Movie Review: Anne Of The Thousand Days

Friday, 22 August 2014

For six years, this year, and this, and this, and this, I did not love him. And then I did. Then I was his. I can count the days I was his in hundreds. The days we bedded. Married. Were Happy. Bore Elizabeth. Hated. Lusted. Bore a dead child... which condemned me... to death. In all one thousand days. Just a thousand. Strange. And of those thousand, one when we were both in love, only one, when our loves met and overlapped and were both mine and his. And when I no longer hated him, he began to hate me. Except for that one day.

I've always been fascinated about Anne Boleyn and have been reading anything I could lay my hands on about her, but when it comes to movies, I tend to procrastinate. It took me almost 32 years to finally watch Anne Of The Thousand Days, the famous movie adapted from a Broadway play of the same name, and when I did, I was somewhat disappointed. It's not bad at all, but I guess, after all the hype, I expected something different... better. I can see why the movie got mixed reviews when it came out because I have mixed feelings about it too.

Let's start with the good. Richard Burton is the best Henry VIII I have ever seen. He just exudes the Tudor monarch from every pore. He perfectly portrays Henry's obsessive lust for Anne, his desperate determination to have a son, and his tendency to blame others for his problems and justify his cruel actions towards them. Had they died his hair red, his transformation would have been complete.

Genevieve Bujold was equally good. Her Anne is fiery and beautiful, not afraid to speak her mind about what she thinks nor to fight for her rights and those of her daughter. You would have never guessed this was her first role in Englis. She is my second favourite Anne Boleyn after Anne Dormer, although that's mostly because of limitations imposed by Bujold's Anne by the script. Whereas Dormer played Anne in a mini series that allowed her character to develop and show all its facets, Bujould had only two hours and a half to portray Anne Boleyn.

Because of that, you don't get to see the vivacious charms, quick wit, and gracefulness that so captivated men. Henry is already captivated by Anne when the movie starts, not giving the viewers any reason about what caught his eye about her other than her beauty. And Anne's wit comes out only to rebuff Henry's advances and makes fun of him, his clumsy attempts at courting her, and his failures to get his first marriage annulled. The movie doesn't even show her interest in religious reform. It was Anne who gave Henry a book arguing for the supremacy of kings over Popes, but in the movie it's actually Cromwell that points that out to him.

Anne Boleyn should be the star of the movie, and although she has many great lines, like the one mentioned at the top of this post, her portrayal only shows us some sides of her character. That's why I felt that this movie was mostly about Henry VIII and his obsessive lust for Anne than Anne herself. Bujold's performance, though, is too good to relegate her Anne in the background.

Because the movie "only" lasted almost two hours and a half, it is quite rushed. Some parts of the movie, such as that about the divorce proceedings, are too condensed, short, and, to someone who's not familiar with the whole story, a little confusing too. There are also quite a lot of inaccuracies. While it's perfectly normal and acceptable for liberties to be taken in movies, there are some of them that are harder for me to forgive. Two examples are Henry's presence at Anne's trial, during which he personally interrogates Mark Smeaton, and his last meeting with Anne while the jury is deliberating. In reality, once Anne was arrested, he never saw her again.

Overall, Anne Of The Thousand Days features brilliant actors that make their characters come to life again, beautiful costumes, and poignant quotes. But it is too rushed, takes too many liberties with history, and, most importantly, doesn't portray all the complex facets of Anne's personality that made her such a fascinating and charming woman and allowed her to both rise so high and fall so low.

Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?

Elizabeth De Burgh

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Born in about 1289, Elizabeth De Burgh was the daughter of Richard, 2nd Earl of Ulster, one of the most powerful Irish nobles and a close friend and staunch supporter of King Edward I of England. That's probably what saved her from the harsh punishments inflicted on the other members of the captured Bruce clan. Elizabeth had married Robert The Bruce, the claimant to the Scottish throne in 1302. It's not clear why. Maybe Edward, who treated Scotland as a vassal state, had arranged the marriage thinking it would guarantee Robert would be loyal to him. Or Robert, who constantly switched alliances during the Scottish Wars of Independence, thought it would be a wise political move.

Whatever the case, Bruce kept his political machinations as well as his fight to regain the Scottish throne alive, and in 1306, he and Elizabeth were crowned King and Queen of Scotland. That didn't really go down well with the English and, shortly after their coronation, Bruce was defeated in battle. In an attempt to protect his family, he sent his wife, his daughter Marjorie, who was born from a previous marriage, and his sisters Christina and Mary, escorted by his brother Niall and the Earl of Atholl, to Kildrummy Castle. They reached it safely, but the castle was besieged and they were forced to flee to the Orkney Islands. But they never made it there. On the way, they sought sanctuary at the small chapel of St. Duthac's at Tain in Ross-shire, thinking that there, they would safe for a little while. But the Earl of Ross didn't care for such niceties. He barged in, seized the women, and sent them to King Edward.

Edward dealt pretty harshly with them. Christina and Marjorie, who was only12 at the time, were kept in solitary confinements in two different monasteries, while Mary was held in an iron and timber cage hanged outside Roxburgh Castle. Elizabeth, instead, was treated more leniently. She was moved from  one residence to the other, including the Tower of London and Shaftesbury in Dorset, but was allowed to keep servants. Their imprisonment lasted 8 years.

On June 24, 1314, Bruce finally defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. Now, he was in a position to bargain and exchanged some English prisoners for his family. Elizabeth was now free to take her rightful place as Queen at her husband's side. The couple had two daughters, Matilda and Margaret, and two sons, John, who died young, and David, who would become King David II of Scotland. Elizabeth died at the Cullen Castle in Banffshire on October 27, 1327.

Further reading:
Scottish QueensS 1034-1714 by Marshall, Rosalind K
The Freelance History Writer

Fashions For 1830 (Part 1)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Hello everyone,

I haven't posted any fashion plates in a while, and it's time to remedy that. I've recently found some lovely ones, including an image with a young mother and her two children. It is quite rare to come across such tender images in fashion illustrations, and I hope you will enjoy it. And the others too!



A Pelisse of fawn-coloured gran de Naples, delicately embroidered in black outline down each side of the front where it closes, as far as to a very broad border of black velvet, which surrounds the skirt next the feet, nearly as high as to the knee; at the head of which is a trimming of light sable, or some other valuable light-coloured fur. The sleeves are a la Donna Maria, and they are trimmed up the outside of the arm, where the sleeve tightens at the cuff, with fur. Round the waist, which is made plain, is a black velvet zone, clasped with a gold brooch. The collar of the pelisse turns back, and is surmounted by a French, double ruff of lace. The bonnet is of black velvet, trimmed with a bow of the same, and three aigrettes of blue corn-flowers and ears of corn; the aigrette in front larger than those on each side. A Chantilly lace veil is worn with this bonnet, which ties under the chin on the right side, with a bow of black satin ribbon. A boa tippet of marten skin is added to this appropriate winter pelisse. The half-boots are of fawn-coloured kid, tipped at the toe with black.


A Dress of pink satin; the border trimmed en jabots, with the same material, each one bordered by a broad, rich, white blond: these ornaments ascend from the hem next the feet, as high as to the knee. The corsage is made quite plain, with a very broad falling tucker of blond. Over short sleeves of pink satin fall long ones of blond, entirely a rimbe'eile, without any confinement. A dress hat of pink satin forms the coiffeure: this is turned up in front, and lightly ornamented with small white ostrich feathers. A superb veil of white blond falls carelessly over each side, and at the back of the hat. The jewellery ornaments worn with this dress are either pink topazes, or Ceylon rubies, set a l'antique, in fillagree gold. The shoes are pink satin, tied en sandales.



A Dress of gaze satinie, the ground rose-colour, the stripes of that peculiar shade of drab-colour which resembles unbleached cambric. The skirt, somewhat more ample than last month, is slightly gored, and trimmed rather below the knee with a fringe of uncommon breadth and beauty. It has an open-worked head, very richly wrought in lozenges. The corsage is cut very low, but not quite square round the bust, being rather higher in the shoulders than evening dresses generally are. Sleeves, a la Sultane; very wide, fastened at the wrist by gold bracelets, and drawn round the arm just above the elbow, by a row of fringe, to correspond with that on the skirt, but narrower. The hair is arranged in loose full curls, which fall low on each side of the face, and parted in the middle to display the forehead and eyebrows. The hind hair is disposed in two very large knots on the crown of the head. A scarf of Circassian gauze, corresponding in colour with the ground of the dress, and fringed at the ends, is tastefully arranged in conques, which are intermixed with the bows of hair. One of the ends falls on the left side to the neck; the other forms a tuft on the right side. The necklace, earrings, and bracelets, worn with this dress, are a mixture of pink topazes and filagree gold. A boa tippet, of the finest sable, is thrown carelessly round the neck. White kid gloves. Slippers, white gros de Naples.


A Gown of gros d'Orient; the colour, vert de Chine; the border of the skirt, which reaches nearly to the knee, cut in double dents, which are corded round the edge with satin. The corsage, cut exceedingly low, and falling much off the shoulder, is crossed before and behind, and disposed in two folds on each side. Short and extremely full sleeve, of the bouffant form, over which is a long and very loose one of gaze AErienne, with a cuff a la Montespan, cut in deep scollops, which turn back from the wrist. The hair is arranged in tirebouchons, which fall as low as the neck on each side of the face. Head-dress, a beret composed of green satin. This is of a very large size, and is ornamented with three esprits; two are placed near the top of the crown on the right side, and one under the brim on the left. Massive gold ear pendants and bracelets, the latter a la Grecque. Necklace, gold and emeralds, with three very large emeralds pendant from the centre. Gros des Indes slippers, en sandales. White kid gloves.



A gros de Naples dress, the colour a shade between lavender and lilac; the corsage sits close to the shape, is made quite up to the throat, and fastens behind imperceptibly. Tight long sleeve, with a very full upper sleeve, which comes nearly to the elbow. The ruffles are of embroidered muslin, and of a new form: they are composed of two rows each, set on full; one turns upwards, the other falls over the hand. A black velvet bracelet, with a gold clasp, divides the ruffle. The trimming of the skirt consists of two rows of very broad rich feather-fringe, corresponding in colour with the dress; the rows placed very near each other. The collarette is worked to correspond with the ruffles: it is of the pelerine form, but of a small size. Morning cap, a high full caul of English lace, the fulness divided by rouleaux of satin, edged with narrow lace. A bouquet of roses is placed rather to the right side, and some single flowers are interspersed among the rouleaux. The strings, which are of broad gauze ribbon, hang loose.


A Pelisse of Indian-red grog de Tours. The corsage is disposed in folds, the sleeve full at the upper part of the arm, and nearly tight at the lower; it is terminated with an ermine cuff. The skirt is bordered with a broad band of ermine; a second band, something narrower, is placed at some distance above it. A black velvet bonnet, worn over a white lace cornette; the form of the bonnet is somewhat between the French capote and the English cottage bonnet. It is trimmed with an intermixture of black velvet and geranium-coloured satin nemds; the strings, and it single noeud, which ornaments the inside of the brim, are of the latter material. Morocco leather half boots; slate-coloured gloves; boa tippet of ermine.


A black velvet gown, the corsage made to sit close to the shape. It is cut very low round the bust, and fastens behind imperceptibly. The back is of rather more than the usual breadth. Blond lace sleeve over one, en beret, of white satin; the sleeve, which is very wide, is terminated by a velvet cuff, finished at the upper edge by a single point . The trimming of the skirt consists of a very broad, rich gold fringe, placed immediately above the hem. The ceinture is of broad black ribbon, striped with gold; it fastens in front with a massive gold buckle. One end of the ribbon, terminated by gold fringe, descends below the trimming of the skirt. The head-dress is a black velvet hat, the crown low, and terminated in the centre with a cameo set in gold; five rows of gold chain issue from the cameo across the crown, and descend to the brim, on the inside of which is placed a double row of gold chain, terminated by a corresponding ornament. A profusion of long, flat ostrich feathers, of a bright rose-colour, are placed in different directions round the crown, and two feathers ornament the inside of the brim. A cameo, which divides the curls on the forehead, meets the gold chain that adorns the brim of the hat. Gold ear-rings and bracelets. A boa tippet, composed of dark cherry-coloured, and black curled feathers, is thrown carelessly round the neck. The slippers are of white gros de Naples, en sandales.


A Dress of white tulle over a white satin slip, the corsage carre, and cut very low. A fold of tulle, embroidered in a light running pattern of flowers, in coloured silks, is disposed round the bust. It is moderately broad round the bust, but much deeper on the shoulders, where it is cut in long pointed dents. The bust is ornamented in front in the stomacher style with the same material, which terminates at the upper part with two dents, much larger than those of the fold. These, as well as the stomacher part, are embroidered to correspond with the bust, and, with the addition of those on the shoulder, they form an epaulette of a singularly tasteful kind. Three narrow satin rouleaus, which issue from the embroidery, ornament the bust in a longitudinal direction. Beret sleeve of extreme fulness, confined at the arm by a narrow satin rouleau, corresponding with one that edges the fold round the bust. White satin ceinture embroidered to correspond. The skirt is finished with a deep fold, which comes nearly to the knee. It is cut round the top in waves, which are ornamented with a satin rouleau. A wreath of flowers is embroidered on the fold at some distance from the bottom, and another immediately over the rouleau. The latter is very large, and from its centre issues a light bouquet of flowers, which extends nearly to the waist. Another, but much smaller bouquet, is placed at each side of the dress. The head-dress is a beret of gaze de Smyrne, striped in rose-colour, white, and vapeur. The front is en coeur, and descends very low on the forehead. Gold bracelets and ear-rings. White kid gloves, finished at the arm with embroidery in white floize silk. White gros de Naples slippers,


A Dress of bright cherry-coloured gaze de St. Valiere, over a gros de Naples slip, to correspond. An under corsage, of white satin, is cut low, and square, and edged round the bust with narrow blond lace. The corsage of the dress is open before and behind to the centre of the waist. It turns back in a fold, which is very narrow at the bottom, but broad at the top of the bust. These folds are edged with blond lace: they are open on the shoulder, and form an elegant finish to the sleeve. Cherry-coloured ceinture, embroidered in gold, and terminated at the waist by a fall of gold fringe. Sleeve, a la Maintenon, terminated, en mancheite, with very broad blond lace. The trimming of the skirt consists of a wreath of foliage, embroidered in gold at the upper edge of the hem. Coiffeure, a la Donna Maria. The hair is dressed in very full curls on the temples, and in bands and bows, which are brought very high on the summit of the head. It is ornamented with gold flowers mingled with white roses. The bouquet, a la Jar dinure, placed on one side of the bosom, corresponds with that in the hair. The bracelets and ear-rings are of massive gold; the latter in the girandole form.

What do you think of these dresses? Which one would you ladies have worn?

Further reading:
La Belle Assemblee 1830

Book Reviews: A Triple Knot, We Should All Be Feminists, & Change Your Brain Change Your Life (Before 25)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Hello everyone,

here's what I read last week. Enjoy!

