Sweet Saturday Sneak Peek – The Toymaker…Regency Christmas Story

Just a work in progress at this stage, but to give you an idea of what I hope to have finished in the next week or so:

The Toymaker

About a foot tall, the doll had definitely seen better days. Her tattered dress had slipped off one shoulder, giving a view of a complex joint construction using string that had been run through drilled holes. A bonnet had been tied to the doll’s head but the edges of painted-on hair were easily visible. Probably once a chestnut brown but now chipped and fading, it reminded Angela of Kalie’s hair, especially with the single dark curl falling over the doll’s right eye.

“Her dress looks like Jane Austen’s,” whispered Kalie, fingering the soft muslin.

Angela tilted her head and took a second look at the clothing. The dress did look like it had come from the Regency period. Had the doll been made that long ago or merely dressed to look as though she had been?

“I think she was a Christmas doll.” Kalie slipped a finger beneath the hem of the gown. “Look at this lace around the edges.”

Angela bent to study the clothing. Almond colored lace rimmed the bottom edge, with only a bit of loosening in places. An intricate pattern of dark green holly leaves and red berries had been embroidered into the emerald green cloth just above the lace.

“It does look kind of Christmassy, doesn’t it?”

“That’s a penny wooden doll.” A petite woman with a gazillion wrinkles and snow white hair approached, hobbling slightly and leaning heavily on her cane. “That whole box came over from England probably a hundred years ago. We just picked it up from the James Merrick estate, a family who traced its roots back to seventeenth century England.” She smiled and held out her free hand to Angela. “My name is Caroline Roberts.”

Smiling in return, Angela shook the proprietor’s hand.

“What’s a penny wooden doll?” asked Kalie.

Angela’s lips tugged into a smile. Had her daughter actually forgotten her planned outing to the mall?

“Well, penny wood dolls started out in Germany in about 1810, but they quickly grew popular and then became available in most countries across Europe.” Ms. Roberts had apparently done her homework. Angela herself didn’t know much about wooden dolls but she could imagine such a toy being popular a couple hundred years in the past.

<><><><>Thank you for stopping by! If you like Regencies, A Lot Like a Lady is still on sale for 99 cents on Amazon.

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7 thoughts on “Sweet Saturday Sneak Peek – The Toymaker…Regency Christmas Story

  1. Sandra Nachlinger says:

    Love your description of the doll — I can see it clearly — and I like the comment about Kalie forgetting about the mall. Completely realistic. I’m eager to find out the part the doll plays in your story.

  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    As a longtime doll-lover, I really enjoyed this sample. It made me think a bit of the classic children’s novel, ‘Hitty: Her First Hundred Years.’ If only those dolls could talk.

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