makes a successful lady's impression? Authenticity? What is authentic?
Unless you have a clear insight into these questions, perhaps this page
may be of assistance to you.
In recent years we've seen a lot of discussion about "authentic"
portrayals and the forums have been jam-packed with folks touting
themselves as "authentic". It is about time we realize that "authentic is
not a black and white issue, and there are a lot of gray areas. Tis far
better to ask yourself :
"Is my impression authentic to this particular
area, at this particular time, and to the actual people who lived it?"
Nineteenth century life was many-faceted. There was a time and place for
everything. That doesn't mean, however, any activity can be correct or
"authentic" for any given event. Dancing is perfectly proper and authentic and can be portrayed with great
authenticity and enjoyment - but not in every setting. Dainty
crafts such as broderie anglaise or lace making are perfectly proper and
can be portrayed with great authenticity and enjoyment - but not in
is much more to putting together our persona or impression than clothing
and learning a period craft. We must match the activity to the setting.
If the main focus of an event is the refugees such as late war Atlanta we
must ask ourselves, "Would these refugees have had enough time and
resources to sit and make lace or would their time have been consumed in
feeding and clothing themselves and looking for some sort of shelter?"
have all looked at CDVs, most of us own several of them. When you look at
them do you just look at the dresses and maybe the hairstyle, jewelry,
etc. - what's on the surface? Do you ever look at the whole person and
wonder what sort of life she led? It is the sum total of these 19th
century lives we will look at on these pages.
make yourself comfortable, share with a friend, and I do hope these pages
in the right hand column are helpful as you put together your own impression, or improve the one
you have. A true authentic never stops thirsting for knowledge and
aching to improve upon what she has begun. She also recognizes that each
of us has something worthwhile to contribute and seeks out those of like