A Triple Knot by Emma Campion
Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, is best known for marrying Edward, the Black Prince. What few know, is that she had been married twice before, to Thomas Holland and William Montacute. At the same time. Yep, she was a bigamist. That's the story told in The Triple Knot. When the book begins Joan is just a 10 years old with a fiery, rebellious bent. Her cousin Edward is already smitten with her and determined to make her his Queen when they grow up. But his parents, King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault, have other ideas. Joan is not important enough to marry the heir to the English throne, but, thanks to her royal blood, she can still be used to make an alliance with a foreign prince or duke that will guarantee Edward the support he needs to reclaim the French throne. But Joan doesn't like her relatives' machinations and her choice of husband, and decides to take matter into her own hands by marrying the man she loves, Thomas Holland.
The couple decides to keep the marriage secret for a while. Both their families and the king are against it, and so Joan is forced to marry a man chosen for her by her family: William Montacute. Joan, remaining faithful to Thomas, refuses to be a true wife to William. But it is Thomas that will fight for years to have his marriage to Joan recognized as valid and lawful. Joan, despite her fiery temperament, spends most of her time at home sewing and waiting for the Pope to finally make a decision about her marriage. This will disappoint those who love their heroines to take matters into their own hands, and makes the story proceed quite slowly too. Nothing eventful happens for most of it, really. On the other hand, as a woman living in Medieval England, there really wasn't much else that Joan could have done. So, even if this choice wasn't the most exciting, I think it is the most accurate.
Campion did her research really well. The world Joan lived in is minutely described and you can see it come to life just before your eyes. She seamlessly weaves into the narration important events that happened during her lifetime, such as the pestilence, and the King's selfishness in going home after a war while leaving his troops stranded, to fend for themselves in a hostile country. She also did a great job at portraying the relationships between all the different characters. They are all very rounded, especially Joan. She matures from a child into a young woman who, despite all the machinations other people contrive to keep them apart, always remains steadfast to the man she loves.
Although somewhat slow, I did enjoy the book a lot. Until the end. I don't want to spoil it for those who aren't familiar with Joan's story and want to discover it by themselves, so suffice it to say that I think her decisions at the end of the book seem quite rash and don't really made much sense to me.
Overall, I'd recommend A Triple Knot to those interested in a good romance without bodice-ripping moments and to fans of this era. But if you're into books full of plots, machinations, and independent heroines, I think this one will disappoint you. Despite its faults, though, I enjoyed discovering more about Joan and I now have a new found admiration and respect for her.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I'm not sure you can call this a book, it is so short! But it is definitely a must read, especially for all those who believe that these days women have nothing to complain about and that feminists are embittered women who can't find anyone to marry, refuse to wear makeup or even just use deodorant, and hate men. That's not what being a feminist means, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi reminds us in this adaptation of her much-viewed Tedx talk. No, being a feminist means believing that women shouldn't be discriminated against because of their gender.
Too many people believe that that, at least in the Western world, doesn't happen anymore. But while it is true that a lot of countries have granted civil, political, and economical rights to women, they still face discrimination every day. We don't see it because it has become normal. It is normal to dress girls in pink and boys in blue. It is normal for working mothers to start doing household chores as soon as they return home while their working husbands relax on the sofa. It's normal to tell women they have to be pretty, docile, and not too ambitious if they want to find a husband and assume there's something wrong with them if they haven't married by the time they're 35, while a middle-aged single bachelor simply hasn't found the right person yet. It's less normal, but still accepted, for a girl to like masculine things, but it isn't ok for a boy to like feminine things. And the list goes on and no.
In this short talk, the author points out many instances in which women are still discriminating against all over the world, and points out how our expectations of gender are shaped by the society we live in and therefore can, and should, be changed. In the past, when the world was much more violent than it is today, physical strength was the most important attribute for survival. Therefore, men ruled. But the world has evolved a lot since then. Now, intelligence, knowledge and creativity are so much more important than strength, and these qualities are possessed equally by both genders. Yet, our perceptions of gender are still based on old traditions and haven't evolved much with time. It's time we change this. It's time we evolve with the times too.
These are just some of the arguments Chimamanda touches on in this talk. She writes in a clear and concise manner, often drawing on her past experiences to make her points. The tone is at times, understandably angry, but mostly hopeful. Angry that so many injustices are still going on today, but hopeful that we, both men and women, have the potential to change the world for the better. We just need to educate ourselves and our children differently. We can start by reading, or listening, to this talk.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4.5/5

