For Toronto 2002, the Regency Room will present not only
articles of dress, but other accoutrements from Jane Austen's time.
most eye-catching item will likely be the uniform worn by Fort York
interpreter/guards. This is an exact replica of the 8th (King's)
Regiment uniform, produced by Tracy Gorman, Costume Technician for
various museums and heritage sites of the Culture Division, City
of Toronto. These uniforms demand the ultimate in research, attention
to detail and plain hard work. Most demanding is the red coat, involving
many hours for the tailoring and trimming. The Regency Room will
allow a closeup look at this painstaking construction.
One small article on display will be a Church of England Book of
Common Prayer, printed 1798 in Oxford by Clarendon Press. It is
inscribed in careful calligraphy: ELIZABETH HOLBROOK'S Book, May
20th, 1805, when its owner was sixteen years of age.
She married Josiah Reeder of Duffield, England, and with their five
children, came to Upper Canada in 1829, travelling by sailing vessel
to New York, then by barge up the Erie Canal, and finally across
the lake to settle in Morpeth, Ontario, not far east of Chatham.
In 1833, they moved to a farm near Ridgetown, on what is still called
Reeder Line. With this book, we have a picture of Elizabeth's last
resting-place, beside Josiah, in the cemetery of little Trinity
Church, Morpeth, with Lake Erie visible beyond. The photo shows
their tombstones, with a great-great-great granddaughter who bears
the name Elizabeth Holbrook kneeling between them.
Nearby the Regency Room, you'll be able to picture yourself
in Jane Austen's world! There will be life size cutouts of several
figures in Regency men's or women's finery, but headless. A selection
of suitable headgear will also be provided, and you can have a keepsake
picture taken as if in costume. These figures will be the work of
students in Visual Merchandising Arts, Seneca College of Applied
Arts and Technology, Toronto.