Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Lauren!

I have to take this opportunity to wish my partner-in-crime, Lauren a very Happy Birthday! The only suitable party worthy of this Marie Antoinette aficionado would have to contain an elegant croquembouche served on these fabulous desert plates. Happy Birthday Lauren, party like an archduchess!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kauffman and the Spencers

Angelica Kauffman was no stranger to the Spencer brood. In 1774 she painted a portrait of Georgiana, Harriet, and George. In it she captures the young siblings before marriages, gambling problems, political careers, and celebrity. You can also see how much attention surrounded Georgiana, with the way both of her siblings are focused on her while she, herself, makes eye contact with the viewer. Years later, Kauffman returned to paint both Spencer sisters again in complimenting portraits. They are portrayed in the NeoClassical style that Kauffman loved. Both ladies are older now. They have loved and lost, had children, and lived the celebrity lifestyle. Instead of the young, starry-eyed beauties we now see matronly graces in more simple settings.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where Would You Rather Be?

I still am in love with with this bumper sticker. I was reminded of it when I saw the "I'd rather be in the 18th century" shirt on Factual Imaging (If it had a big coiffure on it, I'd be sold). I'm not quite sure which I'd rather be at more, Pemberely or the 18th century. Can't I have both? Oh wait that would mean no Darcy...Where would you rather be?

For Sale: The Duchess (Region 1)

As I brought up earlier, even though The Duchess took forever to get to US theaters (with little fanfare) it is already out on DVD and Blue-ray today. European audiences will have to wait a little longer for the movie. Richard Schickel of TIME magazine describes the movie as "feisty, cool, and scandalous," which makes me think he hasn't actually seen the movie. Perhaps he read the book the film was based on? Either way, I'm off to buy the flick and micro-analyze it even more...and drool over the fabulous costumes and jewelery, of course.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking to Spend that Holiday Cash?

Well do I have a recommendation for you! Fashion from the Kyoto Costume Institute is eye candy for any 18th-20th century fashion lover. Wait no, it's a necessity! I don't really pay attention to the second book (20th century fashion) but the first is about 300 pages packed with fabulous photos of clothing on display from the 18th century to Victorian period. It makes you want to book a flight to Tokyo to see the amazing displays for yourself. You may have seen images from Fashion here or on other blogs and now they can be in your library gaze upon whenever you please. Amazon and Amazon UK has this hardcover duo book set on sale for 35% off. If you can't get enough 18th century or Regency fashion I would highly recommend taking advantage of this sale (and super saver free shipping!). Considering I almost bought these for $50 at The Met and would of had to drag all 10 pounds around, Amazon's discounts and shipping are worthwhile!

Friday, December 26, 2008

And the hearts go to...

Happy Boxing Day! As promised, here are the winners of The Twelve Tarts of Christmas. As I said before, I wish I could give everyone a tart heart but alas, I am short on free time and money. However, I did post some additional ornaments on Etsy, including Georgiana and Perdita, if you care to buy one.

I picked names out of a hat...program! It's a nifty randomizer computer program that saves you the time of manually drawing names out of a hat, but is just as fair. The winners are as follows:

2 JANE GORDON- Polonaise
3 MARY GRAHAM- Jessica
4 GRACE- JuliaMarie
5 KITTY- Stephanie
7 LIZ FARREN- Lauren
10 BESS- Dani
11 EMMA- Emily J
12 LAVINIA- Asperia

Please email me at with your winning tart's name in the subject line and your mailing address in the body of the email. I will do my best to mail them out as soon I get everyone's address. Thanks everyone!

Tart of the Week: Angelica Kauffman

The gypsy painter that is Angelica Kauffman was born in Switzerland, raised in Austria, and is considered to be one of the great British artists of the 18th century. How peculiar. She was born in 1741, the daughter of a painter. She inherited her father's skills in the art, and when the family moved throughout Italy on his various commissions, Angelica was allowed to hone these skills by working with him. Because of relocating throughout the continent, Angelica became fluent in a variety of languages including English. Soon, British tourists were commissioning her to paint their portraits on their World Tour. All this networking among the gentry of Britain got Angelica a ticket to London with Lady Wentworth.

Angelica was an immediate success in London. Due to Lady Wentworth's influence Angelica was able to rub shoulders with the great leaders of the arts such as Garrick and Reynolds. It was here that the naive 25 year-old became in entwined with a dangerous man that almost ruined everything she had earned through her hard work. The Swedish Count de Horn has been described as a "rogue" and was known to live lavishly but never invite anyone over to dine with him. Somehow or another he convinced Angelica to a clandestine wedding. It was not long before Angelica realized the danger she was in; her husband was squandering all her money and had none of his own. In fact this Count Frederick de Horn was an impostor. He wasn't the count at all, merely some guy who used to work for him.

With the help of her new friend, Joshua Reynolds, Angelica managed to escape unscathed from the secret marriage. Hmm, still sounds fishy to me! She moved on to new endeavors, and was one of the signatures partitioning the king for a Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Indeed, Angelica was one of the two female incumbents in the Royal Academy which later banned women. She exhibited many of her works at the academy, many of which reflected her love of the Renaissance. Angelica also continued painting portraits and made lots of moolah doing so.

She married fellow artist, Antonio Zucchi in 1781. The marriage was not one based on passionate love, but more out of convenience. In fact, it is a bit questionable why Angelica even bothered. After the marriage the couple moved to Rome where Angelica continued to submit her work to the Royal Academy. The city welcomed her with open arms and her studio became a gathering place for great minds. Her husband died in 1795 (he was old to begin with) and left her barely anything in his will but if this bothered Angelica, she never really showed it. Maybe it was because she was filthy rich because of her successful career. She died in 1807 and was honoured by being given the most lavish funeral procession for an artist since Raphael. Just think how many artists Rome has supplied us with, too! Under the direction of the sculptor, Antonio Canova Angelica's funeral procession laid her to rest.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Emma and Anna, Two Peas in a Pod?

I know not many people are going to like this connection, but has anyone noticed how similar Emma Hamilton and Anna Nicole are? I was just over at One D at a Time which has clips of the Anna Nicole Christmas party and I couldn't help but think; there's gotta be a little Emma in Anna.
Both ladies were:
  • Beautiful
  • From poor origins
  • Began their careers in the sex industry (prostitution and striping)
  • Married really old really rich guys
  • Claimed they genuinely loved their really old really rich husbands
  • Became part of an elite social scene that considered them to be trashy
  • Models
  • Criticized for their vulgar speech
  • Gained a lot of weight in the height of celebrity and were criticized for it
  • Already had children going into their rich marriages
  • Had daughters whose fathers' were kept a mystery

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a relaxing and happy Christmas! Thank you all!


More 18th Century Humour

I know a lot of people have had to listen to me talk about Georgiana...while drunk. Total strangers, guys I'm hitting on, friends, family, you name it, they've been there. Who knows if that makes her history more entertaining or less. Well, some geniuses must have friends like me because they have videotaped "historians" giving history lessons while severely intoxicated. Then they have some amazing comedians act out the stories. Lauren's amazing sleuthing skills found them on youtube and they will have you laughing. They feature such stars as my longtime love, Jack Black as well as Michael Cera, and Clark from Clark and Michael to name a few. Here are some of my Drunk History favs:

Vol 2 and 2.5 featuring Jack Black as Ben Franklin

Vol 3 (this is probably how my stories go)

Vol 1, The epic duel

Monday, December 22, 2008

Biography Updates

Some quick tart biography updates! Hallie Rubenhold wrote to tell me that Americans will have to wait until May in order to get their copy of Lady Worsley's Whim which will be published under the title of The Lady in Red. Ooo how do you like the feisty new title?

Another book Mythosidhe pointed out that I am extremely excited about is Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore. If you recall, Mary is one of my favourite tarts because of her outrageous story. I cannot wait until I get my hands on this one, I hope it is just as entertaining as Mary.

The Bedlam of Bethlam

bed⋅lam [bed-luhm]
1. a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion.
2. Archaic. an insane asylum or madhouse.

Are the holidays driving you nuts? Inspired by fabulous reader Kristi, who always sends me awesome emails, I thought what better a time to talk about "the mad" then the holiday season.

Because insanity or mental illness were misunderstood throughout much of history the people who suffered from these conditions were usually mistreated. This also meant those with mental handicaps were thought to be "mad" as well. These unfortunate souls would be put in madhouses, hidden away from public view where they spent their lives being beaten or even killed.

In 1247 the Sisters of the Order of the Star of Bethlehem founded a priory on the site of what is now London Liverpool Street Station. Hmm I wonder if I can say that my friend Erin spent a night there since she was stranded at that station overnight. The building went through many changes throughout the centuries. But the Enlightenment brought a new thinking about these castaways and Bethlam Royal Hospital (as it was now called) began attempts to improve the treatment of the inhabitants. The hospital was also called Bedlam which turned into a word to mean [see above] and that's exactly how the old Bethlam was. The screaming and noise that came from the building was said to drive anyone who heard, mad themselves. Now with the Enlightenment the great thinkers set about trying to, perhaps, quiet those inside.

Firstly, they began referring to those inside as patients. After-all, Bethlam was a royal hospital. Then someone realized that the patients actually exhibited different symptoms; most notably, screaming versus not screaming. So they considerately divided these patients from each other. They made "curable" and "incurable" wings and divided the patients by sex. Bethlam was intended for short stays but if after a year the patients remained uncured they were just discharged, unless of course, someone lost track of how long a patient was there. The uncured wing allowed an alternative to giving up on the patients.

Bethlam was commended by Europe for their advancements with the mad, but of course they weren't perfect. As a means of generating more funding, you could pay a penny and view the "lunatics." Crowds peered through iron bars hoping to get a glimpse of the patients unusal looks and behavior, especially if their antics included anything of a sexual nature or violence. They were even allowed sticks to prod the poor patients. Asylum conditions were improving but they still had a long way to go.

The above figures of raving and melancholy madness graced the entrance gate of of Old Bethlam. These two allegories show how limited knowledge was of the different patients' conditions and needs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the First Day of Christmas Georgiana Gave to Me...

A gaming table for a spree!

Although our patron Duchess has never officially been recognized as a tart of the week on this blog, you all know very well that she was one! The vivacious Duchess of Devonshire needs no introduction, she was smart, sassy, and fabulous. Unfortunately, our favorite aristocrat's fault was her crippling addiction to gambling. And don't even think about lending her money to play a round of faro, she was known to win and then absent-mindedly forget to pay you back! A loveless marriage caused her to eventually find love in other men's (and women's) arms, most famously, Charles Earl Grey. But this is not what defines her as a historical figure. She broke many rules and proved herself as an independant thinker in society, fashion, and politics.

Georgiana completes The Twelve Tarts of Christmas. You now have until 25 December to leave your comments under your favourite tarts' post in order to qualify for their ornament. I will pick names out of a hat and post the winners on Boxing Day. Happy Holidays and thank you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Powder Me

For those who are unaware, Lauren has posted her December giveaway and I think you will all just love it! We all know how essential powder was to the 18th century lady; well Lauren has a little side-project where she has been making her own. These fine powders are scented and each represent a different fine 18th century femme or tart. Head on over to her post and leave a comment in order to qualify to win your favourite lady's powder.

On the Second Day of Christmas Jane Gordan Gave to Me...

Two rival parties...

Thanks a lot, Jane. The Duchess of Gordan was Georgiana's rival political party hostess. While Georgiana threw huge bashes for the Whigs Jane was throwing ones for the Tories. Although the two ladies were competitive, Jane was more brash in flaunting her triumphs and was a sore looser. While Georgiana turned heads canvassing for a candidate, Jane actually kidnapped a man once in order to secure a vote. She was also notoriously ruthless when it came time for her children to secure good marriages. The satirical artists lampooned Jane, who was very obvious in her want of wealthy sons and daughters in law. Jane played dirty, and didn't care who that offended one bit!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tart of the Week: Lady Caroline Lamb

The notorious name of Caroline Lamb has graced this blog many times. Now it is time to expand about this curious creature who unfortunately has gone down in history as a spurned lover. Lady Caroline was the third child of Harriet, Countess of Bessborough but not necessarily the daughter of the Earl of Bessborough, but that is a story for another time. Because Caroline Ponsoby was Georgiana's niece by way of her sister she is considered by way of this blog, to be Devonshire Progeny. This elite little group means each member gets their own nickname, in Caroline's case, Caro.

In 1802 the reckless teenage Caro's attention fell on the Honourable William Lamb. William was the son of Lady Melbourne (former leader of the ton and great friend to Georgiana) but not necessarily of Lord Melbourne. William reciprocated Caroline's attention and the two fell for each other. Caro's mother was not pleased with the potential match. She was not a big fan of Lady Melbourne and wanted to avoid united the families with marriage. Harriet was also concerned about loosing her only daughter, who consumed much of her attention and was not the easiest child to raise. Caro was determined though, and in 1805 she married William who soon afterward succeeded his brother as Viscount Melbourne.

The marriage was rough from the start. Caroline and William had a difficult time conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby. William also was really involved in his political career which meant less time giving Caroline attention, and if Caro couldn't get the attention she needed immediately she was going to seek other means of getting it. This meant a series of lovers. It also meant being a party monster. The Lambs (who were never saints) were outraged and demanded William separate from Caro. He always seemed to prefer being either ignorant of her antics or remain quiet. I'm sure this only made things worse.

In 1812 the 27 year old Caroline met the dashing 24 year old poet Lord Byron. He sought her out at a party, she played hard to get, a torrid affair began. After the chauvinist Byron had amused himself by successfully capturing Caro's heart he grew bored and then amused himself with seeing how far she would go with ruining her marriage. He was more in love with the challenges their affair presented than Caro herself. Caro, in turn, became obsessively in love with him and when he dumped her, she did not take it all. First she went a little crazy, and then even her mother got involved, but eventually it was able to simmer down to the two making catty remarks. He called her a skeleton, she made fun of his club foot; all in all there were some great insults exchanged.

Sadly though, Caro's scars were more than skin deep. She still sought revenge and began exhibiting more abnormal behaviors. The Melbournes were not only telling William to get a separation from Caroline, they were also trying to convince him to get her institutionalized. Soon, her Aunt Lavinia jumped on the bandwagon and when Caro found out she was hurt and angry. Meanwhile Byron wasn't doing so hot either; rumors of sodomy, incest, and exile were all the talk. But this still didn't lighten Caroline's spirits. Soon afterward she lost her temper at a servant and threw something at him which nailed him in the head. She then panicked, thinking she had killed him; but luckily he survived the assault.

Caroline found a brief solace in taking on a literary career. Her 1816 Gothic novel, Glenarvon was published anonymously but everyone knew who wrote it based on the fact it was based on those in Caro's life, especially Byron. The book was a huge commercial success but it further alienated Caro from her family and friends. Caro St Jules was disgusted by how it insulted William, and Lady Melbourne couldn't even finish the book. This just made Caroline sink into a depression again. She just couldn't win.

A series of deaths further deteriorated Caro's fragile state. When her mother died in 1821 her brothers and friends rushed to her side knowing that it was Harriet who kept Caro balanced for many years. Then, three years later, Caro accidentally came across Byron's funeral cortège and that really sent her over the edge. She suffered a nervous breakdown and spent her remaining years in rumored insanity at her home, Brocket Hall. This tragic heroine died in 1828.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Third Day of Christmas Mary Graham Gave to Me...

Three fainting spells...

Poor little Mary Graham. I do not exaggerate when I say "little" either. Mary was always looked upon with pity because she had such a potential for beauty if only she weren't so skinny. Mary was crippled by tuberculosis which made her weak and constantly seeking relief from the illness in warmer climates. Her trekking also kept Mary from falling victim to the party scene in London like so many other young aristocrats such as her best friend, Georgiana.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Albert How Could You!

Vic at Jane Austen's World has posted a very interesting article about Christmas trees that, I confess, I was ignorant of. I insist that everyone check it out. Many, myself included, think that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's hunky husband, introduced the Christmas tree to England in the 19th century. This is erroneous! While Albert may have popularized this German tradition in England, it was Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and mother to the infamous Prince of Wales, who actually introduced it. I should have known that classy queen would have brought over such a fun tradition!

[The tree pictured is Colonial Williamsburg's Regency Tree which is dedicated to the Prince of Wales, hence the crown and plumes tree topper.]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Janie!

It's our best girlfriend, Jane's birthday today! 233 years ago today this spritely Sagittarius was born on 16 December 1775. Without this most beloved of English authors we wouldn't have Mr Darcy, Mr Darcy, or Mr Darcy. We owe a lot to her.

But on a serious note, my words come nowhere near adequately honouring so great a novelist so I will leave that to Vic and Laurel Ann and their awesome blog. So thank you Jane, for giving us chick lit which is both intelligent and ageless and also for giving us normal girls hope that despite all our humanly mistakes we can still have a happy ending and learn more about ourselves in the process. Oh yeah, and thanks for providing us with the ideal man we could only ever wish to seduce in our lifetime: Mr Collins.

On the Forth Day of Christmas Grace Elliott Gave to Me...

Four awesome earrings...

If you take a close look at Grace Dalrymple Elliott's portrait you can see her fabulous earrings. They are pearl drops that are tied in the back by long black ribbons which comes around her front to tie in a choker. So they are both earrings and a necklace in one. Earlace? Not only was Grace stylish, she was also smart, witty and survivor. She just barely escape loosing her head on the French Revolution. And by "barely" I mean she was sparred in the last minute. She also provided some of the most important outside witness accounts of the Revolution. Although, in England she was always just considered to be, well, a fallen woman. But the Georgians always kind of likes those better anyway.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Harlot's Progress: Plate 5

Can't you just hear the commotion through the thin tenement walls? In Hogarth's next print in the series we find out heroine, Moll is out of prison but in a setting that is not much improved. Moll barely has a breath left in her, she is deathly ill. She slumps in her chair, half unconscious, wrapped in white linen like a specter. While she breathes her last, two notable doctors fight over her cure, too distracted by their own egos to notice their patient. The rotund, German doctor, Richard Rock argues that they should bleed her while the skinny French doctor, Jean Misaubin shouts that cupping is the way to go. Amongst the French and German accents is Moll's maid's vulgar tongue, screaming for them to pay attention to her mistress who lays limp in her arms.

Among the dissaray are two figure who seem to not be bothered by the commotion. One is the nurse or landlady who scours through what is left of Moll's possessions, looking for something worth stealing. Judging by the hovel Moll now calls home, it is unlikely that she will find anything worthwhile. A little boy is roasting a piece of meat on a string while he itches the lice in his hair. This is Moll's son. The result of a night's work.

Once again we are reminded of the former splendor of Moll's life. The fine apartment once procured to her by her Jewish lover is now a distant memory. Instead, her former lover has now given her enough money for this one, as indicated by the passover bread. Many old flames took pity on their former mistresses, like Grace Elliot, when they reached the end of their rope. But obviously, Moll is not being taken care of enough; whether it is by past lovers or current doctors. Will she be able to survive this mishap as she has the others we have seen her survive?