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Before 25): Change Your Developing Mind for Real World Success by Jesse Payne
Did you know that our brain isn't fully developed until we reach 25? And that the area that develops last is the prefrontal cortex, the one involved in decision making and moderating social behaviours? This helps explains why so many teenagers and young adults are so willing to take unnecessary risks and often make the wrong decisions.
This also means that so many of what we call character's faults, such as reckless, stubbornness, inability to see someone's else point of view, and depression to name a few, are simply physiological issues of the brain. When some areas are too active or undeveloped, people start behaving in ways that are bad for them and others. Therefore, telling them to get a grip or grow up, or making them feel ashamed, isn't going to work.
However, this doesn't mean that people are powerless and cannot change their behaviour. On the contrary, knowing that there is a biological cause for their issues can give people hope and a treatment. After explaining how our brains work, Payne shares a few techniques that people can use to take control of their brains and heal. He suggests a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, and a healthy diet. He also recommends you avoid substances that are toxic to the brain and can dehydrate it and impair its normal functioning. Payne also explains how we can deal with people who suffer from issues such as depression and anxiety, or bosses and parents that are too stubborn and demand that things be done only their way, or with folks that constantly make bad choices, or are simply disorganized. Once you understand how their brains work, you'll be able to adapt your behaviour to theirs, so that we can all avoid conflicts and stress, and live a better life.
Although the book is aimed at people under 25, everyone can use this information to change their brains. It's just that if you're older, your brain won't be as malleable and it will be harder for you to do so. But it is possible. And while it is true that the solutions provided here aren't groundbreaking and mostly, such as exercising, drinking healthily, and avoiding drugs, are things we should be doing anyway, the insights the book provides give you a new understanding of the impact they have on the brain, and thus on our ability to make the right choices and be successful in whatever we want to do in life. It will also make you feel differently about those irresponsible, lazy, or obdurate people that are in your life. Once you understand why they act they way they do, you'll be better predisposed towards them and know how to deal with them.
Oh, and don't think that just because this book explains how the brain works, it is boring, dull, and full of complicated words you'll never be able to understand. The opposite is true. Payne writes in a clear, straightforward, and colloquial manner. He's really passionate about the brain and explaining to people how it works so that they too, like him, can change their lives for the better. Highly recommended.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

Did you read these books or are you planning to?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains an affiliate link


Monday, 18 August 2014

When at home, having breakfast, playing cards, or just relaxing with a good book, Georgian and Regency men would slip into something more comfortable: a banyan. An informal dressing gown also known as Indian gown, it was made in a comfortable, loose, full kimono style. Over the decades, though, the style become more fitted and gained set-in-sleeves, resembling more a man's coat. And as a coat, it was eventually worn outside the house, and even for business meetings.

Here are a few examples:

What do you think of these banyans? Aren't they beautiful?

15 Minutes With Lauren @ Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide To The 18th Century

Friday, 15 August 2014

For this month's instalment of the "15 Minutes With" series, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Lauren, the lovely lady behind Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide To The 18th Century. An art historian, on her blog Lauren "focuses on art, fashion, architecture, music, scandals," and tarts of the age of Louis XVI. Her posts are witty, informative, and entertaining. You'll feel like you're gossiping about Marie Antoinette and her contemporaries over a glass of champagne and cupcakes.

If you want to know more about Lauren, read on:

1. If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?
Eighteenth century Europe because there are so many things to observe, people to meet, and places to see. Although I am fascinated with ancient Roman times and many other eras.... (oh, and do I get a ticket back to the 21st century? I would want that in my back pocket)

2. If you could invite three people, dead or alive, to dinner, who would you invite, and why?
Marie Antoinette, Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun, and the duchesse de Polignac. I would love to get to know Antoinette over dinner. We would have a good chat about fashion, music and organic conversation from there! Vigée-LeBrun could entertain us with stories of her clients, and the duchesse de Polignac’s easy nature would add an element of fun to the party. I am sure there will be lots of laughter, champagne and style.

