Friday, May 8, 2009

Let the Gossip Party Commence!

Welcome to the Gossip Party celebrating the Gossip Guides' first anniversary, or blogiversary! There seems to be many rumours swirling around. Get out your fans and snuff boxes and let's listen-in:

"I heard that Ann Radcliffe is dead!"
"No, no, no. She totally went crazy from writing all those Gothic novels, and now she's been committed to an insane asylum!"
"... uh ... I heard she has asthma..."

Heard in 1762: "Have you seen Allan Ramsay's latest portrait of Queen Charlotte? It is the talk of London amongst the Abolitionists.

When Princess Sophia (daughter of George III) became pregnant out of wedlock, rumors circulated that she had been impregnated by her brother. I first read this in Flora Fraser's Princesses : The Six Daughters of George III, which included a frustrating lack of interest in this rumor: Fraser simply points out that the Duke of Cumberland couldn't be the father since all of his probable attempts to rape his sister would have occurred at the wrong time, and then (frustratingly) feels the subject is closed (p. 192, Book 3, Chapter 10).
-Emily K.

The Queen of Sweden, that odd, silent Sophia Magdalena, has given birth to a son after twelve years of marriage and the boy is not the son of the King at all! He was begotten by a simple stable hand - well, alright, a Baron - because the King himself was...unable, so he asked his good friend Baron Munck (which, to make things very droll, means monk in the local language. Ha! Ha!) to step in for him and do the deed. Just like Count Ehrensvärd so interestingly has shown us in this little masterpiece to the public delight of King Gustav's mother, the poor little bastard's Grand Mama...

Ever wonder why Casanova, that naughty loverboy, ever kept up with all of his conquests? (takes a pretty energetic guy...) So, his secret? As part of his staple diet, he downed 46 oysters a day...hmm-ok.

I heard Anna Nancy Storace was a total skank and hooked up with Mozart AND Emperor Joseph II.

The gossip I remember I liked very very much was that about Georgiana's Picture Hat. It was one of the firsts I read. I love Georgiana's style, and when I see pictures of her I always admire her her style. So when I read this "gossip" I just loved it.

Well, Susan Fox-Strangeways has done it now. Mr. O’Brien certainly is handsome, but really, marrying an actor? No wonder her parents exiled them to the colonies!

The oldest female convict on the First Fleet was Dorothy Handland, an elder in rags and old clothes who was eighty-two years old in 1787. She had drawn seven years for perjury. In 1789, in fit of befuddled despair, she was to hang herself from a gum tree at Sydney Cove, thus becoming Australia's first recorded suicide.

One of the first teabaggers?
From the colony of Pennsylvania, town of Philadelphia, comes news that a lowly female shop keeper, known by the name of Lydia Hyde, is rousing other proprietresses of shops and fellow traders, to call for a general meeting. Her meeting of the merchants is characterized as a local effort in Philadelphia to protest England's passing of the Stamp Act to and forgo the importation and future sales of British goods. Does not the poor lady understand that she is causing harm unto herself and her neighbors by giving up on of the greatest sources of her profits? Tea!

Pst... did you hear that Lord and Lady Auckland were trying to arrange a match between her eldest daughter, Eleanor, and the Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger?

It is shocking that Sir Hamilton would be so open with his mistress Emma Hart, but after all they were on the Continent. Now I hear that he is going to marry her, and I will have to address her as Lady Hamilton? Unbearable!

Did you hear that Prinny nearly sliced himself to ribbons when that Papist tart Mrs. Fitzherbert refused him? Leave it to a royal to botch even killing himself . . .

I've just had a confab with miss Burney and she is still not on speaking terms with Mrs.Thrale, or Mrs. Piozzi now I suppose; Dr Johnson has also broken off relations with her. I daresay, it's all very romantic but terribly injudicious. Imagine marrying an Italian music teacher!

Have you seen that new painting of Emma Hamilton? She has a pretty face, but I hear that she’s quite witless!

Goodness, what scathing tongues we have! Now, don't forget to make your way into the French Salon for even more! Thank you for all this great gossip and thank you again to all who have made this a great year of blogging!

The winners (picked out of a hat) are:
Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman- Lucy
The Duchess on DVD- Cathy

Congratulations! Email me your mailing address and I will quickly dispatch a courier to your estates.


  1. What a lovely party! Fabulous gossip! And we are having CAKE!

    Kisses! Three times! And congratulations!

  2. OMG!!! I'm soo happy! Thanks! I never win! Iwouldn't have missed this party for anything:)

  3. As someone who is halfway through MacCarthy's briliiant biog of Byron and has been reading about Georgiana through his eyes, what a remarkable coincidence that I arrive at your interesting blog today.

    A truly original place amongst a sea of mediocrity

  4. Haha, what an amazing party! :D

  5. It's good to know that a group of 21st C. women could hold their own at any (im)proper 18th C. salon! Wit is always in fashion.

  6. Those are terrific pieces of gossip! Congratulations on your anniversary!

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