Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lady Lucy Talks Georgiana

They say that the means of differentiating celebrities from historical figures is that historical figures' names will last forever where as celebrities ignite and then fizzle out, gradually becoming forgotten through time.  Georgiana was an undeniable celebrity and did sort of fade into obscurity, but was never forgotten!

Evidence of this: Lady Lucy Cavendish's personal diary.  This Victorian lady, like our Georgie, married into the Cavendish clan.  It was only a matter of time before their paths would cross, so to speak.

Denise at Lady Lucy Cavendish Diary Blog was kind enough to inform me when Georgiana's name appeared in the diary.  She is quite the blog-mistress, putting all the diary entries in blog form for our convenience and for free!  Methinks, I need a few more rare books to be put into blog form.  In 1871 lady Lucy wrote of Georgiana's child-like enthusiasm, expressed in a letter soon after her marriage.

I can't help but be reminded of Georgiana's book, The Sylph which is a reflective semi-autobiographical tale about a country girl marrying into the aristocracy when Lucy talks of "how there was no fear but that she would be happy in a simple country life." I especially enjoyed the easily offended Victorian sensibilities being triggered at the thought of Bess and the Duke!  Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Georgiana's Grandchildren

When Georgiana died in 1806 only one of her three (four, including her illegitimate daughter Eliza Courtney) children were married.  Georgiana lived to see her eldest daughter, Little G, marry and begin having children.  Little G would end up bearing twelve children, all who would survive until adulthood.  Quite amazing, especially when one considers how difficult it had been for her mother to have children.  Georgiana got to play the proud grandmother to Little G's first four children but was never to meet her other sixteen grandchildren.

Little G's Boundless fertility made up for her brother's lack of any offspring; Hart never married.  Harryo, the middle child, would have four children with her husband.  Her illegitimate daughter, Eliza Courtney married well and had four surviving children.  Let's meet some of them.

George Howard (1802-1864) followed in his uncle's footsteps and was more interested in his books and achievements than settling down to married life.

Lady Georgiana Howard (1804-1860) married a hunk.

Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard (1806-1868) was born shortly after her grandmother's death and seems to of inherited many of her grandmother's qualities.  She was a society hostess and BFF to Queen Victoria, serving as one of her Mistresses of the Robes.

Lady Blanche Georgiana Howard (1812- 1840) would follow in her grandmother's footsteps by marrying a future Duke of Devonshire.  Sadly though, she didn't live to become a Duchess of Devonshire for her husband received the title after her death.  Her uncle Hart outlived her.

Lady Elizabeth Dorothy Anne Howard (1816-1891) married the son of Earl Grey, Georgiana's former lover.

Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville (1815-1891) became a famous politician whose career spanned over half a century.  Not too surprising, when you consider his lineage. 

Eliza Ellice (1818-1899) despite being descended from an illegitimate child found herself a peeress as the Viscountess Hampden of Glynde.

Sir Charles Henry Ellice (1823-1888) was a successful army general.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hunk Alert: George, Baron Dover

SWM, Politician, lover of humanities seeking fellow lover of the humanties
Likes: Art, writing, keeping up with friends

Many were surprised by my decision to go into politics, for I have a much keener interest in the liberal arts.  However I like to use my position to support those things which I enjoy so much.  I am a big fan of art and literature.  I also have a firm belief for fighting for the 'little guy' and tend to be labeled as a liberal politician.  I'm also quite 'green,' and was appointed First Commissioner of Woods and Forests.

It is only natural for me to want to find a like-minded companion.  While I'm not necessarily interested in a politically-minded lady, a liberally-minded wife who enjoys the every-day fireside chat about the latest book would be wonderful.  If you also have an appreciate for the great outdoors, I'm as good as yours!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yay or Nay? Earl of Charlemont

I thought I throw you all a wild card last week and the results were kinder than I expected.  Although I did expect a overwhelming rejection of Matilda Stoughton de Jaudenes' potted plant hat, you were all able to see beyond that and her her over-accessorizing, and gave her a Yay.  She could have used a best friend to slap the extra baubles out of her hand (or hair, really) couldn't she?  Enough of that frivolity, it's been a while since we examined some menswear, hasn't it?

Pompeo Batoni paints James Caulfeild (1753) in his colorful gold-trimmed 'I'm-traveling-in-Italy outfit.'  Yay or Nay?

[Yale Center for British Art]

Friday, July 23, 2010

Naughtiness Immortalized...Repeatedly

Oh Sir Francis, you rogue!

Sir Francis Dashwood has quite the reputation for his debaucheries.  Being somewhat of a king of the Hell-fire clubs and a outspoken scorner of everything sacred, Sir Francis liked to see how much mischief he could get away with.  Most of his mischief was carried out in the privacy of his own home or among a secret society so how could Sir Francis spread the word around of his dubious reputation?  Why immortalizing it in a portrait of course!