A Harlot's Progress Plate 1
A Harlot's Progress Plate 2
A Harlot's Progress Plate 3
A Harlot's Progress Plate 4
Next >>

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Tartly Reminder

I have posted 7 of the 12 Tarts of Christmas so far. Remember, if your favorite tart(s) has an ornament, leave a comment on that ornament's post in order to qualify to win it. So far the we've seen:

1 ?
2 ?
3 ?
4 ?
5 Kitty Fisher
6 Seymour Worsley
7 Elizabeth Farren
8 Elizabeth Armistead
9 Mary Robinson
10 Bess Foster
11 Emma Hamilton
12 Lavinia Spencer

On the Fifth Day of Christmas Kitty Fisher Gave to Me...

Five pearls in vinegaaar...

Talk about expensive taste! Miss Kitty Fisher was known for her taste in finery and that's why she was immortalized by Reynolds disintegrating a pearl in vinegar just like Cleopatra. She also ate a banknote with her bread and butter so I wasn't lying when I said she had a taste for the finer things in life. Men would pay big money in order to spend the night with this courtesan. Not only would they get sex, but lively conversation, and endless fun. No wonder Kitty's name (and reputation) reached the ears of Casanova.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Lady Worsley Gave to Me

Six bath soaps...

In 1782 all of England became aware of Seymour Worsley's fondness for baths. She just happened to taking one at the military camp of Coxheath when her husband boosted their friend up to the small window to spy on her getting dressed. Lady Worsley was well-aware of her audience and put on a bit of a show. The three left the scene of the crime giggling with glee. None would ever predict how this little act of naughtiness would haunt them for the rest of their lives. I bet if Lady Worsley were here today she would be all over Lush bubble baths and shower gels!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Not Too Late to Add These to Your Christmas List

Warning to all jewelery aficionados who also just happen to come here for their other love of all things 18th century: this could be a deadly site I am presenting you. I stumbled Raven Eve's gothic jewelery site, Ghost, and I probably want just about everything. Her chokers are fantastic! My personal favorites would have to be The Ghost of Marie Antoinette (pictured) and Romeo is Bleeding. Do check out these amazing creations!

Tart of the Week: Queen Caroline Matilda

Naughty Queen alert! If you are aware of what a prude King George III was, it might shock you to find that his baby sister was, well...not. Caroline grew up as you would a expect a young princess to. She was born in 1751, a few months after her father's premature death. She learned the way to walk, talk, and be the perfect little princess, so it was only a matter of time before she was married off to secure a political alliance.

The lucky fellow was the King of Denmark and Norway, Christian VII. Unbeknownst to sixteen year-old Caroline or the royal family, Christian had a few quirks. Actually, he was full out crazy. He was obsessive about his looks and was known too look at his ripped muscles in public. Christian was also into devious forms of sex and would wear disguises in public in order to pick fights. His peculiarities may have stemmed from sexual abuse as a child but also could have been attributed to schizophrenia.

Chistian's peculiarities only grew worse after his marriage with Caroline. He and the Duke of Devonshire seemed to share the same point of view that wives were for heirs and nothing else. Caroline was both scared and depressed by her husband's treatment of her, yet, she still managed to give birth to an heir. Since she performed her duty in the eyes of Christian, he left Caroline to do as she pleased while he did his (crazy) thing. In fact, she ended up being the one who ran the country. It was not long before she fell in love and had an affair with Johann Struensee, the royal physian and minister. It is likely that her other child, Princess Louise Auguste was likely Struensee's and not the king's. Just look at her features compared with her brother's.

Of course, things could not stay sunny for poor Caroline. Struensee decided to take advanatge of his cohorting with the queen (and ultimately ruler) and the king's trust to input some of his own decrees upon the country. Typical! This may have been okay for the lovestruck Caroline but not for the people of Denmark. The couple was invited to a masquerade which also just happened to be a trap. The two were arrested; Caroline was divorced and Struensee was drawn and quartered. Caroline was released from prison and put into exile, never to see her children again. Her own brother was afraid to let her into England for fear it could cause a disagreement with Denmark so Caroline had was forced to live in Germany. She died not long afterward of Scarlet Fever in 1775.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Seventh Day of Christmas Elizabeth Farren Gave to Me...

