Monday, January 30, 2012

Gossip at Chatsworth

Eliza Sheridan was certainly aware of her husband's tendencies to be, oh how do we say this delicately, a slut.  When she first found out about his affair with Fanny Crewe, Eliza threw a fit, but sadly Sheridan was not a man to be controlled and Eliza ended up admitting defeat (although she had her own vengeful affairs).  Her letter to her friend Mary Anne Canning in 1785 is very revealing of for genteel women had to constantly deal with their husband's infidelities:
"S is in Town—and so is Mrs Crewe. I am in the Country and so is Mr Crewe—a very convenient Arrangement, is it not? Oh the Tiddlings and Fiddlings that have been going on at Chatsworth. 'Twas quite a Comedy to see it."


  1. Dear Heather,

    This is such an interesting post today - Eliza seems to have been an amazingly talented young soprano to earn enough money singing in operas at Covent Garden to buy a substantial house in Bath.

    Is it accepted knowledge that she found solace with Edward Fitzgerald but that she died at 38 leaving her baby daughter Mary to die a few months later?! And then Fitzgerald too dies at 34 in Newgate prison, Dublin from wounds received on resisting arrest for treason. You couldn't make it up!

    This is such a beautiful portrait of her can you share the provenance and source with us?

    Thank you -

    This is a real tear jerker.

  2. Hi Jeni, Eliza did have such a sad life, well, it seemed happy until her marriage which makes it even worse to think about! The portrait is by Thomas Gainsborough and made in 1774 but I do not know where it is located. Thank you for your comment, I hadn't known that about Fitzgerald!