Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More 18th Century Commercials

Blogging and waiting for your nails to dry at the same time is not a good idea, but I couldn't wait to pass this on. The lovely Johanna at 18th Century Blog just posted these icecream commercials which, strangely enough, could be clips from my daily routine! Enjoy them below and be sure to pop over and visit Johanna and thank her for putting the commercials on Youtube!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Gout was as common among aristocracy as the plague was among the poor. Through the years, kings and nobles alike fell prone to this crippling disease and it mentioned numerous times in texts of the ages. But what exactly is gout and does it still exist?

Gout was known as a rich man's disease for the simple reason that it came about from eating plenty of rich food. That is why Henry VIII suffered from it for years. I will quote WebMD here, "Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines." Too much alcohol and meat? That doesn't sound like eighteenth century aristocracy at all! But all sarcasm aside, alcohol and meats were the main staples of western diets throughout the centuries.

All those purines in the food would cause extra uric acid in the blood, which is fine in small quantities but really bad, in large because it crystallizes in the joints. Ouch! In most cases this begins at the big toe (as Gillray displayed in his artistic interpretation of gout) and can move up the leg. As you can imagine walking is very painful; gout is put into the same category as arthritis.

Nowadays when a doctor diagnosed gout, you can get a shot and take some painkillers. Back in the Georgian era the common diagnosis was to take a trip to Bath for some of the "healing waters" which did little except maybe relax you. Unless there was some corticosteroids in that tap room water you drank, you were out of luck!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tart of the Week: Hannah Humphrey

Hannah Humphrey is one of those women who is amazing in the sense that she was a self-sufficient female who managed to be one for most of her life, and come out unscathed. I can't tell you much about dear Hannah's beginnings (possibly born around 1745) but I can tell you her brother, William was a publisher and print seller on Gerrard Street in London. Hannah likely learned the tricks of the trade from her brother and decided to begin her own print shop where she would publish as well. This was quite a risk for a woman in London, on many accounts. In order to protect her reputation, Hannah did as many actresses tended to, and went by Mrs. Humphrey, for a married or widowed woman with a business was much more acceptable than a single one.

Hannah established her print shop on Old Bond Street. The storefront was black with gold lettering which read, Humphrey's Print Shop. A large Bay window was covered from head to toe in all the prints Hannah published. The inside of the shop was just as posh, with mahogany counters. People would stop, gawk, and giggle over the storefront and be enticed into spend a few shillings on a satirical print. The shop was one of the most successful print shop in London and it even attracted customers like the Prince of Wales, who was usually on more than one of the prints in the window. One of the decisions Hannah made as a print seller was to exclusively sell (usually bawdy) satirical prints and to exclude prints made after paintings. This was another risk, but Hannah was looking for a certain clientele.

Hannah's shop not only attracted a particular clientele but a particular artist. James Gillray knew Hannah through her brother, who published some of his prints. In 1791 Gillray exclusively published with Hannah, so if you wanted to buy one of his prints there was only one place to get them. Above the Humphrey's Print Shop was apartments where Hannah took residence. Gillray also conveniently moved into a room above the shop. Now I would be the last to start rumours here, but isn't it a little suspicious to have a single man and woman living in such close proximity? There were many rumours going around about Hannah's and Gillray's "professional" relationship, especially when he followed her when she moved her shop to New Bond Street and then again to fashionable St James Street. It is said that Gillray thought of proposing to Hannah numerous time, and even did one day on their way to church. But that could just be the talk of romantic gossipers.

Hannah was with Gillray up until his death. Poor Gillray went insane after a bout of depression and failing to commit suicide and was looked after by Hannah for the remainder of his life (six years after producing his last print). Hannah, herself died a few years later in 1818. She died a respected and extremely successful businesswoman.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To be Fashion-Offensive or to See?

Ah glasses, the burden of many a fashion-conscious and budget-conscious person. I've been shopping around for a new pair and it seems the best deal for an attractive set is $200! Well, would you believe that was about the same asking price for them in late 18th century America as well? Spectacles were pricey!

Spectacles have been around forever but they underwent some of the most important changes in the eighteenth century that have given us the glasses we have today. One of the biggest issues with spectacles was how to keep them on your face. It was in 1730 that a London Optician, Edward Scarlett came up with the genius solution of creating sidepieces that could rest atop a person's ears. Before that there were balancing acts on noses and ribbons going every which way (the Chinese took that Western aspect and added weights to keep them on). By 1752 the glasses now had hinges thanks to another British Optician, James Asycough. With these adjustments, Spectacle sales increased.

Spectacles could be made with clear or tinted glass. After Georgiana went through the trouble with her eyes she would wear spectacles of black crepe to keep the light out of her sensitive eye. Lenses were available in a variety of colors, usually blue or green in England. You might think, with all these fabulous color combinations that Spectacles could be trendsetting, they weren't. People were extremely self-conscious about wearing glasses in public. Think teenagers going to the grocery store with mom in complicated orthodontic headgear. The fashion-conscious French were especially notorious for their hatred of spectacles; they would much rather walk into a door at Versailles than be seen in spectacles. When Princess Sophia needed glasses, she fretted about wearing them to the opera, worried about what the newspapers would say. Her sister Augusta scolded,
"...What...can they say? That Princess Sophia wears spectacles! Well, and what harm can that do her? Would it not be better they should say it, than she loose all sight of the performers?"
I think Augusta and I would get along.

Yet another improvement in spectacles came in 1784 from America when Ben Franklin was getting frustrated reading one night. Franklin had two sets of spectacles, one for his near-sightedness and one for his far-sightedness. He found himself constantly switching from one set to the other. He sliced both sets of lenses in half, glued (so to speak) them together, and thus created the bifocal. Clever Ben!

So it is safe to say that the modern glasses as we know it, is strictly an eighteenth century invention. This invention comes with the same price and the same occasional insecurity about how one looks in their glasses. You would think after a couple of centuries of improvements in ophthalmology we would finally be rid of the glasses stigma!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Rake's Progress, Part 3: The Tavern Scene

It's been a while since we last saw our rambunctious rake, but he is back and up to some antics. Much of this painting is self-explanatory. The other title for it is The Orgy. Good ol' Tom is seen here canoodling with some lovely ladies of the night. These prostitutes are quite the entertainers, as you can see they have gotten Tom quite intoxicated. While Tom is in the aftermath of ecstasy, the syphilis-covered ladies take advantage. One of the prostitutes slips her hand down Tom's shirt and swipes his pocket-watch. Well, hopefully his father's will-money can cover that loss just as it has covered the bill for the evening.

But once we get past Tom's debauchery, we can start to disect the bad behaviour of the ladies with whom he keeps company. They are a bad set. First of all, we have no idea if the foremost whore is dressing or undressing; either option is not appropriate, even in a Roman-style tavern. One lady feels she has been miffed for attention and is therefore lighting fire to a map on the wall in order to gain some. Two of the ladies are having a spat and one (quite literally) spits her drink into the other's face. Perhaps she is not the whore to insult because she is holding a knife. These ladies do not keep a clean house either. Look at what a mess they made! I hope that when Tom finally decides to settle down, it with someone better behaved than this brand of woman!

The Rake's Progress Part 1
The Rake's Progress Part 2
Next >>

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Archpiggess

Last week when I posted on pig-tart, Miss Piggy's ventures into authorship, Katy inquired as to where the Piggie Antoinette picture came from. Well luckily for us, I found the clip, on good ol' Youtube. Appropriately, she is singing the Bee Gees classic, Staying Alive.

Georgiana's Gossip

"You cannot imagine, my dear Dss, how much obliged to you I am for what you call your gossip, and which you will delight me if you repeat often."

-Charles James Fox

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Johann Zoffany, Henry Knight of Tythegston with his Three Children, 177o

To all the Papas out there, Happy Father's Day!

18th Century Gossip on Twitter

As inspired by Vic and Laurel Ann of Jane Austen Today (and their respective blogs), I broke down and got myself a Twitter. I'm still not the best at updating often since I mostly concentrate on putting my words here but please feel free to follow just the same! Perhaps you'll get some mild entertainment out of it. The Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide Twitter can be found here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tart of the Week: Albinia, Countess of Buckinghamshire

I've been dying to make Albinia a tart of the week for ages but always had to put her aside due to lack of information on her. But every tart deserves her day, and Lady Buckinghamshire was quite notorious in her time, so here is her tribute.

