told them about the wearer.








Read online here
*The treatise uses two ls, Georgette Heyer’s book only one.

11 comments:

Marti said...

My Austen reading group just intorduced me to Georgette Heyer!

Fiona said...

I read just recently that Georgette was REALLY into research and bought tons of old books. I'm betting that it really existed somewhere, but just isn't well-documented. Perhaps a short trend?

Anonymous said...

Most likely this is a Georgette Heyer invention. Whilst must of her research was spot-on, she was also famous (or infamous) for creating her own version of late Georgian slang. Her language often owes much more to the "bright young things" of the 1920s than anything that fell from the Prince Regent's lips. It's of no consequence in the novels, for they are fiction, but it is unfortunate that so many uninformed American readers accept the books in their entirety without question. Georgette Heyer was an early twentieth century author writing historically based novels. She was most definitely NOT the second coming of Jane Austen.

Helen said...

The Lloyd's commentary is hilarious and spot on!

Elena Yatzeck said...

I adore Georgette Heyer, and recommend the recent biography of her by Jennifer Kloester. I don't think I've read anything about her making up slang. She was very fussy about that.

Jasmin Leuthold said...

In Pierce Egan's "Real life in London" of 1821,he refers to a "Jolliffe-Shallow".I suggest that Heyer probably stole the Expression from that work and that Egan had originally created the Expression.

Lady Wesley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Wesley said...

I'm reading an old Charlotte Louise Dolan Regency right now, and the heroine is named Verity Joliffe. I've never run across that surname before, but perhaps the hat was named after a man? Like Earl Grey tea. (Or perhaps Dolan named her heroine after the hat. Who knows?)

LorettaChase said...

Jasmin, thanks for mentioning Pierce Egan. Somehow I overlooked that in my search. He's a terrific source of early 19th century slang, and I know Georgette used him. From all I've ever read, she was a formidable researcher. I've heard rumors of her making up slang, and certainly this is possible. For instance, I've never been able to pin down "bosom bow"--though it's supposedly a term she used. But generally, the slang I've encountered in her books comes from early 19th C books, like Egan's and others. Lady Wesley, I believe the Joliffe, like the Wellington and Cumberland, etc., is named after a person. The surname comes up frequently in a search.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Your article reminds me how much fun research is. It's so interesting to learn things like this!

Vickie Drain said...

Love your article and Georgette Heyer, I was just on another historian's site and she also credited Egan as one of Heyer's slang sources. That researcher also points out that because Mrs. Heyer was being copied by other authors she began to intentionally misuse or make-up slang.
I'm not sure if this what happened in this instance or if it' just a possibility.

 
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