Frivolity 'Mongst Sterility 

click to enlarge agecroft_living_history_07.jpg

I'd decided I'd had enough of the portrayals of the repression of the Victorian age (in the picture books and whatnot): its relentlessly dry customs, its insistent sexlessness. So, cinching up a borrowed corset and gathering my skirts about me (to fit in, you understand), I passed through the still pool of an enchanted antique mirror from the period and found myself in the mid-19th century.

I stood in the past and marveled at the truth: Beneath all the frocks and petticoats of that bygone time, I glimpsed a real passion for something. Behind them were political revolutions, ahead lay scientific ones. So for now, there was at least the possibility of some kind of order hewed from the very stone of Proper Behavior. I floated amongst their parties and boudoirs, and had a gay time (to fit in, you understand). And let me just say, in my many travels through the dimensions of space and time, rarely have I seen a people so moved to festivities, so eager to strain against those accursed corsets, so ready to get down with a man from the future dressed in drag and bearing those twin fruits of progress: the stone-washed jeans and the corn dog.

Watching them gleefully embrace the future of fashion and battered foods, I loosened my corset and slipped back through the mirror, carrying under my petticoats the spirit of the past and some assorted silverware.

Item N§ 083 Times Christmas at Agecroft.

Specs: Visit the 1640s, the 1840s and the 1940s with requisite foods and entertainments.

Availability: Dec. 9, Agecroft Hall, 4305 Sulgrave Road.

Price: Free.

To order: 353-4241.

Item N§ 09

Centuries of Christmas

at Berkeley Plantation.

Specs: Four centuries of river life transmitted into your soul through costumed guides and tours.

Availability: Dec. 1-Jan. 1. Berkeley Plantation, 12602 Harrison Landing Road.

Price: $6-$11.

To order: 829-6018.

Item N§ 10

Christmastime at

Appomattox Plantation.

Specs: People dressing like folks from the past, plantation owners and slaves, re-enacting 1858.

Availability: Dec. 8, 9 a.m-5 p.m. Petersburg National Battlefield.

Price: Free.

To order: 732-3531, ext. 200.

Item N§ 11

Court End Christmas.

Specs: The city is selectively transformed into its past self, with carriage rides, living history, tours and a trolley.

Availability: Dec. 9, noon-5 p.m. Valentine Richmond History Center, John Marshall House, Museum of the Confederacy, St. John's Church, and other places.

Price: Free.

To order: 649-0711

  • Back to the Cover Story
  • Favorite



    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Connect with Style Weekly

    Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation