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Happy Hour: Ending the Regency Marriage: Annulments, Divorces, and Desertion with James F. Nagle

November 15, 2023 6:00 pm 7:00 pm


Sponsored by the ESU Seattle Branch


Ending a Regency marriage could be daunting! The formal processes could be complicated, lengthy, expensive, and very public and embarrassing. Thus, one or both spouses often used other methods. James F. Nagle of the Jane Austen Society of North America will educate and entertain us about Regency Divorce and other methods of the time for ending a marriage. This Happy Hour is sponsored by the ESU Seattle Branch. All ESU Happy Hour programs are online, free, and open to all members and Friends of ESU. Please click here to register: https://esuus-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_z6ljbj65RGCX95MN_vEdXw

James F. Nagle is a Seattle attorney and a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), Puget Sound Region. He retired from a distinguished legal career as a U.S. Army officer in 1990 and is now in semi-retirement at a law office in Seattle. A former board secretary for JASNA, he has spoken at its annual meetings on topics such as the British Army, the laws of inheritance, and travel during Jane Austen’s time. Mr. Nagle has also held the position of a JASNA traveling speaker.



What we know as a “cocktail” had not yet been invented during the Regency. People drank wine, port, or sherry; Jane Austen is noted to have favored wine. Negus, a form of mulled wine, is said to have been concocted by Colonel Francis Negus during the time of Queen Anne. It was a popular party drink during Georgian and early Victorian times.


  • 2.5 cups port wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 12 sugar lumps
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • Grated nutmeg

Pour the port into a large heatproof jug. Rub the lemon with the sugar lumps; then squeeze the lemon juice and strain it. Mix the sugar and lemon juice with the port and add the boiling water. Cover the jug until the liquid has cooled somewhat; then serve in glasses with grated nutmeg. [NB: if you like the taste of whole cloves, they can also be added to the mix.]

Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye, 1995.  The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 111. The British Museum Press, London. ISBN 0 7141 2769 8.


November 15, 2023
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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