Albinia was the lovechild of Lord Bertie and the illegitimate Anne Casey. Being the illegitimate child of an illegitimate child, you would think Albinia was very well screwed in the marriage department, especially since she didn't exactly have looks on her side. But as luck would have it she ended up marrying the wealthy George Hobart, 3rd Earl of Buckinghamshire, a politician and ambassador. By all accounts, Albinia was a good wife of nobility; that is she was able to give the Earl children. She was also very good at entertaining.

Albinia was so good in this department, in fact, she became quite notorious for her gambling parties. Albinia's addiction to the gaming tables made Georgiana's look like a trip to the playground. Because Albinia was a society hostess she was a well known member of the gentry, but it was her love of faro that made her a celebrity. Albinia and her gambling lady friends were always attacked in satirical prints because of their over the top gambling parties. When Lord Chief Justice Kenyon promised to be a bit of a gambling-czar and punish even "the highest ranks of society" who were convicted of illicit gambling with physical punishment or jail time, all eyes turned to Lady Buckinghamshire's gaming tables. No one actually believed Kenyon's threat. Rightly so, for when Albinia was charged and found guilty of running her faro table and taking in a little too much money on it (she was a cheater) she received a slap on the wrist, a fine.

Albinia continued to gamble and be over the top in all aspects of her life, be it gaming, clothing, or the society she kept. She died, unapologetic in 1816.

For a dose of just how lampooned the popular countess was by satirical artists, check out the Nation Gallery's collection of depictions of her here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How-To's for the Modern Tart

These are books that aren't entirely topical, but I couldn't resist posting them, because they just look so good! The first is one I've been dying to get my hands on ever since Eliza Ward recommended it, How to Live Like a Lady. This is a book on modern etiquette and how to be an all-around classy tart.

The other book foils it; in that it is less of an instructional guide on class and more of a confirmation of your fabulous potential. It is also by a notorious tart who also just happens to be a pig. The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Men Frogs Do was sitting on a shelf at Target just calling to me. If there's one person to dish advice to the ambitious and posh ladies of today, Miss Piggy is that person pig for the job!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mrs. Clive

A lovely reader, Kate, found this epilogue of the glorious Kitty Clive, the feisty Irish actress. Kitty closed her play at the Exeter Mercury Theatre with this little piece in 1763, six years before she officially retired. I think you will find the personalized epilogue witty and representative of the times and their values.

LADIES! methinks I hear you all complain,
Lord! Here's the talking creature come again.
The men seem frighted -- for ‘tis on record,
A prattling female will have the last word.
But you're all out; for sure as you’re alive,
Not Mrs. Friendly now, but Mrs. Clive.
No character from fiction will I borrow;
But, if you please, I'll talk again tomorrow.
Then you conclude, from custom long in vogue,
That I come here to speak an epilogue,
With satire, humour, spirit, quite refined,
Double entendre, too, with wit combined;
Not for the ladies, but to please the men:
All this you guess -- and now you're out again.
For to be brief -- our author had me say,
She try’d -- but cou’dn't get one to her play.
No epilogue! Why ma'am you'll spoil your treat;
An Epilogue is the Cordial after Meat;
For when the feast is done, without all Question,
They’ll want liqueors [sic], to help them to Digestion:
And Critics, when they find the banquet light,
Will come next time with better appetite;
So, make your friends to write, for faith ‘tis hard,
If, ‘mongst them all, you cannot find one bard,
She took the hint -- Will you, good sir? Or you, sir?
A sister Scribbler – sure you can’t refuse her!
Some Lawyers try’d – not one cou’d make an end on’t,
They’d now such Work with Plaintiff & Defendant.
A Poet try’d; but he alledg’d for Reason,
The Muses were so busy at this Season
In penning Libels, Politics, and Satires,
They had’nt [sic] Leisure for such trifling Matters.
What’s to be done, she cry’d? Can’t you endeavour
To say some pretty Thing? – I know you’re clever,
I promis’d, - but, unable to succeed,
Beg you’ll accept the Purpose for the Deed.
Tho’ after three long hours in playhouse coop’d,
I fear you’ll say – you’ve all been finely dup’d.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Sale

It looks like Ingrid Mida from Fashion is My Muse now has an Etsy site. Currently, she has three of her amazing works up for sale. If you don't want to miss the opportunity to own one of her beautiful original creations (for a very fair price), check out her Etsy Shop now!

Monday, June 15, 2009


"I often think that this cannot be the 18th C in which we live at present, for ancient history can hardly produce anything more barbarous and cruel than our neighbours in France."

