Louis XVIII, The Last King Of France To Die Still Ruling

Prince Louis Stanislas Xavier, Count of Provence, always coveted the crown. Yet, no one thought he would really become king. Born on 17 November 1755 in Versailles, he was the third surviving on of the Dauphin Louis and his wife Maria Josepha of Saxony and far too removed from the crown for him to seriously aspire to it. But then first his oldest brother, the Duke of Burgundy, and then his father, died. Only his other elder brother, the future Louis XVI, and his grandfather, King Louis XV, stood between him and the crown.

Louis Stanislas was more confident than his older brother. Maybe that's due to his special relationship with his governess, Madame de Marsan, Governess of the Children of France, who had charge of the royal boys until they were deemed, at about 7, old enough to start studying with a tutor (his was Antoine de Quélen de Stuer de Caussade, Duke of La Vauguyon). Louis Stanislas was Madame's favourite.

Louis Stanislas was also the smartest and brightest of the royal boys. He enjoyed the same education as his older brother, even though he wasn't destined to become king. He excelled in the classics. He particularly liked history and literature, loved Horace (he could quote his verses from memory), was fluent in three languages (French, Italian, and English), and knew the Bible well.

The Prince excelled in intellectual pursuits but wasn't fond of physical activity. But he loved eating. So, although not bad looking, Louis Stanislas started to put on weight. He wasn't the most attractive of suitors, but then his wife, Princess Maria Giuseppina of Savoy, wasn't particularly attractive either. Mostly because her hygiene was very poor. She rarely wore perfume or even bathed, and never brushed her teeth. She was boring and, coming from a smaller court, ignorant of the many customs that regulated life at Versailles.

The couple tied the knot on 14 May 1771, but didn't consummate their marriage for years. Yet, the Count of Provence did boast of exploits in the bedroom just to spite his older brother, who had yet to consummate his own marriage to Marie Antoinette. The two brothers often quarrelled, as did their wives. In the end, Louis Stanislas managed to overcome his aversion towards his wife and got her pregnant twice. Sadly both pregnancies ended in miscarriages.

In 1774, Louis XV died. As the new king, Louis XVI, was still childless, Louis Stanislas was, for the moment, heir to the throne. He thought he now deserved a seat on the council, so that he could exercise his influence in politics. But the king had other ideas and refused him the post. Greatly offended, the Count of Provence started travelling around France. When, in the following year, Queen Marie Antoinette gave birth to two son, Louis Stanislas fell once again down the line of succession.

Kept away from politics, the Count enjoyed a retired and sedentary lifestyle. He read a lot, gambled and lost huge sums of money, and spent time with his mistress, Anne Nompar de Caumont. But, in 1878, he had his chance to finally get involved in politics. He was among the notables who opposed the new taxes required to keep the French government afloat. New taxes would now have to be approved by the Estates Generals.

In the next Assembly of Notables, Louis Stanislas was the only one to support giving more representation to the common people in the Estates Generals. This measure was supported by the finance minister, Jacques Necker, who managed to convinced the King to adopt it. The Estates Generals convened. The Third Estate demanded tax reforms, something Louis Stanislas was absolutely against. He advised his brother not to compromise with them and give in to their requests.

Revolution broke out. As their younger brother fled, Louis Stanislas stayed by Louis XVI's side at Versailles until the flight to Varennes. The Count of Provence and his wife left at the same time as the King and his family, but were luckier. They managed to arrived safely at their destination in Belgium. As his brother was held prisoner of the Revolutionaries, the Count proclaimed himself Regent. He also asked the various European monarch for help, money, and soldiers.

When Louis XVI died too, the Count of Provence was proclaimed king Louis XVIII of France by royalists. He moved to Verona, in the then Republic of Venice, and managed to have his niece Marie Therese, the only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, freed from her prison. He wanted her to marry her first cousin, Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, the son of the Count of Artois. To convince her, he told her that was what her parents had wanted. Marie Therese agreed.

When, in 1796, Napoleon invaded the Republic of Venice, Louis XVIII was forced to flee once again. He wrote again to Napoleon, asking him to restore him as rightful king but to no avail. Napoleon wanted him to renounce his right to the throne but that didn't happen either. "I may have lost my country, I may have lost my possessions, but I still have my honor, and with it I will die," Louis said. Instead, Louis XVIII and his family travelled from one European country to another. As they fell under the control of Napoleon, they were kicked out and forced to look for a new home.

Soon, Great Britain remained the only country still fighting against Napoleon, so Louis XVIII and his family settled there. The King also realised that, if he wanted back his throne, some things had to change. Too much had happened for the monarchy to be restored as it once was. He started hinting that, once he was back on the throne, he would retain some of the changed wrought by the Revolution. For instance, he wouldn't return the lands confiscated by the Revolutionaries to their rightful owners, but the latter would be financially refunded for their loss.

This allowed him to attract the support of those who were disillusioned with Napoleon's regime without alienating ardent royalists. But when the moment for him finally came to rule, once Napoleon was defeated, Louis XVIII was held back in England by an attack of gout. He sent his bother, the Count of Artois, in his place to set up the new government.

When he finally returned, amid the cheers of the crowd, he did so as a Constitutional monarch. He issued the Charter of 1814, which included many progressive reforms: freedom of religion, a legislature composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Peers, and a somewhat free press. It was the best compromise between the old and new order that could have been reached. Sill, of course, many weren't pleased. For the royalists, too much had been conceded. For the republicans, too little.

Louis XVIII had barely had time to sit on his throne when Napoleon escaped from Elba, where he had been exiled. He was forced to flee France once again. This time, Napoleon was swiftly defeated, and Louis VIII was able to take back his throne. In 1824, his health began to fail. Very obese, he suffered from gout and gangrene. He died on 16 September 1824, passing the crown to his younger brother, Charles X. He was the last French monarch to die while still ruling.

Further reading:
Louis XVIII by Mary F. Sanders
Tea At Trianon
The Mad Monarchist

Life In The Temple Prison

The Temple had been, as its name imported, the fortress and palace of the Knights Templars, and, having been erected by them in the palmy days of their wealth and magnificence, contained spacious apartments, and extensive gardens protected from intrusion by a lofty wall, which surrounded the whole. It was not, unfit for, nor unaccustomed to, the reception of princes; for the Count d'Artois had fitted up a portion of it for himself whenever he visited the capital. And to his apartments those who had the custody of the king and queen at first conducted them.

But the new Municipal Council, whom the recent events had made the real masters of Paris, considered those rooms too comfortable or too honorable a lodging for any prisoners, however royal; and the same night, before they could retire to rest, and while Louis was still occupying himself in distributing the different apartments among the members of his family and the few attendants who were allowed to share his captivity, an order was sent down to remove them all into a small dilapidated tower which had been used as a lodging for some of the count's footmen, but whose bad walls and broken windows rendered it unfit for even the servants of a prince.