Portraits were a rarity to everyday folks and normally to have an artist immortalize you in oils you wanted to look your best so that past generations would remember you as such.  This is how Sir Francis wanted us to remember him as:

I'll let your form your own impressions.

As if the 1750s portrayal wasn't outlandish enough, Sir Francis not one but twice had himself portrayed as Saint Francis which was one step away from blasphemous, given Sir Francis' reputation for renouncing God every chance he got.  One of the portrayals can be found on a sign in the caves of his West Wycombe estate.  The other portrayal was done by his good friend, William Hogarth, and shows Dashwood kneeling before a vision of a sprawled out naked woman with a pile of questionable looking fruit at his knees.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marking Colonies with Swizzles

It's hot outside and you can only drink so many baybreezes and pina coladas before you need a new fun summer drink. How about an old 18th century one?

Rum Swizzle
1 shot of dark rum (although 2 of malibu rum couldn't hurt anyone)
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce orange juice
A splash of falernum

Shake with ice in martini shaker or blend and pour into your most 18th century-looking glassware. Garnish with lime or orange slice and cherry.

Yum yum! The swizzle is Bermuda's national drink (there are national drinks??) and if you have the great fortune of visiting the island paradise your trip cannot be complete without visiting the Swizzle Inn which is an adorable little pub that specializes in, you guessed it, swizzles.

Funnily enough the swizzle seems to colonize as well as the British Empire. In 1760 the people of Fort Ticonderoga were guzzling down swizzles in between battles of the French and Indian War. Later, in the following century, the swizzle appeared in various islands such as Saint Kitts, Barbados, Saint Thomas, and the Virgin Islands. Of course, the drink was also being enjoyed in England at the time as well, but one can only imagine the variety of ways the drink was prepared over time and borders.

So now that you have your new summer drink I will will leave with the parting words that are the Swizzle Inn's motto: "Swizzle Inn, swagger out!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Three Graces Brings Authentic Georgian Jewelry to Your Fingers

I've been meaning to buy myself a ring lately, a single lady ring if you will. So naturally my search began in the totally unrealistic category for my price range and I wandered over to one of my old internet haunts The Three Graces.

This online jewelry site specializes in antique jewelry but saying it specializes in historical jewelry wouldn't be inaccurate. You can actually select which time period you would like your bauble to be from, starting with the Georgian age! And what a gorgeous collection they have, you will flit away the day scrolling through the wide variety of adornments they have up for sale.

As for that special ring, I now know which one to get:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yay or Nay? Matilda Stoughton de Jaudenes

Last week we had quite the conundrum of masquerade dress.  I thoroughly enjoyed Alisa's comment about how the mixing of too many beautiful themes creates an ugly outcome. It seems as though many felt the same way and Jekaterina Samojłowa was given a Nay, although, to her credit, not an overwhelming one. This week I will deliver you from the poofs which plagued you!

Gilbert Stuart paints Matilda Stoughton de Jaudenes (1794) in her very plant-like attire complete with spangles, ruffles, feathers, bangles, sparkles, and feathers.  Yay or Nay?

[Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Friday, July 16, 2010

Country Homes: Chiswick

Location: Hounslow
Famous Inhabitants: Georgiana

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chatsworth Garage Sale? Yes Please

I love waking up to good news!  This morning caroline Ing and joana lamas alerted me to the grandest of sales which I think we can all appreciate.  The current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire need to do a little spring cleaning (probably after all those recent renovations) and have commissioned Sotheby's to clean out their attic and auction off a good amount of the treasures they find in there.  This comes right after Georgiana's childhood home Althorp, had their auction.  You, yes you, can now own literally, a piece of Chatsworth.  I say literally because I saw a few door frames in there.  

You can view the lot on 1-4 of October this year and the sale begins after that from 5-7 October.  It even appears that there might be a few Georgiana-related goodies, especially since some of the items are rescued pieces from Devonshire House (Georgie's true haunt).  But for now I will take the tea set.

Sotheby's Upcoming Auctions

BBC News in Pictures: Chatsworth's "attic sale"

Mail Online (which has a lot about how the sale relates to Georgiana)

Matlock Mercury

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Fan Fit for a Duchess

For any big fans of The Duchess, the savvy Lauren located an article of interest.  This is a fan from the movie, with a print of Knightly in the form of Gainsborough's famous image of Georgiana.  Of course she has to have her mouth gaping open (in a sexy manner?) which is really ludicrous; but I digress.  What is pretty cool about this fan is that it shows the attention of detail that went into the movie.  I never even noticed the people in the crowd holding them!  When Georgiana canvassed in the 1784 Westminster Election fans were made with her and Charles James Fox's images on them.  Although I have yet to see if any of them remain today, this prop has got to be pretty close to what they would have looked like.  Check it out Although I have yet to see if any of them remain today, this prop has got to be pretty close to what they would have looked like.  Check it out here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yay or Nay? Jekaterina Samoilova

Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff pleased everyone last week with her saucy outfit and ability not to get pheasant guts on it (thank you Paul)!  The panel gave her a nice big Yay.  This week our gown in question will take us from country walks to nights at the Panthon.

