Wedding Day of the Dauphin

April 26, 2015 at 11:36 am (entertainment, europe, history) (, , , )

Am getting some good feedback about the Thames Panorama post! It is an exquisite “find” isn’t it?!?

While working on looking for a FRENCH Marriage in 1821, I came across another site, quite “glossy”, which I also invite Two Teens readers to dip into:

versailles centuries

Searching for “wedding” and “versailles”, as you can see, brought up the Wedding of the Dauphin Louis and Marie-Antoinette. Bit more regal a wedding than the plebeian one _I_ was searching about. Always of interest, though, because of my love of Austria – homeland (should I say Heimat) of Maria Antonia, daughter of Maria Theresia, the Empress under whom Mozart lived (though she was “not a fan” of his…).

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You’re Invited: Fashion in 1811 Project

January 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm (europe, fashion, history, news) (, , , , , , , , )

Serendipitous Stitchery recently announced a year-long project:


Four costume historians will update monthly the news of fashions in 1811 from:

  • Journal des Luxus und der Moden
  • Journal des Dames et des Modes
  • La Belle Assemblee
  • Ackermanns Repository

JANUARY 1811 is up! Click on the picture for more information on the project, as well as to see and read about London / Paris / Weimar Fashions from January 1811.

Fabulous Project!

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Adele: Someone Like You

July 22, 2012 at 5:12 am (entertainment, people, places) (, , , , , , )

Listening to this, it caught my imagination that so many of the words could (perhaps?) describe the feelings that might have run through Mary Gosling’s mind when it was announced that Charles Smith was to marry Belinda Colebrooke.

Charles proposed, witnessed by Caroline Wiggett, in Paris, near the end of the family’s year abroad (1822-1823). Charles and Belinda married in October, 1823.

I heard … that you found a girl and you’re married now… Old friend, why are you so shy?

For me, it isn’t over.

Who would have known, how bittersweet…?

Mary’s “someone like you” turned out to be Charles himself…

They married in July, 1826.

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On this day

January 27, 2011 at 12:02 am (chutes of the vyne, estates, people, places) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

In 1793, young Eliza Smith (Eliza Chute as she would become in October) is writing in her diary. She is in Great George St, London, her father’s residence:

27 January “…Out in the morning. Admitted at L:y Arden’s Mrs Jelfe & L:y Cunliffe… Farquhar came to Fanny  We read together 2 vol. of the Benevolent Quixote a novel  Alone I began Mad:e de Sévigné’s letters & read Pope’s Moral essays”

My favorite mentions in this entry are Lady Cunliffe — who was mother to Eliza and Mary Cunliffe, the future mother and aunt of my Mary Gosling; and of Madame de Sévigné — whose letters I have read with great interest. Madame’s old Paris home is now the Musee Carnavalet, which, alas, I appreciated more for her past presence than for its value as a history of Paris museum. (The Wikipedia entry has a link to some evocative photos!)

Eliza Chute’s own London home, in Great George Street, was a former home of another national museum: the “infant” National Portrait Gallery. See details (and some wonderful pictures of this demolished residence) at British History Online.

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Lady Travellers

September 5, 2010 at 11:08 am (books, fashion, people, places) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

With so much information, I sometimes find myself flitting from one decade to another; Mark’s diary sent me back to 1798, the early days of marriage, and the victories of Nelson; Angela’s letter catapulted me to Rome in the 1820s, yet sent me looking for information on Rossini’s visit to London in 1824. (Young Augusta writes of his being invited to a party; a most amusing section of this delightful letter!) I have shelves of books; some read long ago, others purchased because their content interested me at one time or they were a fortuitous find. One book I recall breezing through (evidently in August/September 2005; the Alibris packing slip is still in the book) is The Grand Tours of Katherine Wilmot: France 1801-3 and Russia 1805-7, edited by Elizabeth Mavor — author of the only biography of the Ladies of Llangollen; her name on the cover was the reason for this purchase!

Although the Russian journal was interesting, Katherine (c1773-1824) was journalizing for a different reason with the earlier, French, journal: Her brother was the ultimate recipient. In France, she was also a traveller, rather than a house guest (of the formidable Princess Dashkov). Mavor calls the French journals ‘remarkably uninhibited,’ and indeed Katherine speaks with a remarkably modern voice! Makes me a bit more determined to get more written by the women of this family – although I already have the published journals/letters of her sister Martha (1775-1873), for Martha lived in one of my favorite capitals (about which so little is EVER written): Vienna.

Luck was against me when I looked at — but with me when I looked at my preferred site (I love that you can read online or download page the page images of a genuine book) Internet Archive: there is the 1920 publication of these same French journals, under the somewhat misleading title of An Irish Peer on the Continent as Related by Catherine Wilmot (yes, please note that you will find her name spelled both with a ‘C’ as well as with a ‘K’).

Must confess: Funny to see the publisher’s address — Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. Jane Austen’s brother Henry resided for a time in Henrietta Street! Small world. [BTW, Le Faye’s Austen Letters designates Henry’s abode as No. 10, and claims the upper facade to be as it would have looked when Jane stayed there.]