Besides their meanness and ruinous condition, the number of the rooms it contained was so scanty, that for the first few days the only room that could be found for the Princess Elizabeth was an old, disused kitchen; and even after that was remedied, she was forced to share her new chamber, though it was both small and dark, with her niece, Madame Royale; while the dauphin's bed was placed by the side of the queen's, in one which was but little large. And the dungeon-like appearance of the entire place impressed the whole family with the idea that it was not intended that they should remain there long, but that an early death was preparing for them.

Even this distress was speedily aggravated by a fresh severity. Four days afterward an order was sent down which commanded the removal of all their attendants, with the exception of one or two menial servants. Madame de Tourzel, the governess of the royal children, was driven away with the coarsest insults. The Princess de Lamballe, that most faithful and affectionate friend of the queen, was rudely torn from her embrace by the municipal officers; and, though no offense was even imputed to her, was dragged off to a prison, where she was soon to pay the forfeit of her loyalty with her blood.

From this time forth the king and queen were completely cut off from the outer world. They were treated with a rigor which in happier countries is not even experienced by convicted criminals. They were forbidden to receive letters or newspapers; and presently they were deprived of pens, ink, and paper; though they would neither have desired to write nor receive letters which would have been read by their jailers, and could only have exposed their correspondents to danger.

After a few days they were even deprived of the attendance of all their servants but two—a faithful valet named Cléry (fidelity such as his may well immortalize his name), to whom we are indebted for the greater part of the scanty knowledge which we possess of the fate of the captive princes as long as Louis himself was permitted to live; and Turgy, a cook, who, by an act of faithful boldness, had obtained a surreptitious entrance into the Temple, and whose services seemed to have escaped notice, though at a later period they proved of no trivial importance. [...]

After a time the ingenuity of Cléry found a mode of obtaining for them some little knowledge of what was passing outside, by contriving that some of his friends should send criers to cry an abstract of the news contained in the daily journals under his windows, which he in his turn faithfully reported to them while employed in such menial offices about their persons as took off the attention of their guards, who day and night maintained an unceasing espial on all their actions and even words.

From the very first they had to endure strange privations for princes. They had not a sufficient supply of clothes; the little dauphin, in particular, would have been wholly unprovided, had not the English embassadress, Lady Sutherland, whose son was of a similar age and size, sent in a stock of such as she thought might be wanted. But as the garments thus received wore out, and as all means of replacing them were refused, the queen and princess were reduced to ply their own needles diligently to mend the clothes of the whole family, that they might not appear to their jailers, or to the occupants of the surrounding houses, who from their windows could command a view of the garden in which they took their daily walks, absolutely ragged.

Such enforced occupation must indeed in some degree have been welcome as a relief from thought, which their unbroken solitude left them but too much leisure to indulge. Cléry has given us an account of the manner in which their day was parceled out. The king rose at six, and Cléry, after dressing his hair, descended to the queen's chamber, which was on the story below, to perform the same service for her and for the rest of the family. And the hour so spent brought with it some slight comfort, as he could avail himself of that opportunity to mention any thing that he might have learned of what was passing out-of-doors, or to receive any instructions which they might desire to give him.

At nine they breakfasted in the king's room. At ten they came down-stairs again to the queen's apartments, where Louis occupied himself in giving the dauphin lessons in geography, while Marie Antoinette busied herself in a corresponding manner with Madame Royale. But, in whatever room they were, their guards were always present; and when, at one o'clock, they went down-stairs to walk in the garden, they were still accompanied by soldiers: the only member of the family who was not exposed to their ceaseless vigilance being the little dauphin, who was allowed to run up and down and play at ball with Cléry, without a soldier thinking it necessary to watch all his movements or listen to all his childish exclamations.

At two dinner was served, and regularly at that hour the odious Santerre, with two other ruffians of the same stamp, whom he called his aids-de-camp, visited them to make sure of their presence and to inspect their rooms; and Cléry remarked that the queen never broke her disdainful silence to him, though Louis often spoke to him, generally to receive some answer of brutal insult. After dinner, Louis and Marie Antoinette would play piquet or backgammon; as, while they were thus engaged, the vigilance of their keepers relaxed, and the noise of shuffling the cards or rattling the dice afforded them opportunities of saying a few words in whispers to one another, which at other times would have been overheard.

In the evening the queen and the Princess Elizabeth read aloud, the books chosen being chiefly works of history, or the masterpieces of Corneille and Racine, as being most suitable to form the minds and tastes of the children; and sometimes Louis himself would seek to divert them from their sorrows by asking the children riddles, and finding some amusement in their attempts to solve them.

At bed-time the queen herself made the dauphin say his prayers, teaching him especially the duty of praying for others, for the Princess de Lamballe, and for Madame de Tourzel, his governess; though even those petitions the poor boy was compelled to utter in whispers, lest, if they were repeated to the Municipal Council, he should bring ruin on those whom he regarded as friends. At ten the family separated for the night, a sentinel making his bed across the door of each of their chambers, to prevent the possibility of any escape. [...]

As time passed on, the prospects of the unhappy prisoners became still more gloomy. On the 21st of September the Convention met, and its first act was to abolish royalty and declare the government a republic, and an officer was instantly sent to make proclamation of the event under the Temple walls; and, as if the establishment of a republic authorized an increase of insolence on the part of the guards of the prisoners, the insults to which they were subjected grew more frequent and more gross.

Sentences both menacing and indecent were written on the walls where they must catch their eye: the soldiers puffed their tobacco-smoke in the queen's face as she passed, or placed their seats in the passages so much in her way that she could hardly avoid stumbling over their legs as she went down to the garden. Sometimes they even assailed her with direct abuse, calling her the assassin of the people, who in their turn would assassinate her.

More than once the whole family had to submit to a personal search, and to empty their pockets, when the officers who made the search carried off whatever they chose to term suspicious, especially their knives and scissors, so that, when at work, the queen and princess were forced to bite off the threads with their teeth. And amidst all this misery no one ever heard Marie Antoinette utter a word to lament her own fate, or to ask pity for herself.

She mourned over her husband's fall; she pitied Elizabeth, to whom malice itself could not impute a share in the wrongs of which Danton and Vergniaud had taught the people to complain. Most of all did she bewail the ruined prospects of her son; and more than once she brought tears into Cléry's eyes by the earnest tenderness with which she implored him to provide for the safety of the noble child after his parents should have been destroyed.

The insults increased, each being an additional omen of the future. The most painful injuries were reserved for the queen. Toward the end of October the dauphin was removed from her apartment to that of the king, that she might thus be deprived of the comfort of ministering to his daily wants. But Louis himself was not spared. One day an order came down to deprive him of his sword; on another he was stripped of his different decorations and orders of knighthood.

