Friday, April 27, 2012

As Seen in the Papers

Lady Salisbury graced the Opera on Saturday evening, though an envious fan, which however is certainly not without its use, almost secluded her from the view of the audience.

True Briton, May 6, 1793

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Father's Legacy to His Daughters, Conduct and Behaviour

If there was a foil to Fordyce's Sermons it would certainly be A Father's Legacy to His Daughters by Dr John Gregory.  This conduct book was written out of love for two daughters from a man who knew his death was near.  It has some refreshing and "Aww"-worthy bits of advice that young ladies of the 1770s.

"If, while a gentleman is speaking to you, one of superior rank addresses you, do not let your eager attention and visible preference betray the flutter of your heart...Consider that you expose yourseves to the ridicule of the company, and affront one gentleman, only to swell the triumph of another, who perhaps thinks he does you honour in speaking to you."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pippa Attends 18th Century French Ball

Ahh, Pippa Middleton, what a life! As if we didn't lust after her playgirl lifestyle enough (but maybe not the cameras that come with it) this past weekend she was canoodling with hot vicomtes at a saucy eighteenth-century themed ball.  The designer most sought-after by these young debutantes? Leg AvenueClassy!  Apologies for coming off a bit snippety, this is out of sorrow that my invitation was lost in the post.  I should ease up on the snark.  ALTHOUGH, Ms Middleton made one fatal mistake.

That hair!!

Pippa, we know you come from a regal line of lovely locks, and you and your sister share the same signature look in that regard.  But Girl, look to you left, now look to your right.  Do you see those fabulous coiffures complete with feathers and even powder?  Those betches are outshining you, and that's just not right!  Oh and I don't care if this isn't your "thing," you should go all-in to themed parties or not at all.  What I see here is a missed opportunity, one that there may not be another opportunity to correct!

Mail Online

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Anon. The breeches in the Fiera Maschereta, 1775

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Depicting the Duke of Devonshire

When it comes to images of Canis, otherwise known as William Duke of Devonshire, there is generally one that floats around on the web by Batoni showing the Duke on his grand tour adventure. And let's all be honest, most of you probably looked at it and went, "How did he get all that eighteenth-century tail?!"  Which is a totally legitimate question being that the Duke lacked social skills to be smooth with the ladies.  He just looks a bit plain and awkward.  When Anton von Maron painted him at the age of 20 the result was also pretty bad.
Hart would write almost 80 years later that the painting of his father was "so very bad" that Bess "had it altered by (I believe) Mr Rising, the cleaner of pictures..."  I'm sure it surprises none of you that Bess took charge on that!

But my favorite images of the Duke are the lesser-known ones which, ironically, are by one of the two most famous artists of the time, Joshua Reynolds.  One shows how handsome the Duke was around the time that he married Georgiana.  I believe the painting is in bad condition now, but you get a good idea from the print (love that coat!):
However my favorite of the two is rarely seen due to it being hidden away in a private collection.  It shows the Duke at age 19 or 20 although he looks much older and more sophisticated

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mother Knows Best

"...but let me take this opportunity, my dear Georgiana, to intreat you to put a total stop to a practice that hurts my feelings because it so greatly injures you.  I mean till your affairs are completely settled not to spend any money (however tifling the sum) idly.  Your finely bound books pain me more than I can describe.  Even the most common books, the rarest print, or whatever may most claim your wishes to purchase, you should steadily deny yourself..."
-Lady Spencer
6 September 1805