-Queen Charlotte

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tart of the Week: Laetitia Pilkington

The witty Laetitia van Lewen was born in 1709 in Ireland to a well-standing family. At the ripe age of sixteen Laetitia met a priest for the Anglican, Church of Ireland and the two were married. His name was Matthew Pilkington. Almost as soon as Laetitia was married, she and her new husband became acquainted with Jonathon Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels.

Swift, already a noted talent, was taken with the young couple and they spent many a night together discussing this and that. He notice Laetitia's knack for poetry and encouraged the skill. He, himself was inspired by the couple. He fondly dubbed Laetitia "her Serene Highness of Lilliput." So fond was Mr. Swift of the Pilkingtons that he was able to get Matthew a good job in London. Laetitia stayed in Ireland with Mr. Swift humming and hawing over her grammar and refining her poetic speech.

When Laetitia visited her husband in London a couple years later, she was disgusted to find that he had fallen in love with a Drury Lane actress and had involved himself in shady political schemes. Laetitia made the best of her new situation in London and networked with both those of the fashionable set and writers. After putting up with her husband's affair, Laetitia embarked on her own amorous adventure, with William Adair. Matthew came home early one night to discover the two alone in her bedroom. Uh-oh! He promptly filed for divorce.

Not only did the pricey and time-consuming divorce separate the married couple but it also estranged them from Jonathon Swift. The stuffy author did not want to be associated with a separated couple. He now dubbed Laetitia the "profligate whore." Harsh.

After the divorce, Laetitia, now with little money, dove into her work. She wrote and published poems, feminist prologues, and operas. Her writings helped her survive, although she did land in debtor's prison at one point. Her talent also introduced her to other great minds of the time. She famously became friends with Colley Cibber and put her wit on display in her book, Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, Comedian. Her most popular work, which was to make her famous was her Memoirs. She was never to see her work completed. Laetitia died from a bleeding ulcer in 1750 while writing the third volume of her Memoirs. Her son would later complete the volumes by having the last, and unfinished volume published four years after his mother's death.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eighteenth Century Gossip...Commercial!

I'm not a fan of MTV (so as soon as this clip goes on Youtube, I'm there) and I haven't the faintest on who Alexa Chung is (or why she gets her own show) but this is a fun clip from her new ad campaign. Extra points if you can identify the gossipy ladies in the commercial!

Note: If you can't view the video because MTV is ridiculous, you might want to just click on the links in included in the text to see it. I guess MTV only pretends to share, and you can only take Hanes ads for so long.

Georgiana on Irish Women

In a letter to her mother Georgiana brought up the difference between wild Irish roses and English roses:
"I do not mean that Irish ladies are less virtuous, but their educations are coarser, and in language and manner an Irishwoman even of good essential conduct will allow herself what wd frighten an English fille. Swearing is common, and if angry they will not only write but publish against each other, and go into any lengths, which we are too well bred to think of. Long ago an Irish lady, in telling a friend of mine a story which really did her honor, enterlarded it with so many 'upon my souls' and 'the devil would have it' that the English woman was quite frightened."

When Lady Spencer wrote back, she and her Irish daughter-in-law, Lavinia, were together and she wrote to say that they both agreed with Georgiana's observations and that they weren't exaggerated.
I now have a new excuse for my sailor's mouth!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Book/Zombie News

I just got word that might excite the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fans out there. The good people at Quirk Books will be coming out with a hardcover edition in November that is up for pre-order now. But it's not just any hardcover edition, its a Deluxe Heirloom Edition which will tell all visitors who enter your personal library "I'm sophisticated" and "I have good taste." As you can see by the sticker, the book contains 30% more zombies. That 30% is in the form of new colour illustrations. How exciting!


I was also able to get my hands on a sneak preview in the form of one of the colour illustrations. I am delighted to find the depictions more accurate...fashion-wise. Zombie-slaying in white muslin gowns, why of course! Although, I'm sure the stains are impossible to get out.

Tartly Books on Sale

Why must I grace the pages of Amazon? Why must they have such fabulous savings and even more insane prices from third party sellers? They must be put on earth to drain my bank account...and yours. I noticed a vast amount of books on some past tarts are on sale. These are the deals I've been eying; you know how I love to share the wealth...so to speak.