The system of espial, too, was carried out with increased severity. Their linen, when it came hack from the washer-woman, and even their washing-bills, were held to the fire to see if any invisible ink had been employed to communicate with them. Their loaves and biscuits were cut asunder lest they should contain notes. The end was approaching. A week or two later the king was removed to another tower, and was only permitted to see his family during a certain portion of the day.

At last it was determined to bring him to trial. On the 11th of December he was suddenly informed that he was to be brought before the Convention; and from that day forth he was cut off from all intercourse with his family, even his wife being forbidden to see or hear from him. The barbarous restriction afforded him one more opportunity of showing his amiable unselfishness and fortitude.

The regulation had been made by the Municipal Council, not by the Assembly; and its inhuman and unprecedented severity, coupled with a jealousy of the Council, as seeking to usurp the whole authority of the State, induced the Assembly to rescind it, and to grant permission, for Louis to have the dauphin and his sister with him.

Yet, lest these innocent children should prove messengers of conspiracy between him and the queen and Elizabeth, it was ordered at the same time that, so long as they were allowed to visit him, they should be separated from their mother and their aunt; and Louis, though never in greater need of comfort, thought it so much better for the children themselves that they should be with the queen, that for their sakes he renounced their society, and allowed the decree of the Council to be carried out in all its pitiless cruelty.

While the trial lasted, the queen and those with her had been kept in almost absolute ignorance of what was taking place. They never, however, doubted what the result would be, so that it was scarcely a shock to them when they heard the news-men crying the sentence under their windows —the only mercy that was shown to either the prisoner who was to die, or to those who were to survive him, being that they were allowed once more to meet on earth.

Further reading:
The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Charles Duke Yonge

Product Review: The Guardians: The League Of Nations And The Crisis Of Empire By Susan Pedersen

The League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, was an intergovernmental organisation created as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. Its principle mission, at which it failed, was to maintain world peace. But it also had another important, but little known, function: it established and oversaw the mandate system.

At the end of World War I, the victorious allied powers wanted to annex the Ottoman territories and German colonies they had occupied. Woodrow Wilson, and anti-imperialist activists, disagreed. The Americans, supported by the British, proposed instead to let the allied powers hold and administer these territories, which included countries in the Middle East, African, and The Pacific, under "mandate" from the League of Nations.

Mandated territories weren't colonies. At least, they weren't supposed to be. The mandate system clearly stated that Western countries were supposed to help "backwards" people become civilised enough to be able to govern themselves. Then, they were supposed to leave. But only Iraq was given independence this way, and only with great reservations.

The League Of Nation had a very paternalistic and racist attitude towards the populations that lived in mandated territories. Its members believed that these people were too uncivilized, uneducated, and backwards to govern themselves and that they would need the help of the civilized western countries for decades to come.

Because of that, they often didn't pay much attention to the protests and grievances these people had against their "protectors". These suited the allied powers very well. They were able to exploit the natives, and then repress with force their protests, claiming it was the only way to deal with "those uncivilised people".

The treatment South West African and Belgium's mandated territories received was particularly appalling. They drew the censure of The League Of Nations, but its members were unable to take practical steps to help those populations. Also interesting is the section on Palestine. It highlights the eagerness of Germany, Poland, and other central European countries to create a Jewish state to deal with the "Jewish problem". Germany wasn't the only anti-Semitic country in the '30s.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Although academic and at times dry, Pedersen's analysis of the mandate system is also fascinating and insightful. Her study shows us how the League Of Nations helped created a new kind of imperialism. One in which Western hegemony is secured thorough economic concessions.

It also helps us better understand how the misdeed of our imperialistic ancestors have shaped the world in which we live today and created problems that are far from solved. If that's something you'd like to know more about, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book.

Although academic and at times dry, Pedersen's analysis of the mandate system is also fascinating and insightful. It helps us better understand how the misdeed of our imperialistic ancestors have shaped the world in which we live today and created problems that are far from solved.

Available at: Amazon

Rating: 4/5

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

Marie Louise's Wedding Dress

On 2 April 1810, Marie Louise Of Austria walked down the aisle at the "Salon Carré" turned chapel, in the Palais De Tuileries, to marry Napoleon, the man she had been thaught to hate since she was little.

To add to her uneasiness, she wore a dress entirely chosen and made for her in France (like her great-aunt Marie Antoinette before her, Marie Louise had had to leave all her belongings behind at the French border). To make matters worse, reminders of Josephine, Napoleon's first wife, were everywhere. Including the new bride's outfit.

The imperial cloak, made of crimson velvet, lined with ermine, and embroidered with gold, the soon-to-be Empress was wearing had been donned by Josephine at her ex-husband's coronation in 1804. The long train was carried by Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples, Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland (married to Napoleon's brother Louis), Julie Clary, Queen of Spain (married to Napoleon's brother Joseph), and Catharina of Wurttemberg (married to Napoleon's brother Jerome).

The wedding dress she wore underneath was created by Leroy, the most fashionable and famous dressmaker of the Directory and Empire eras. His success was due both to his own talent and to Josephine's patronage. The ex-empress had often worn his creations.

For Marie Louise, he designed long, flowing gown with a high waist that hugged her figure. It was made from silver tulle netting, embroidered with lamé and pearls. Her hair was covered by a veil in Alencon lace, held in place by a sparkling diamond tiara.

On her feet, she donned a pair of white satin slippers, embroidered with silver, created by Janssen. Unfortunately they were too small and hurt her feet. To finish off her outfit, she wore diamonds from the French Crown Jewels.

Do you like her wedding dress?

Historical Reads: Dando, The Celebrated Gormandizing Oyster Eater

All Things Georgian remembers Edward Dando, an infamous oyster eater. To quote:

He was also known by the appellation of the ‘celebrated oyster eater.’ For Dando, although not a thief (by his own reckoning) did not see why he should not have plenty of everything, even though he had no money to pay for it, when his betters relied constantly on credit to fund their lifestyles. He was determined to live as they did.

Trained as a hatter, Edward Dando, when in his early twenties, embarked on his career as an oyster eater, devouring up to thirty dozen large oysters in a sitting, with bread and butter, washed down with quantities of porter or brandy and water, before informing the keeper of the oyster house that he could not pay for his fare, with the usual results of a beating or a spell in gaol, or sometimes both. Although his dish of choice seems to have been oysters, he was not above devouring other fare too.

To read the entire article, click here.