Seven merry monologues...

Elizabeth Farren was a pretty tame tart. Well, she did steal the Countess of Derby's husband and then take her title as soon as she croaked. But otherwise, she was a very professional actress, staring in a long list of plays. She was a very good one too, she was the comedic starlet of Drury Lane and rival to Mrs Abington. This Irish actress' specialty: portraying aristocratic ladies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the Eighth Day of Christmas Liz Armistead Gave to Me...

Eight lovers in the wings...

Well, I'm sure most of these tarts have a few lovers in the wings, but Elizabeth Armistead had some of the most famous. Not only did she hook up with Charles James Fox (and later marry him) but she also fooled around with the likes of the Earl of Derby, Lord John Cavendish, and the Prince of Wales. But then again, who hadn't fooled around with them. Once, when Cavendish was coming over to enjoy her many talents he barged into her room only to find the Prince hiding behind the door. That Liz was a popular girl!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

City of Vice

There is no shortage of Blackadder fans who grace this site, nor is there a shortage of Let Them Eat Cake Fans-er, maybe that's just Lauren and I. But now we have a new 18th century series to look forward to which Polonaise was so kind as to point out to me.

City of Vice stars Darth Sidious Ian McDiarmid and Iain Glen as magistrate brothers trying to bring down crime in dirty, dark, and evil 1750's London. Here is the scoop:
In the 1750s London’s perilous streets were run by armed gangs, corrupt night watchmen and thief takers. Then two Westminster magistrates, novelist Henry Fielding and his brother, John, obtained a grant from Parliament allowing them to bring some law and order to the crime-ridden boroughs of Central London.

Starring Ian McDiarmid and Iain Glenn as these unlikely crime-fighting brothers, 'City of Vice' uses authentic historical research to tell the story of the two men battling to create a police force, 75 years before Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police.

Sounds good, huh? City of Vice has been running on Channel 4 for a while but I never caught wind of it. However my awesome sleuthing skills have located the first episode here and part 2 here. Enjoy!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas Perdita Gave to Me

Nine pretty poems...

Perdita aka Mary Robinson is best known for her appearances on stage and her affair with the young(er) Prince of Wales. Strangely enough, both these endeavors were short-lived. In fact, Mary preferred to be recognized for her literary achievements and not her acting abilities. Mary was writing poetry before she ever set foot on stage. Her poems brought her relief while she was living in Fleet Prison with her husband who was imprisoned for debt. Her first patroness in these early years was none other than Georgiana, herself. I have to say, this is probably my favourite of the the ornaments!

Monday, December 8, 2008

For Sale

Just in time for the Holidays; check out these fabulous sets from King's Road. They are slightly pricey, but aren't they pretty!


Some other fun finds:

Baroque Photo Frame also in Red
Clear Rococo Frame

The Wrightsman Galleries Are Pretty Sweet

Well, Lauren and I just got back from from our rendez-vous in the big apple. We had a very successful trip that I just thought I'd share some of our discoveries. This time we hit up The Met for the reopening of the Wrightsman Galleries. These galleries consist of late French interiors taken from various hotels and homes of period to save them from renovations. They contain much of the original furniture and decoration. Plus, they are lit by electric candles that have fake flames that wiggle every once in a while. This entertained me more than you'll ever know. But enough of that, here are some of the pictures I snapped to entice visitors to The Met.

I also met up with some old friends:

Rose Adélaïde Ducreux's Self Portrait with Harp was on display in the first room of the Wrightsman galleries.

Gainsborough's full-length of Grace was on display in all its glory.

The two Countesses of Derby were side by side.

Madame Grand was looking angelic of course.

And who doesn't love David's enlightened portrait the Lavoisiers.