(I'm also going to be lazy and just post these in quick link boxes for when I finally end up buying them all so excuse the aesthetic offense)

Maria Fitzherbert by James Munson: This hardcover on the Prince of Wale's Secret wife is at my library so I'm hoping to resist it's charms but you can get it on Amazon Marketplace for as low as $4.

A Royal Affair by Stella Tillyard: This looks appealing for two reasons, it's by Stella Tillyard, authors of Aristocrats, and it contrasts the prudish nature of George III with his "scandalous siblings." That means lots of dirt on Queen Caroline Matilda.

The Unruly Queen by Flora Frasier: The name alone is appealing. The unruly queen in this case is Caroline of Brunswick who was barely a queen before she mysteriously died.

The First Lady Diana by Victoria Massey: This book on Lady Diana the saucy aristocrat has books starting at 63 cents.

Charlotte & Leopold by James Chambers: If you're in the mood for some regency romance there is the story of Princess Charlotte and Leopold. Charlotte was the tragic only-child of the Prince of Wales and Caroline of Brunswick.

England's Mistress by Kate Williams: I have heard that this is a scathing version of Emma Hamilton's tale which may just be as close to a bodice-ripper as a historical biography can get.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Know the Proper Address

All those titles of nobles can get a bit confusing and overwhelming. You have to know the proper form of address if you ever ran into one on your daily constitutional at St James. How embarrassing to make that social faux pas!

Let's review!

The King: Your Majesty and thereafter, Sire
The Queen: Your Majesty and thereafter, Ma'am
The Prince of Wales and other princes: Your Royal Highness, and thereafter, Sir
Princess Royal and other princesses: Your Royal Highness, and thereafter, Ma'am
A grandchild of a Prince without a tile: Lord Firstname or Lady Firstname

Duke and Duchess: Your Grace
Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron, or Lord of Parliament: My Lord, Your Lordship or Lord X
Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, Baroness: My Lady, Your Ladyship, or Lady X
Baroness in her own right: My Lady, Your Ladyship, Lady X, or Baroness X
Baronet and Knight: Sir or Sir Firstname
Baronetess in her own right and Dame: Madame or Dame Firstname
Baronet and Knight's wife: My Lady or Lady X
Lady (knighted): My Lady or Lady Firstname

Elder Sons of Dukes, Marquesses, and Earls: My Lord, Lord X
Heir-Apparent of a Scottish Duke,Marquess, or Earl: Sir, Master
Heiress-Apparent of a Scottish Duke, Marquess, or Earl: Madam, Mistress
Younger sons of a Duke: My Lord or Lord Firstname
Younger daughters of a Duke: My Lady or Lady Firstname
Earl's younger son and sons of viscounts, barons, and the Lord of Parliament (Hon. titles): Sir or Mr. X
Earl's younger daughter and daughters of viscounts, barons, and the Lord of Parliament (Hon. titles): Madam or Miss/Mrs. X

Easy right? Oh but wait, it looks like some of the clergy are also enjoying the weather. Do you know the proper form of address for them? It would be awful to insult a man of the cloth.

Archbishop: Your Grace, Archbishop
Bishops: My lord, Bishop
Dean, Provost, Archdeacon, Prebendary, or Canon: by their titles (ie: Provost)
Priest: Mr. X or Father
Deacon: Deacon or Mr. X

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Georgie!

It's our favourite Duchess' birthday today! June 7 marks the 252nd anniversary of her Grace's birth. So now that you know, get out there and party like a duchess! Bring out the chips and cards, pink champagne, and your newest garb and paint the town red. Lauren and I will be at a bridal shower celebrating other things but the night is young and Georgie's birthday doesn't end until midnight. Just be weary of those faro tables!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gossip: Jane Austen Faux Pas!

A certain author with her degree in English Literature made a curious mistake in her book Tw---t, in the form of a reference to Jane Austen's books being "late eighteenth century."

The Gossip:
Mrs. Rat finds it strange that although some of Miss Austen's manuscripts were written at this time, her books are distinctly early nineteenth century. She also wonders how the publishers didn't pick up on this faux pas, they supposedly being bibliophiles.

Mrs. Brown kindly suggests that it is the main character's error, being a ignorant adolescent. She also thinks Mrs. Rat secretly likes Tw---t.

Mrs. Rat firmly denies the later accusation, she was merely bored at work.