Madness And Revolution: The Sad Life Of Théroigne De Méricourt

One of the most fascinating and sad figures of the French Revolution, Théroigne de Méricourt was born Anne-Josèphe Terwagne in 1762 near Liège. Her mother died when she was five, so Anne-Josèphe was sent to live with an aunt, who didn't really want her. First, she sent the little girl to a convent, but later, perhaps to save money, she changed her mind and brought her back to live with her. But rather than giving her a loving home, Anne-Josèphe was treated like a maid.

When her father remarried, he welcome her back home. His new wife didn't. Too busy taking care of her own children, she didn't care much for Anne-Josèphe. So, desperate for affection and a real home, she went to live with her maternal grandparents. But things didn't work out there either. As a last resort, she returned to her aunt. Needless to say, the arrangement was a disaster. Anne-Josèphe then decided to face the world on her own, and took any job she could to support herself.

Eventually, she was hired by a certain Madame Colbert as her companion. Madame Colbert taught her to read, write, play the piano, and sing. Anne-Josèphe now dreamed of becoming a singer. She certainly had the talent for it. But, her dreams were dashed by a man, the first of many who would use her and leave her. He was an English army officer who seduced her and brought her to Paris with promises of marriage he had no intention to ever keep.

During this time, she was also kept by the old and unpleasant marquis de Persan, who showered her with expensive gifts and money (although she insisted she had evaded his advances). Her reputation in tatters and any hope of a respectable life gone, Anne-Josèphe become a courtesan and called herself Mlle Campinado. Her affair with the Englishman continued and resulted in a child who died, probably to the relief of his father who had refused to acknowledged her, of smallpox.

After a brief affair with an Italian tenor, she fell for the castrato Tenducci and, in 1788, followed him to Genoa, hoping to start a musical career there, but she only gave a few concerts. After a year, she returned to Paris, alone, disappointed, and hurt. All her dreams, both professional and romantic, were shattered. Her hopes vanished. Or so she thought until she set foot in the city. Paris was on the verge of revolution. It was an exciting time that seemed to promise her a better, more just, world, and the opportunity to take control of her destiny and rescue her from the life of unhappiness and abuse she had so far known.

That summer, Anne-Josèphe transformed herself. She ditched her gowns in favour of a white riding habit called amazone, and a round-brimmed hat, an eccentric outfit that made her stand out from the crowd. She wanted to "play the role of a man’, she later explained, because I had always been extremely humiliated by the servitude and prejudices, under which the pride of men holds my oppressed sex’". She also gave up her job as a courtesan, and pawned her jewels to support herself.

After the storming of the Bastille, she became involved in revolutionary activities. She attended the meetings of the National Assembly every day. She was the first to arrive and the last to leave, and met many influential figures of the Revolution, such as Pétion, the Abbé Sieyès, and Desmoulins. Anne-Josèphe played a big role too. She sometimes spoke at the Cordeliers Club, founded her own club, and ran her own saloon. Soon, she was a celebrity. It's at this time that she became to be known as Théroigne de Méricourt.

Although Théroigne believed in the ideals of the Revolution, it soon became clear that most of its supporters were only interested in the rights of men, not of women. The press, scared of emancipated women, started portraying her as a whore, heaping all sorts of insults, accusations, and obscenities at her. In disgust, in the summer of 1790, Théroigne left Paris and returned to Liège.

If she hoped for some peace and quiet, she was bitterly disappointed. Liège was then under the control of the Austrian Empire, not a safe place for such a prominent and famous figure of the Revolution. She was kidnapped by mercenaries and taken to Austria. The journey lasted 10 days and was harrowing. The three French emigrés insulted, harassed, and even tried, luckily unsuccessfully, to rape her.

Once in Austria, Théroigne was interrogated, over the course of a month, by François de Blanc. Hoping to discover important information about the French Revolutionaries, de Blanc, who believed all the nasty rumours about her prisoner, spent many hours talking to her and examining the papers that were found on her when she was caught. But he soon realised she knew nothing important. More surprisingly, he began to like her. Worried about her health - Théroigne suffered from depression and splitting headaches, coughed up blood and had trouble sleeping - he helped secure her release.

At the beginning of 1792, Théroigne was back in Paris. She now supported Brissot, a Girondin, against Robespierre, and gave many an inflammatory speeches in the Jacobin Club in which she called for the liberation of women from oppression. But this time, she didn't just fight with words. She recruited an army of female warriors, and took part in the storming of the Tuileries on 10th August. It is said that she wounded a royalist journalist who had insulted her in the press. He was then killed by the mob.

But she didn't support the September Massacres, believing all this unnecessary violence was hurting the cause of the Revolution. She wanted it to stop. It didn't. Things got worse for Théroigne. In May 1793, a bunch of Jacobin women who hated the supporters of Brissot and the Girondin, attacked Théroigne in the gardens of the Tuileries. They stripped her naked and flogged her publicly. Only the intervention of Marat saved her.

Théroigne's mental health had always been fragile. Now, she descended into madness. In the spring of 1794, she was arrested. She became obsessed with Saint-Just, thinking of him as her saviour, but he did nothing to help her. She was eventually released from prison after the fall of Robespierre, but never recovered her sanity.

That year, she was officially declared insane. She spent the rest of her life in various asylums, and was ultimately sent to La Salpêtrière Hospital, where she lived for twenty years. All she spoke about was the Revolution. She still clang to her revolutionary ideals, even though everyone else had abandoned them. Théroigne died, following a short illness, on 9 June 1817.

Further reading:
Book Review: Liberty: The Lives Of Six Women In Revolutionary France

Fashions For 1842

What did fashionable ladies wear in 1842? Here are a few examples:


Pekin dress. The corsage is made to fit closely to the shape, with a slight slope at the ceinture; the corsage is also embellished at the upper part with a berthe of point lace. The sleeves are laid in close gathers at the upper part, rather full thence to a little below the elbow, whence it terminates in a frill. The skirt is ornamented in the tablier form with a lace volan, and a spirally twisted ornament of the same material as the dress, terminating in a noeud with ends. The coiffeur is ornamented with bijouterie.


Pelisse of velours epingles. The upper part made to fit tightly to the shape; the sleeves also tight, a series of ornaments of the same material as the dress, is added to the corsage as well as the front of the skirt, encreasing gradually from the centre to each end; the ornaments have the addition of a lace border: similar decorations on a smaller scale, commensurate with the size of the sleeve, are also added to the latter. The bonnet is of satin ornamented with feathers which droop over one side.


Mousseline de laine dress. The corsage is ornamented with a volan of old lace embroidered, it is divided in the middle and fixed by a broach; the corsage is terminated by a long peak. The sleeves are made tight fitting, and terminate between the elbow and wrist in a full frilling. The skirt is ample hut without the addition of any flounce or other ornament, a small lace cap is decorated with a few delicate flowers.

