Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Walking Sticks and Canes

I'm talking about Sticks and Canes over at Word Wenches.

I am now a Word Wench.
*jo hugs herself madly*

This is so wonderful.

I am so delighted.

Word Wenches is THE cool blogplace to be.

And I am there.  From now on.



Settling down now to talk about canes and walking sticks in a historical Regency sorta way . . .

I'm here to talk of walking sticks and canes carried by the haut ton of England and France.

English gentlemen, long before Teddy Roosevelt showed up to advise this, walked softly and carried a big stick.  Every other portrait shows some nattily dressed fellow  with a walking stick pegged jauntily into the ground or a slim baton negligently tucked under the elbow.  The dress cane was the quintessential mark of the dandy for three centuries, part fashion accessory, part aid to communication, part weapon.

And I suppose you could always just to lean on it.

More here


  1. Jo, how cool that you're blogging at Word Wenches. I loved your debut post and the comments were wonderful, too. Next time I watch House, I'm paying attention to whether he has his cane in the correct hand. Hugh Laurie strikes me as delightfully obsessive, so I'm hoping he's done the research.

    I'm so old I can remember when cross-country ski poles were made of bamboo. Mine were beautiful, and I still miss them along with my wooden, needed-to-be-pine-tarred wooden skis.

  2. Ordinary ski poles used to be made of bamboo also. You'd still see them in Europe when I was young.

    who still doesn't trust any of these manmade insulated vests

  3. Christine9:01 AM

    Congratulations! Being an official Word Wench is quite an honor and one that you totally deserve!

    What a wonderful article- I thoroughly enjoyed it. The pictures that accompanied it were excellent as well and really helped illustrate all your examples. I especially loved the lady with the jaunty yellow ensemble!

    The canes made me think of two things: First that Doc Holliday carried one on the way to the OK Corral but Wyatt Earp had him switch with Virgil Earp and carry the shotgun so Virgil carried the cane to the gunfight (along with a gun) and Two- the last scene of "Enchanted April" where they stick the metal headed walking stick in the ground and a tree grows out of it.

    Can't wait to see your next article!


  4. That's wonderful! Congratulations! I love the word wenches site, and never have enough time to dig through the archives as I'd like to.

  5. Hi Christine --

    Sticking a dead stick in the ground and it grows is this archetypal thing. I know I've seen it in some story where a dead staff is driven into the ground and comes to life again. I can't call it to mind more exactly.

    Enchanted April sounds interesting -- I went to look up the reviews. I don't watch movies much, but will keep an eye out for this.

  6. Hi Gillian Layne --

    I've found it hard to search the Wenches site . . . which is too bad because there is just a wealth of information underfoot. I usually fall back on using Google and entering "word wenches' and then whatever parameter I'm searching.

    But I find the wenches site popping up again and again when I research my era of interest. Always something useful

  7. I had to pull out a comment because it linked to a commercial site.

    Some of the images on this blog I have permission to use only because the blog is 'noncommercial'. This means I have to not link to anywhere they sell stuff.

    I am so sorry.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.