Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the Tenth Day of Christmas Lady Bess Foster Gave to Me...

Ten sob stories...

Now I know Bess may not have many fans here on the Guide, but her presence as a tart of Christmas should be expected considering her many tartly ways. I also suspect not many people will be leaving comments in order to win her ornament! But maybe Bess' sob stories will win you over as they did the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire who immediately empathized with her plight and took the delicate lady into their care. Sob stories were Bess' weapon of choice in her many manipulations which led to her survival. With them, this tiny tart was able to cahoot with many above her station and sleep with many, many rich and famous men...even if those men happened to be the husband and boyfriend of her best friend or Marie Antoinette's boyfriend, or a cardinal, or...well you know, the list goes on and on.

21 comments:

  1. Well - at least she was a successful tart!

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  2. Bess was as Tarty as they get

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  3. Lol, I've been trying to gain a perspective on Bess from the other side of the table...nope, can't do it.

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  4. I don't know if I realllly want to be included for her drawing, but I never can pass up a chance to take a stab at her. My better self doesn't even bother stepping in. Lady Spencer would be proud.

    However, this time I have to say that the Kauffmann portrait of her is lovely. (Put it down to the holiday spirit.) It's my favorite of Bess and one of my favorite Kauffmanns. It has such a graceful ease about it. Maybe it's the hat.

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  5. Polonaise is right, it is a lovely portrait. At least she had that going for her.

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  6. I checked out all your comments on my friend's iphone (so cool!!) in the pub and just burst out laughing

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  7. she obviously knew what worked...

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  8. I am in the middle of "Georgianna, The Duchess of Devonshire". This woman boils my bunnies. I actually laugh when I read that she had figured out that she and Georgianna had gotten pregnant within hours of each other. Like he is going to be faithful to the Tart.

    I know that she eventually becomes the next duchess, but to me it will always be Georgianna.

    I think I am a little to attached to my heroines.

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  9. I think everyone shares your opinion (especially here)! I've come across paintings of Bess in museums and she isn't always referred to as the Duchess of Devonshire.


    ...there can only be one 5th Duchess!

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  10. Heather, these are beautiful - you should sell them on etsy.com.

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  11. Thank you! Lauren was saying that too! Maybe I'll make some more and post them on etsy

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  12. Sorry to be a nitpicker, but Fersen was NOT Marie Antoinette's 'boyfriend'. Many scholars have successfully disputed this. :)

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  13. Many French scholars such as Simone Bertiere, Philippe Delorme and others such as Nesta Webster and Desmond Seward disagree. There is much to read here, needless to say you only need to read a few pages. http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=944&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

    Unfortunately the Fersen myth is still propagated today by Evelyne Lever, Antonia Fraser, Sofia Coppola, etc because it so easy to believe in a romantic story that appeals to our modern sensibilities without taking into account the true character of Antoinette.

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  14. Apologies, I must add that other scholars that dispute the Fersen myth are Jean Chalon and Paul and Pierrette Girault de Coursac. I don't think Bertiere actually totally discredits the possibility.

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  15. Thanks for the information! I had never heard the Fersen-Antoinette thing to be discredited.

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  16. I just noticed...Bess' ornament looks like it has small bullet holes---or, snicker, maybe she has woodworm. lol!

    (No offense intended at all. I think it's really glitter.)

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  17. You just watch out! Maybe you'll win it!!

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  18. The bottom line is, in that day and age, these women had little voices, as we can so freely speak ours now...these two women, although they are very different from one another in terms of loyalty and what defines a true friend, have one very important thing in common--even I and many other women can understand the value of motherhood and putting your children before all else. Tart or not, you cannot say she didn't love her boys and rather you believe it to be her reason for betraying the Dutchess and moving in on the Duke, it is the one thing as I mother, I cannot dare judge her for!

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