The bonnets are in velvet, in satin, and in pekin; feathers prevail as ornaments, ribbon noeuds are also added, and decorations of he same material as the bonnets, particularly those in velvet.


Mousseline de laine dress. The corsage cut rather high, except in the upper part of the bust, where it is cut in a slope, the border is composed of a double ruche, terminated by a tassel. A cordon with double tassels at regular intervals is placed as an ornament down the front. The skirt is disposed in ample folds. The sleeves are somewhat full, but graduate to the wrist, lessening downwards. The bonnet of the same materials is ornamented with feathers.


Transylvanian costume. The tunic and hat of velvet, the former faced with satin, ornamented with ribbon noeuds.


Satin dress. The upper part of the corsage is laid in large drupes, with rosettes down the centre and at the termination of the sleeve, which is extremely short and close to the arm. Rosettes are disposed on the front of the skirt in a manner resembling the tablier shape. The coiffure as well as the arms is decorated with roses.

The first half figure is in satin with lace berthe, close waisted, and sleeves to the elhow with sabots.

The second half figure is in the same material, with a double berthe. Short sleeves, with bouffant ornaments terminating them.

Muslin capotes, drawn and satin bonnet trimmed with lace, ribbons, and flowers. Caps in the same and also in tulle, with blond and ribbon ornament.

Do you like these dresses and accessories?

Further reading:
The Magazine of the beau monde

Book Review: The Real Lives Of Roman Britain By Guy De La Bedoyere

The Britain of the Roman Occupation is little known to us. Archaeology has turned up the remnants of cities and villages, with their monuments and temples, tools and vases, and all the small bits and bobs that their inhabitants daily used. But, when skilfully and arduously put together, they provide only fragmented insights into a long gone era and reveal only the smallest glimpses, the briefest moments, into the lives of individuals.

It's these glimpses that Guy De La Bedoyere has painstakingly researched in every document, artefact, and traces left by the inhabitants of Roman Britain. He's not interested in the kings and queens (they take a backseat here), but in the soldiers, workers, slaves, fathers, wives, daughters, children, lovers, and all the common people who lived at the time. Its' their personal stories, or better, the tiny fragments of them that have survived to our time, that make history (and this book) come alive.

Most of these people were Roman immigrants (natives never seemed to be able to climb up the social ladder, although some may have, and we simply have no record of them). They did business, looked for spiritual comfort in an uncertain and cruel world, grieved for their lost children, fought battles, hid their possessions underground, married their slaves, and scrambled for power.

Because we have so little information about each individual, De La Bedoyere tends to jump from one to another really quickly. This, paired with the sometimes dry nature of the text, doesn't always make for easy reading. Despite this, I happily carried on. De La Bedoyere may not be the most engaging writer, but he manages to paint quite a vivid and colourful picture of life in Roman Britain.

If you are tired of reading always about kings and queens, the battles they fought and the lands they conquered, and would like to know more about the usually forgotten common people and how they lived, I recommend you pick up this book. You'll enjoy it.

Although the execution leaves something to be desired, The Lives Of Roman Britain paints a vivid picture of the life of the real people - the workers, slaves, husband, wives, and children - that inhabited that long gone era.

Available at: Amazon

Rating: 4/5

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

The Wedding Of Princess Mary & William, Duke Of Gloucester

George III loved his children dearly. But, like most parents, he didn't like how quickly they grew up. He would probably have liked them to remain little forever, and he always treated them like they were. He made sure his heir stayed well away from all political affairs, refusing to teach him the job and give him the practical training a good king badly needs.

His six daughters didn't fare better. They lived a secluded, quite life they knew would end only with marriage. Problem was, their father didn't seem keen to arrange any union for them. To start with, he limited their choice of potential husbands. Anyone who was a Catholic or of an inferior rank was excluded.

Then he decided that younger daughters couldn't marry until the elders were settled. But, really, he just didn't want to let them go. And when he went mad, all talk of marriages was put off while doctors tried to cure him.

And so princess Mary, his fourth daughter, waited and waited. No doubt, over the years, she had started to believe her time would never come. But it did, eventually. Mary was 40 when she finally married her cousin, Prince William Frederick, the Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh.

The 40 year old prince, regarded as a tiresome fool by most of the family, had been on hold to marry Princess Charlotte, the heir to the throne, should no other suitable candidate be found. But she had just married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, leaving William Gloucester to marry Mary. The speed at which the marriage took place suggests the couple was fond of each other and already had some sort of longlasting understanding.

On 22 July 1816, Mary and William tied the knot in a private ceremony in the grand saloon at St. James’s Palace. It had been draped in crimson velvet and gold lace for the happy occasion. When all the guests were assembled in the saloon, her brothers, the Dukes of Cambridge and Clarence handed her in. The Princess looked modest and overcome.

According to the Ladies Monthly Museum: "Her Royal Highness was dressed with her usual beautiful simplicity; she wore no feathers, but a bandeau of white roses fastened together by light sprigs of pearls. Her neck was ornamented with a brilliant fringe necklace: her arms with bracelets of brilliants formed into flowers, and her waist with a girdle to correspond with her bandeau. Her whole appearance was very lovely. The ladies present were also most splendidly dressed: the prevailing color was blue." The groom was dressed in his uniform of a field-marshal and wore the Order of the Garter.

The Prince Regent, who had rejected the Duke of Gloucester as a suitor for his daughter Charlotte and only reluctantly gave him permission to marry his sister, gave Mary away. Lady Albinia Cumberland, a guest to the wedding, described the event thus:

"The Prince Regent stood at the other end to the Duke of Gloucester. She [Mary] stood alone to the former, quite leaning against him. Indeed she needed support. I pitied the Duke of Gloucester, for he stood a long time at the altar waiting till she came into the room, giving cakes, carrying wine, etc... She then went to the Queen and her sisters, and was quite overcome, and obliged to sit down, and nearly fainted.."

Eventually, it was time to leave for their honeymoon, as the Belle Assemblee reported: "At a quarter before ten o’clock the bride took off her nuptial ornaments, and arrayed in a white satin pelisse, with a white satin French bonnet, she set off with her royal husband to Bagshot, amidst the blessings and good wishes of her family, and the loud huzzas of the multitude assembled on the happy occasion."

Further reading:
Nineteen Teen
Regency History
Princesses: The Six Daughters Of George III By Flora Fraser

The Tudor Wife

Was George and Jane Boleyn's marriage really unhappy? Danielle Marchant, author of Tourmens de Mariage, the second book in The Lady Rochford Saga (out on 19th May), dispells the myths:

My new novella “Tourmens de Mariage” – which in French means “The Torments of Marriage” - is Part 2 of “The Lady Rochford Saga”, telling the life story of Jane Boleyn (née Parker), Lady Rochford. Marriage is a huge theme in this book. It was central to the society that Jane lived in. It was used for political alliances and to unite important families. Marrying Jane into a good family would have been expected of her father. However, the subject of George Boleyn’s wedding gift “Tourmens de Mariage”, a book which was a satire on marriage, has been often referred to as being proof that Jane and George had an unhappy marriage.