Tart of the Week: Harriette Wilson

Like her predecessor, Mary Robinson, before her Harriette Wilson became famous for her sex appeal, tenacity, and her uncanny ability to blackmail.
Born in 1786, Hariette Dubouchet, teeters on being an official 18th century tart since most of work was done during the Regency period. But I will not let that disqualify her from her prestigious title, especially since this blog is more about the long 18th century. Harriette grew up surrounded by the sounds of constant ticking, her father being a Swiss clockmaker who set roots in England. She was also surround by her fourteen siblings. So like many people born into a large family, she was eager to get out.

Perhaps when her father changed their name to Wilson, in 1801, Harriette saw the change as an opportunity to start anew, and escape a mundane existence. She was no beauty and had little education. But what she lacked she made up in determination. By the time Harriette was fifteen she found the means to escape out of her crowded, ticking home. She became the mistress of Lord William Craven, the son of lovable Lady Craven; and so launched her career as courtesan which would also tempt three of her sisters to follow in her footsteps.

Harriette turned out to be a natural. In fact, I would go so far as to say she was born a couple of decades too early and should have had her heyday at the same time as Elizabeth Armistead, Grace Elliott, Perdita and the Bird of Paradise. Just like these famous courtesans of the 1770-80s, Harriette partied hard, was wracked with debt, was followed in the press, and was the most sought after woman. Not to mention, she also became the mistress of, you guessed it, the Prince of Wales. Many famous men entered the bed of Harriette and many more sought it out. While she spent her money unwisely, Hariette used her position wisely by feverishly educating herself every chance she got. She also became a fashion icon of her time, and was known to be very picky when it came to what to wear, on both her and her men.

But fame can not last forever. Harriette bowed out and retired in her thirties, and debts began piling up. What's a girl to do? Time to write a tell-all memoir which discusses all the famous men she slept with and ever some dirt on other ladies of society. She sent letters to everyone mentioned in her manuscript asking for a mere 200 pounds to have their names blacked out. This caused quite the ordeal among politicians, noblemen, and anyone else who was a household name. Although, it really shouldn't have considering just about everyone had slept with Harriette. One of the people who refused to pay for her silence was the celebrated Duke of Wellington who famously backfired at her, "publish and be damned." Ooo those sound like fighting words to me! She published alright, and next to the Duke of Wellington's name was this little tid-bit, "[he] has sighed over me and groaned over me by the hour..." Me-ow!

When she died in 1845 Harriette had just converted to Catholicism. One of her few mourners was her old fling, Henry Brougham, former Lord Chancellor, who arranged her funeral.
Harriette remains proof that the pen is mightier than the sword, or at least, just as scary.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Georgie Advice

I can't help but draw some attention to Danielle de la Mont's post today.

I know that whilst shopping I have often thought "Oh this is so Georgiana" or even "Perdita would be all over this!" Well, Danielle must be in the same mindset because she did a post on some Georgiana-inspired ensembles of her own creation. I have to say, she picked out some fabulous outfits that I believe Georgiana would approve of! But remember, it is all about Goya and Louis XV this season! At least of you're Lauren or I anyway. Of course, G Cavendish fashion is quite timeless!

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to get totally distracted on polyvore.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Furnishing a Virtual Chatsworth

I'm going to nerd out a bit, and veer a little off-subject but I can't contain myself. The Sims 3 comes out today with promises of endless creativity. You can get all the good information from the site but I thought I might point out some things that might interest the regular readers...or at least the ones who play The Sims.

One of things I find interesting about the game is how extravagant and creative people can get. The picture above displays some of the clothing people created (for The Sims 2) outside the actual game. Although my nerdiness/love of the game is very strong I never got into creating my own people or furniture from scratch. The Sims 3 makes it even easier to customize your sims and their environment. By the looks of things, you can alter physical features to make close replications of real people; or at least closer than in past versions of the game.

For those interested in building and designing their own Versailles, while ignoring that pile of dishes in the sink; I have already discovered a nice set of rococo-esque furniture on the site. These can be custom upholstered to your liking as well, imagine the possibilities.

I know the audience here is probably a little more mature than me *blush* (yes, there's just some things I'll never grow out of, video games being number one). But this art historian does need some mindless distraction...plus I owe myself a birthday present! Maybe you do too?

Monday, June 1, 2009


"If a man were known to have a connection with [Margaret Caroline Rudd], it would sink him."

-Sir Joshua Reynolds