3. Three books everyone should read?
Gone with the Wind, ASoIaF (I am a book person) and Pride and Prejudice.

4. Who's your style icon?
Victoria Beckham.

I thought my Pinterest boards might help with this question. My fashion board, Fashion Tips, Baby, does a better job summing up my style! But for everyday I would describe my style as Art Historian Chic. So just imagine that!

5. What are you watching on TV?
I just started watching Outlander because of the free premier online. Based on a series of novels, it is about a woman who falls back in time to the 18th century....actually, considering question #1 above, I would definitely need that ticket back to the 21st century. Like the main character in Outlander, Claire Randall, I too would probably get into a bit of trouble right away. Anyone else watching?

I am also watching The Night Watchman (and other Kdramas as they come up) but typically I watch a lot of Netflix. I am always open for suggestions too! So let me know what is good.

6. What's the soundtrack of your life?
I make mixes on 8tracks that could totally be described as soundtracks to my life, here is my latest, enjoy! The Art Library Mix

7. What's your favourite holiday destination, and why?
This changes as I visit new places. Right now, Amsterdam and Scotland. Amsterdam because it is just so beautiful, I am always happy to be there. I rediscovered Scotland just last year and can’t wait to get back. One of my absolute favorite things to do on holiday though, is to visit historic houses, house museums and cathedrals.

I will mention that when I first read this question I wanted to say Ibiza because, FOAM AND DIAMOND PARTIES.

8. What inspires you?
Art. I am a painter and I love visiting museums and galleries. I am also inspired by architecture. If you are a visual person like me, you can check out my Pinterest board King and Country. It is full of architectural inspirations and beautiful vistas. There is a lovely picture in there of a Vermont farm house - my current phone wallpaper.

9. One thing on your bucket list?
Visit Prague.

10. Something about you that would surprise us?
The last video game I bought was South Park: The Stick of Truth. I haven't bought a video game since March!

If you haven't already, go and check out Lauren's blog now. You can also follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Georgina Carteret Cowper

Thursday, 14 August 2014

When Georgiana Spencer married William, Duke of Devonshire, she thought they were gonna live happily ever after. She knew that aristocratic marriages were arranged to forge alliances and increase the prestige and wealth of both families, of course, but there had been enough happy marriages in her life for her to believe the same could happen to her. Her parents had been very much in love with each when they got married, with Lady Spencer declaring, many years later, that she had never regretted her choice.

Neither did Georgiana's paternal grandmother, Georgina Carteret. Born on 12 Mar 1715, Georgina was the third child of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville, and his first wife Frances Worsley. She got married, on Valentine's Day 1734, to John Spencer, a man who had picked her off a list of potential brides his grandmother, the formidable Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, had compiled. The Duchess had wrote down the names in alphabetical order, and John, not really caring about any of the women on it, simply picked the first name on it.

Such carelessness in the choice of a bride would usually result in a miserable union. It certainly didn't help that John was very fond of gambling, drinking, and had no intention of giving up other women. It would have been enough to drive the charming and smart Georgina to despair. But the young bride was also patient and madly in love with her husband, so she decided to turn a blind eye to his indiscretions and faults. The couple had one son, John, Georgiana's father, and a daughter, Diana, who died aged 8.

Such an irregular and debauched lifestyle was bound to take its toll on John. Actually, it killed him off prematurely. John Jr was only 11 when his father died in 1746. Georgina, though, didn't mourn John too long. Four years later, she married again, this time to William, Earl Cowper. It was the second marriage for him too. Georgina lived a long life and managed to see her granddaughter Georgiana get married. But rather than a source of joy, the marriage concerned her because it had made the young bride become a lot quieter than usual. There was nothing she could do about it though. Georgina died of cancer shortly afterwards. She was 64 years old.

Further reading:
The Duchess Of Devonshire's Gossip Guide To The 18th Century

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