Archery was considered a “graceful exercise” for women in the upper classes. By the mid 1800’s archery had become an established leisure activity and there were over fifty societies in existence spread among the larger towns and cities in England, Scotland and Wales. Women and men competed against each other, and it must have felt quite empowering for ladies of the time.
This weekend the barn where I keep my horse was hosting an archery day so I had to give it a go. It was a little cold to be wearing a regency dress, and I am not sure if graceful entered into the equation at any point in the day, but I had a great time, hit the target many times, and got some fantastic pointers from a friend who used to compete in the sport and knows much. This is something I want to continue to do.
Another regency era activity of the leisure class checked off the to-do list. It will look so much better next summer while wearing a linen dress.