This was because George later on gave the book to court musician Mark Smeaton, leading to conclusions being made by historians such as Retha Warnicke that George and Mark were lovers. As a result, historical novelists and scriptwriters have embraced this idea of George and Jane having an unhappy marriage and in addition have even gone further to show him as violent and cruel to Jane. However, when looking at the facts, the fictional representation of Jane and George’s marriage couldn’t be further away from the truth.

One of the reasons why their marriage is viewed as an unhappy one is due to the lack of children produced. Jane and George were married for over ten years, but didn’t have children of their own. It would have been Jane’s duty to produce an “heir”, so this does suggest that one or both may have been infertile and this alone could have caused some strain and friction in their marriage. The difficulty Jane faces in conceiving is one of the areas that gets focussed on in my book. To be married to George for that long and still not have at least one child would have been very odd by 16th century standards. Unfortunately, there are no records of miscarriages. So, we can’t rule out the possibility that maybe Jane did suffer from fertility problems.

Of course, it is also equally possible that George may have had fertility problems. However, we can’t rule out the idea that George may have had children with another woman. George has been linked to being the father of another George Boleyn, who was the Dean of Lichfield in the reign of Elizabeth I. He also has been referred to as the great-grandfather of Elizabeth and Mary Boleyn of Clonony Castle, Ireland. However, these are still areas of debate. Therefore, the lack of children in George and Jane’s marriage does not necessarily mean they had an unhappy marriage.

Another myth about their marriage is that they hated each other. In the 16th century, it is true that marriage was not about love; it was about business, uniting families of the nobility together. Jane was married into what her father Henry Parker, Lord Morley, believed was a rising family - the Boleyn family. A match with George Boleyn would have been perfect for his daughter. However, even though Jane and George would not have been forced together either – the couple did have to at least like each other in the first place. Therefore, I do believe that they did genuinely like each other before deciding to marry.

Another reason why Jane and George’s marriage is viewed as an unhappy one is because of the much publicised – and false – belief that it was Jane that accused George and Anne Boleyn of incest. It was viewed as an act of revenge against him as a result of violence he used towards her, being homosexual and also out of jealousy towards how close he was to Anne. Allegedly, she was given reason to hate him so much that she wanted to put him on the scaffold. However, there is no evidence to suggest that he was particularly violent to Jane, nor that he was homosexual.

In addition, it is a fact that the accusation of incest may have come from another lady-in-waiting, Elizabeth Browne, Lady Worcester. Lady Worcester has been described as the “first accuser of the Queen”. When her brother, Anthony Browne, who was one of the King’s privy councillors, reprimanded Lady Worcester over her loose, promiscuous behaviour - she had also fallen pregnant at the time with a child that was believed to be not her husband’s, Henry Somerset, but may have even allegedly belonged to Thomas Cromwell - she replied to her brother that she wasn’t really that bad.

She replied “But you see a small fault in me, while overlooking a much higher fault that is much more damaging. If you do not believe me, find out from Mark Smeaton. I must not forget to tell you what seems to me to be the worst thing, which that often her brother has carnal knowledge of her in bed”. From here Anthony had no choice, but to follow up his sister’s accusations discreetly as withholding such accusations would have meant terrible consequences for himself. Therefore, it is possible that somewhere along the line, historians have simply confused Lady Rochford with Lady Worcester over the incest accusation.

In fact, the main reason for interrogating Jane was not because of alleged incest, but due to a delicate conversation that she had had with Anne over the King’s impotence. Ironically, this in itself shows that Jane and Anne were actually very close, close enough for Anne to confide in her about the King. This also dispels another popular myth about Jane – that she hated and was envious of Anne. Anne had told her “le Roy n’estoit habile en cas de soy copuler avec femme et qu’il n’avoit ne vertu ne puissance”. Jane then went on to to repeat this conversation with George. Withholding this information would have been treasonous for Jane, so when she was interrogated, unless she wanted to join Anne and George in the Tower, she had absolutely no choice, but to give this information to Cromwell.

On the 4th May 1536, Jane sent a message to her husband, George, who was now in the Tower of London. He had been taken to the Tower on the 2nd May, on the same day as Anne. Jane was not allowed to send to him a personal letter, or even visit him, so instead had to send a message for Sir William Kingston, the constable of the Tower, to give to George. We know what her message was because Kingston reported this in a letter to Cromwell. The letter was found in a collection of damaged documents that had been thankfully saved from a fire at Ashburnham House, Westminster in 1731.

In the letter, it says that Kingston reported to Cromwell that Jane asked how George was and promised that she would “humbly (make) suit onto the King’s highness” for him. George was very grateful for the message and his response was he wanted to “give her thanks”. The possibility of Jane petitioning the King and the Council, would have brought George some comfort. With his trial looming which eventually took place on the 15th May, George asked Kingston when he would see the Council.

He then broke down and then said “for I think I (may not) come forth till I come to my judgement”. This has been interpreted as meaning that if it wasn’t for Jane’s help, he knew that no one would listen to his side of the story before his trial; not even George’s own uncle, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and own father-in-law, Henry Parker, Lord Morley, who were both amongst the Judges at George’s trial. Also, in reality, Jane, no matter how much she would have wanted, would have not been able to have petitioned on George’s behalf to the King at this stage.

The information in this letter is quite extraordinary. The information in this letter gives a different image of Jane and George’s marriage. Unlike George’s parents, Jane did not abandon him when he was in the Tower. Likewise, in response to her message, he acknowledged it – he did not ignore it, or insult her in response, he was grateful and thanked her for it. I think this alone speaks volumes about their marriage and suggests that it may not have been the hateful union that it has often been portrayed as.

Another important area to consider is what George said at his trial. On the 15th May, George went to his trial in the Tower. Jane would not have been there, but her father Lord Morley was one of the peers chosen along with George’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Jane was not called upon to give evidence in person and no other witnesses were called. George’s sister, Anne, had had her trial earlier and was sentenced to either being burned or beheaded on Tower Green, so this was already looking ominous for George. Despite this, however, George defended himself with great conviction. According to those present, George “had no difficulty in waging two to one that he would be acquitted”.

The evidence against him for committing incest was not convincing as it seemed to be based solely upon George spending a bit too long in Anne’s bedchamber. He condemned them for judging him also, as a result of the evidence of “one woman”. It is interesting how he says “one woman”. As we know, the accusation of incest has often been attributed to Jane herself. However, for him to say “one woman” indicates that it was someone else that had made the accusation, to be more specific, Lady Worcester. After all, if the accusation had come from Jane, would George have not have said as a result of the evidence of “my wife” instead of “one woman”?