Jan Baptysta Lampi paints Jekaterina Samojłowa (1794) in her mixed up (and poofy) masquerade garb.  Yay or Nay?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tart of the Week: Georgiana Fawkener Townshend

Another famous victim of a bad aristocratic marriage was Georgiana's own cousin, Georgiana Poyntz.  Georgiana, or 'Jockey' was born in 1763, the second of seven children who all had the Poyntz longevity.  Jockey had the misfortune of being the first daughter presented with a marriage opportunity.  The lucky man was the boring William Fawkener who was rich and therefore a perfect match for Jockey in her parents' eyes.  Jockey, however, was disgusted by the man and made her disinterest known.  Sadly though, she was forced into the marriage. 

Jockey took her mind off her unhappy marriage by spending time with her friends.  Too bad Jockey's friends had a reputation as being the 'bad crowd,' Jockey hung out with her cousins at Devonshire House. It was there that she met the rather dashing and witty Whig, Lord John Townshend.  The two fell for each other and felt comfortable enough in the lax environment of the Devonshire Set to enter into a hot and heavy affair.  By 1786 the two could no longer take the strain of the affair and revealed themselves which created some major dramz.

Fawkener flew into a fury upon realizing he had been cuckolded.  He actually even accused Georgiana of aiding the couple in their adultery.  Georgiana was enraged at the accusation and her husband was equally as upset, writing to Fawkener to stop pointing the finger at his innocent wife.  Fawkener then accused Lord Melbourne of having something to do with the affair, resulting in a duel (which he lost but not at the price of his life).  Meanwhile Jockey's parent's and aunt kept her prisoner in their home, trying to force her to give up Townshend.  Jockey never relented. 

If Fawkener was a clever man with a mind for revenge, he would have kept his married to Jockey.  However, he gave his wife exactly what she was looking for.  Fawkener sued for Crim Con (in which the Duke of Devonshire testified at the trial- I'm sure he loved that) and then had Parliament grant him a divorce.  Jockey and Lord Townshend promptly married.  Although Jockey caused a scandal, alienating herself from polite circles, I would say she found an even more advantageous marriage than her parents could get her; now she had a title!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Georgian Nom Nom Delights

Jean wrote to me recently alerting me to two 18th century recipes she recently put on her blog.  Evil, I know, especially during bathing suit season!  But I suppose Vic at Jane Austen's World is equally at fault for this, for it was she who requested them.  Shame on you both!

*Wipes unlady-like drool from chin*

Pound Cake and Trifle are both positively English and  haven't changed too much since their genesis in our favourite century.  Check out the recipes for both scrumptious deserts at The Delightful Repast.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Country Homes: Hartwell House

Location: Buckinghamshire
Famous Inhabitants: Marie Therese (daughter of Marie Antoinette)
Website: Hartwell House

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fashionable Contrasts

Gillray's print, Fashionable Contrasts may be familiar to many of you. But whose feet are those?

This was the satirical artist's marriage gift/big English welcome to Princess Frederica when she married Prince Frederick (Duke of York). Yup, as if it weren't cruel enough to be named Fred, the couple now each had a spouse also named Fred. Frederica had notably dainty feet, which was apparently easy fuel for Gillray's satirical fire. But were her feet really that tiny? Sources say they were a mere 5.5 inches long. That would be the equivalent to about a children's shoe size 7 (US). Given, Frederica was reportedly pretty short even for the 18th century but she became quite famous for her tiny toes.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yay or Nay? Ernestine von Weissenwolff

'Drab' was on the majority's mind when Juliana Maria showed up in her white Brunswick. Although it was a close call, she was met with a Nay. Better luck next time your majesty. We'll continue judging our women's wear this week while ignoring any menswear that may have jumped into the matter how fabulous the boots.

Martin van Meytens paints Ernestine Aloisia Ungnad von Weissenwolff (1760) in her heavily embroidered blue and ivory gown. Yay or Nay?

[Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Presenting... His HIghness

I have Miss Honnete to thank for what I imagine is soon to be my latest obsession. I know I am quite possibly to be the last to know about my new favourite macaroni, not being a subscriber to America's Got Talent. Luckily, crafty reader, Miss Honnete clued me in and sent me the following Youtube video which I was just about to become bored with...until he stepped into the picture.

Fortuitously, I didn't have to do much further internet sleuthing because his highness has his own website. Enjoy!