Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mother Knows Best

It is an understatement to say that there were many similarities between Marie Antoinette and Georgiana, in life, personality, and company. Maybe the reason for their parallel lives is their extremely similar mothers. Through their lives their mothers wrote to them frequently, bestowing their motherly advice. Both ladies struggled to please their mothers but found it hard, especially with all the wonderful temptations out in the world. So Lauren and I would like to present a new series so we can bestow the well-meant advice of Lady Spencer and Maria Theresa on you, so you can ignore it as well. While Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide updates you on Maria Theresa's ideas for perfection, I shall relay Lady Spencer's.

But first, here is a little bit about the busy-body Spencer matron.

Born Georgiana Poyntz, she married John Spencer, the 1st Earl of Spencer in 1755. Their courtship was short, John was totally smitten with her. He proposed to her by quickly drawing her aside before she left for home one night and presenting her with a diamond and ruby ring, engraved inside it, in French, it read "My heart is yours. Keep it well." She was smart, fluent in Greek, and a lover and composer of music. She was also very opinionated. Georgiana was her first child, and Lady Spencer found herself totally in love with the baby girl (see the above Reynolds). She remained her favorite child of the couple's three. It is probably because of this over-affection that Lady Spencer put so much pressure on Georgiana to make the right decisions. This advice never ceased throughout Georgiana's marriage and to the end of her life.

"Here commences our correspondence, my dear Georgiana from which I propose myself more real pleasure than I can express, but the greatest part of it will vanish if I do not find you treat me with that entire Confidence that my heart expects."

September 25, 1774

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