Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

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Heyer in General > Snuff Boxes

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message 1: by Skyla (new)

Skyla (skyla99) | 54 comments Hi! Recently I've become fascinated with snuff boxes, they have been prominently mentioned in a lot of the GH books. Particularly when some of it was poisoned in Regency Buck. I also wanted to share a photo of my dream collection :)

Some of my snuff boxes | Collectors Weekly

The History and Use of Silver Snuff Boxes - Dart Silver Ltd

There are some really gorgeous ones on Ebay or Etsy as well.


message 2: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited May 18, 2020 04:15AM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4323 comments Mod
Skyla wrote: "Hi! Recently I've become fascinated with snuff boxes, they have been prominently mentioned in a lot of the GH books. Particularly when some of it was poisoned in Regency Buck. I also wanted to shar..."

Those ones are very pretty.


message 3: by Skyla (new)

Skyla (skyla99) | 54 comments Thanks! I hope it was ok to start a new topic, I didn't want to muddy one of the other chains.

Does anyone know why snuff was such a thing? I can understand smoking a cigar or things like that, but I never really understood the reasoning behind snuff..


message 4: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4323 comments Mod
Always ok to start new topics, although I would prefer just the moderators started new topics in the Group Reads folder.

Im not sure why snuff was such a big thing, sorry. A fashion of the time?


message 5: by Moloch (last edited May 18, 2020 05:55AM) (new)

Moloch | 201 comments A habit that is now very alien to our current tastes. Reading novels you become "familiar" with it, since it was so popular, but still it feels strange now to think of people sniffing constantly.
I read somewhere that sniffing tobacco was considered more elegant than smoking it. Military people used to smoke it (maybe it was more practical) and it became more and more popular because of them (I seem to remember that this was especially after the Crimean War but I'm not sure).

edit: It's always fascinating to see how the little things that are the norm or acceptable or fashionable in daily life change through time


message 6: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
It is true! That habit seems so disgusting, for me especially because of allergies, and not wanting to put stuff up my nose and suck it into my lungs? Is that where snuff ended up, lungs?

The boxes are pretty, and often a plot point
Regency Buck (view spoiler)
False Colours (view spoiler)
Unknown Ajax - an illustration of Lord Darracott's disdain towards Claud (and Claud's affected use of the haresfoot and tiny spoon) and approval of Vincent (when Vincent seeks approval for his own recipe for snuff)


message 7: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
When I think of snuff boxes,
I usually think of the ones that look like these





but I think these are more Georgian than Regency? or Continental rather than British? Does anyone know?


message 8: by Skyla (new)

Skyla (skyla99) | 54 comments Wow! Those are really pretty too! I actually had one that looked like that and I think you're right about it being more Colonial-ish or Georgian...I'm really bad at identifying stuff from most eras :)


message 9: by Skyla (new)

Skyla (skyla99) | 54 comments Critterbee❇ wrote: "It is true! That habit seems so disgusting, for me especially because of allergies, and not wanting to put stuff up my nose and suck it into my lungs? Is that where snuff ended up, lungs?

The boxe..."


I know!!! When I was really little my sister and I "sniffed" pepper to make us sneeze, and pretended it was snuff. It was really horrible, I can not imagine doing it with tobacco.


message 10: by Moloch (last edited May 18, 2020 07:22AM) (new)

Moloch | 201 comments Of course part of the allure of sniffing was also probably being able to show off exquisite cases like these ones.


message 11: by Skyla (new)

Skyla (skyla99) | 54 comments Moloch wrote: "Of course part of the allure of sniffing was also probably being able to show off exquisite cases like these ones."

Hahaha, I could understand that part!


message 12: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 530 comments I doubt snuff made it all the way to the lungs. I expect the nicotine hit made its way into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the nose. Snuff-taking does have one advantage over smoking that I can see--it doesn't foul anyone else's air!


message 13: by Ah (new)

Ah | 71 comments Judith in Regency Buck certainly pretended to take snuff, just for the boxes and to make herself unusual. And one of the other characters comments that the Queen also did that.

Smoking seems to have been connected to military service - the only characters who smoke were said to have picked it up while in the Peninsula (Hugh in TUA, Jack in TTG, maybe Gervase in TQG?) and the older characters look on in as an unpleasant habit. The fashionable characters use snuff...


message 14: by Ah (new)

Ah | 71 comments Hugo, not Hugh!


message 15: by Igenlode (new)

Igenlode Wordsmith Margaret wrote: "I doubt snuff made it all the way to the lungs. I expect the nicotine hit made its way into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the nose."

It does. And then you blow out the snuff later into your handkerchief, when your nose runs or you sneeze. I suspect the handkerchiefs must have got pretty stained.

It's the same as sniffing cocaine, really, but messier...


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