One more fact that helps to dispel the myths about Jane and George is Jane’s execution speech. On the 13th February 1542, according to popular myth, Jane made references to Anne and George Boleyn in her final speech, indicating guilt in the alleged part she had played in their downfall. This is not true, however. According to an eyewitness Ottwell Johnson at her execution, these were her actual words:

"I have committed many sins against God from my youth upwards and have offended the King's royal majesty very dangerously, so my punishment is just and deserved. I am justly condemmed by the laws of this realm and by Parliament. All of you who watch me die should learn from my example and change your own lives. You must gladly obey the King in all things, for he is a just and godly prince. I pray for his preservation and beseech you all to do the same. I now entrust my soul to God and pray for his mercy" (Julia Fox, 2007)

There is not one mention of Anne and George. Despite this, however, the treatment towards Jane at the time of her husband’s execution on the 17th May 1536 was appalling; not only was Jane was not allowed to send to George a personal letter, or even visit him, but she would also have had very little advance warning - or even no possible warning at all - of George’s execution because contacting the wife of a “traitor” was not considered important. In addition, William Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, would have told George the night before, but only confirmed the actual hour with George early in the morning of the day.

Therefore, I believe that the alleged meaning behind George giving the book “Tourmens de Mariage” to Mark has been drastically blown out of proportion and the portrayals of Jane and George’s marriage in historical fiction are very inaccurate. I believe in reality that their marriage would have been no different to any other marriage in this period. Jane may have been at first offended by George possessing a book that could be construed as mocking their marriage, but then again, she may have also seen the funny side of it too. Their marriage was just another typical Tudor marriage – and Jane was just another Tudor wife.

About Danielle Marchant And Her Book, Tourmens De Mariage

Danielle Marchant is an Independent Author from London, UK. She published her first historical novella "The Lady Rochford Saga Part 1: Into the Ranks of the Deceived" in October 2013. "The Lady Rochford Saga Part 2: Tourmens de Mariage" will be released on the 19th May 2015 and is now available to pre-order. To keep up with Danielle, visit her website and her Facebook page.

Sources and suggested further reading:
"Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford" - Julia Fox, 2007, Orion Books Ltd.
"Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions" - G.W. Bernard, 2010, Yale University Press.
"George Boleyn – Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat" – Clare Cherry and Claire Ridgway, MadeGlobal Publishing, 2014.
"The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn" – Eric Ives, Blackwell Publishing, 2005.

George and Jane looking like a not-so-happy couple on their wedding. In addition, George is being reprimanded by Thomas Boleyn (as portrayed in “The Tudors”, played by Nick Dunning, Padraic Delaney and Joanne King).

Caroline Herschel, Astronomer & Comet Huntress

Caroline Lucretia Herschel was the first woman to discover a comet, to receive a salary for her services to science, to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and to be named an Honorary Member of that same association! Yet, when she was little, it seemed all she was destined to be was a house servant.

Born at Hanover on 16 March 1750, Caroline was the eight child of Isaac Herschel, a bandmaster in the Guards, and his wife Anna Ilse Moritzen. When she was 10, she contracted typhus. Although she recovered, she never grew past four-foot three. Her mother, sure that house service was now the only choice left to Caroline, opposed her husband's wish to educate her.

The young girl was taught only millinery and dressmaking, arts that could have allowed her to support herself one day. But, when Anna was away, Isaac took the opportunity to teach Caroline much more. Sometimes, her brother William joined them. Some of these lessons were about astronomy, a discipline both Isaac and William loved.

When William moved to England in 1757 to teach music, he spent his evenings studying the stars. One night in 1781 he discovered the planet Uranus, which earned him the title of King's Astronomer, a knighthood, and even a pension of 200 pounds per year! But all that was still far away when, in 1772, his father died. William now proposed to his sister to come and live with him. To support herself, she sang in his choir (William was now a choir master in Bath) five times a week.

Although William was very busy with his musical career, he still loved astronomy. He became more and more immersed in it, especially after he was knighted. Caroline would help him there too. She became his assistant and, in the process, learned a lot about astronomy. And she loved it. Although she always did what William told her to do, it wasn't long before she started making her own discoveries.

Among them were three nebulae ad several comets, including one named after her (35P/Herschel-Rigollet). Her work attracted the attention of the King, who gave her a salary of 50 pounds a year to officially work as William's assistant. She then went on to correct the many errors found in England’s star catalogue published by John Flamsteed.

Sister and brother had always got along well until, in 1788, William, at the ripe old age of 51, married a rich widow, Mary Pitt. Although Caroline was accused of jealousy, the tensions were caused by the changes a marriage implied. Not only Caroline wasn't in charge of all household matters anymore, but she had to move out of the house she had lived in for so long. Even worse for her, she had to give back the keys to the observatory and workroom, where she had worked with passion for years.

However, she was able to move back in when William and his family were away, and his marriage didn't seem to have affected their working relationships. They were still a great team. But William's marriage also had another effect. Caroline became more independent and made more discoveries on her own. In her old age she was even able to set aside her differences with her sister-in-law, with whom she corresponded, and became close to her nephew, the astronomer John Herschel.

When her brother died in 1822, Caroline returned home to Hanover, where she continued her astronomical studies. Six years, the Royal Astronomical Society presented her with their Gold Medal for a catalogue of nebulae she had created to assist her nephew's work. She also got another gold medal, in 1846, this time from the King of Prussia. In 1835, she was elected honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society and, in 1838, honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. Caroline died at Hanover on 9 January 1848.

Further reading:
Memoir and correspondence of Caroline Herschel by Mary Cornwallis Herschel and Caroline Lucretia Herschel
Nineteen Teen
The Comet Sweeper: Caroline Herschel's Astronomical Ambition by Claire Brock

The Christening Of Albert Edward, Prince Of Wales

On 25 January 1842, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was christened. The Magazine Of The Beau Monde described the event thus:

On Tuesday last the important event — the christening of a Prince of Wales — which had so long been looked forward to with anxiety and with joyous anticipation by all classes of her Majesty's subjects, was solemnized at, and we may say, has consecrated the Royal residence of Windsor. The eagerness which was manifested to witness the ceremonial was commensurate with the importance of the occasion which inspired it.

Amongst the earliest arrivals were the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Buccleugh, Baron Van de Weyer, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord de Lisle, the Earl of Ripon, Lord Wharncliffe, Sir Willoughhy Gordon, Lord Granville Somerset, Sir Rohert Peel, Lord Stanley, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir James Graham, Sir Henry Hardinge, Earl Jermyn (Vice Chamherlain to her Majesty), Earl Howe, and Mr. Pemherton (Attorney. General for the Duchy of Cornwall.)