At 227 pages, this earlier publication gives even more of the journals, although (given the title) obviously the focus is supposedly less on Katherine herself and more on her travel-companions, Lord and Lady Mount Cashell. And yet, Katherine, as author, is never far away of course!

So let me share with you some of Katherine’s bon mots, but first let’s set the scene —-

“At this time there were special reasons to draw the world to France. The War of 1793-1801, the first phase of the Napoleonic campaigns, had precluded travelling in that country, and, taking into consideration the disturbances there since 1789, it may be said to have been closed to tourist for almost a decade” [Thomas Sadleir, in his introduction].

It is “An 10” — Year 10, of the new French Calendar.

Paris 24 Nov. 1801 — whoever follows my directions will infallibly find himself precisely where I am this moment, dazzled, delighted, and bewildered by everything I behold. But not to anticipate, I must take you back with me to London every step of the ways, that you may cross from Dover to Calais with all due formality….

The 29th Novr. at 3 o’clock in the morning, we got on board the ‘Countess of Elgin,’ commanded by Captain Sampson, and Lady Mount Cashell smuggled in her suite, Monsieur Amoulin, a young Frenchman, who couldn’t get a passport…. After a desperately rough passage of 5 hours, and a cruel delay before we were permitted to land, occasion’d by our names being written down and reported to the municipality….[W]e were taken to the Custom House, transferr’d from thence to the municipal officers, and then to the examination of the commissaires. They were the most shocking sharks I ever saw altogether; even after trunks, Pocket Books, Writing Cases, Green baize bags, &c., were quietly deliver’d in, they put their hands into our pockets and then felt down our sides, even to our ankles, for contraband commodities….

Monday 30th Novr. …you will laugh at me when I confess to you the flash of transport I experienced in saying to myself ‘I absolutely then am in France,’ and in drawing aside the Curtain of my Bed to prove it to myself, by contemplating the Painted ceiling, the white marble Tables, the looking-glass panels, the polish’d oak floor, and all the little circumstances of difference in the Apartment… I lost my balance — and down I flump’d upon the floor to the utter destruction of all my glorious visions and abhorring those prodigious looking glasses…

Sunday, Dec. 13th, or (as they call it here) le dimanche ce 12me Frimaire, An 10.…a family of the name of Rose walk’d into the room as if they had suddenly step’d off of Pedestals. They were the first French ladies I had seen and such was the dress of the three demoiselles that I thought some of the Statues out of the Louvre had suddenly caught animation, and were come to return the compliments we had paid them in the morning. Nothing could look more like a little ‘Diana’ than Victoire, in light (almost transparent) drapery, no sleeves to her gown but gold chain twisted round the upper part of her Arm, into the form of a bracelet and her neck entirely seen. She was remarkably pretty and wore her hair with a crescent like a goddess. Her two sisters were in the same style, but had their hair twisted into long snaky curls, form their foreheads down to their chins, and greas’d with (what is call’d) Antique oil. Madame, their Mother, was too much en bon point to have such a sylphlike appearance as her daughters. But she did not add to her size by too much covering.

Ah, time for another cup of tea, and maybe a few Licorice All-Sorts (a treat found at TJ Maxx), and a serious read of my new “find”. I’m in the mood to be in France, awaiting a glimpse of Napoleon — though the Mount Cashell party travelled extensively these two years: including to Italy and even to my beloved Vienna.

Oh, before I forget — links to the online books! An Irish Peer and the Wilmot memoirs of Princess Dashkov, vol. 1 and vol. 2. These memoirs had to be smuggled out of Russia as the Wilmots made a hasty leave-taking; a great tale on its own!

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Another Fanny Knight

March 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm (a day in the life) (, , , , , , )

Today, while looking up information on Jane Austen’s niece Fanny Knight, I came across an old — 1960 — article on an entirely different Fanny Knight. The interesting thing here is that she and her parents spent FIVE years on a “Grand Tour”. Their home? New York. VERY interesting reading because this young Fanny spots the likes of Queen Victoria. My favorite line in the article is about her; the Queen, passing in her carriage, “sat there in her pink silk bonnet. One of [the policemen standing nearby] said to Pa: ‘She looks just like a little girl’.”

Beside the Queen rode Prince Albert, the Princess Royal (Vicky), the Prince of Wales (Bertie) and Helena. The year was 1854. Presents a vastly different image from the little Queen all enveloped in black we are used to seeing in photographs!

Mary and Emma, of course, were alive when Victoria first ascended the throne. They were as thrilled as any with gaining a young and vibrant woman as monarch.

I invite you to read about young American Fanny Knight’s trip — though beware of a poor ‘translation’ from magazine (American Heritage) to website. A LOT of mis-read words on behalf of their OCR program. Also: the pictures referred to are not shown; a real loss (you’ll see why, once you read the article).

Find it at American Heritage.

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