Amongst the incidents of the day we may mention that upon Sir Edward Knatchhull being driven in his carriage to the gate, leading to the quadrangle, the porters stationed there not being acquainted with Sir Edward's personal appearance, requested to see his ticket of admission, whereupon the Right Hon. Baronet stated he had neglected to bring it with him, but mentioned his name, and also that he was a Cabinet Minister. The Castle functionary, however, was inexorable to Sir Edward's claims, and in all prohability that Right Hon. Baronet would have been compelled to retire until he could procure a ticket, had not Mr. Trant, the late Member for Dover, come up at the time, and, recognising Sir Edward, with some difficulty, prevailed on the gate-keeper to let him pass on to the Castle.

About eleven o'clock the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards Blue marched up Castle-Hill and proceeded through the grand entrance to the "quadrangle," where they took up their station as a guard of honour. The regiment was accompanied by its splendid band, which performed several airs during the formation of the procession. The coup d'ail which here presented itself was extremely brilliant and interesting; the royal carriages were all assembled — the coachmen, footmen, and grooms appearing in new state liveries.

The first battalion of guards shortly afterwards entered by the same route, and took up their station on either side of the line from the quadrangle, through the Norman gateway, to the wardrobe tower. The remainder of the line was flanked by the 72nd Highlanders, under the command of Colonel Arbuthnot. The hand of the regiment took up a position immediately opposite the entrance to the chapel, and on the arrival of her Majesty, Prince Albert and the various other members of the Royal Family, struck up the national anthem, the men at the same time presenting arms.

When the Royal carriages began to move from the the Quadrangle, a Royal salute was fired from the batteries, and the band struck up the National Anthem, and the troops on duty presented arms. The Duchess of Kent, on being recognised by the crowd, was loudly and vehemently cheered. His Majesty the King of Prussia wore the national uniform of the First Corps de Garde, with the chain and insignia of the Black Eagle of Prussia set in brilliants of the first water, and which is only worn by his Majesty on extraordinary occasions. He was in the third state carriage, which was preceded and followed by the Royal footmen. The Infant Prince, a fine healthy-looking babe, was carried in the arms of the nurse, Mrs. Brough, who held him up in the carriage so that he might be seen by the public. The moment he was seen by the crowd there was a loud and general cheer, which was kept up along the entire line of the procession.

The Queen and Prince Albert followed. Her Majesty and her Illustrious Consort experienced a loyal and enthusiastic greeting, which they acknowledged by repeatedly bowing to the crowd. The procession then passed into St. Georg's Chapel. [...] Shortly after eleven o'clock a brilliant sunshine burst forth and illumined the whole of the interior of the chapel. The gleam was hailed as a most auspicious omen, and it was not forgotten that on the occasion of the christening of the Princess Royal the morning had been overcast like the present, until just upon the commencement of that ceremony the sun burst forth, as now, and cheered with its rays the company then assembled.

The musical department was under the able direction of Dr. Elvey, who presided at the organ, and about eleven o'clock the organ played a short voluntary, for the purpose of giving the key to the instrumental performers. At half-past eleven o'clock Lord Lyndhurst entered the Chapel, attired in his state robes, and took the seat appropriated for the Lord High Chancellor of England, on the south side of the chapel.

The Knights of the Garter, in their splendid robes, shortly afterwards entered the chapel, and took their seats in their respective stalls. Amongst the first who arrived we noticed the Duke of Wellington, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Duke of Rutland, the Duke of Richmond, the Duke of Newcastle, the Marquis of Anglesea, the Duke of Sutherland, and several other Knights of this Most Noble and Illustrious Order.

The number of ladies in the Choir was eight. Amongst them we noticed the Duchess of Northumherland, the Duchess of Sutherland, who was conducted to her seat by the Duke of Rutland, and the Marchioness of Lansdowne, who entered the Choir with the Noble Marquis.

Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Ripon, Lord Viscount Fitzgerald, Sir James Graham, Lord Wharnchliffe, Sir Edward Knatchhull, Sir Henry Hardinge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Earl of Aberdeen, and the Earl of Haddington, entered the chapel shortly before twelve o'clock. The Cabinet Ministers were all attired in the Windsor Court uniform. The Earl of Cardigan, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 11th (Prince Albert's) Regiment of Hussars, and a number of military officers, were also present in full costume.

Sir Robert Peel sat in the Marquis of Westminster's stall, being that on the north side nearest to the altar, and almost immediately behind the chairs appropriated for the Queen and Prince Albert. The Premier held a short conversation with Sir Augustus Clifford prior to her Majesty's arrival. The Duke of Buckingham sat next Lord Lyndhurst, and was engaged in close conversation with the Chancellor for a considerable period. Lord Cardigan occupied a stall at the lower end of the choir. Several of the foreign ministers were present in the different stalls, hut they were not generally recognised.

After most of the company had assembled, the splendid table was removed, and a purple velvet stool, edged with gold, was introduced in its room, on which was placed the superb gold font, which, from its beautiful appearance, attracted general admiration. A Gentleman at Arms then brought in a frosted glass jug, containing water procured from the river Jordan, which he poured into the font. Other gentlemen of the corps at the same time placed elegantly bound prayer-books in the chairs appropriated to the royal and illustrious attendants at the ceremony.

At half-past twelve o'clock martial music without announced that her Majesty and her Royal visitors had left the Castle for the Chapel. Very shortly after the Archbishop of Canterbury entered the chapel by the north door, followed by the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Norwich (Clerk of the Closet), the Bishop of Winchester (attired in the robe of Prelate of the Order of the Garter), and the Bishop of Oxford in the robe of Chancellor of the same Order. The Lord Primate took his place immediately at the back of the font, the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Norwich standing at his right; the Bishop of London on his left.

The other Prelates and Ecclesiastics, not being about to take part in the ceremony took their stations within the altar rails. After the Right Rev. Prelates had taken their appointed places, there was a pause of considerable duration, which was broken by martial music announcing the Queen's arrival at the chapel entrance. At precisely twenty minutes to one the King of Prussia entered the chapel by the south door, and took his seat in a chair on the same side of the altar. The Duchess of Kent, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Augusta of Cambridge, entered by the same side, and occupied chairs near to his Majesty. The members of his Majesty's suite stood behind him. Immediately after the Royal procession entered the choir of the chapel by the north door in the following order:

The Queen and Prince Albert, the Duke of Sussex, and Prince George of Cambridge, took their places on the haul pas north of the altar. The Queen was attired in the robe of the Sovereign of the Garter, over a dress of the richest crimson velvet. Her Majesty wore the Collar of the Order over her shoulder, and its star on her left breast. On her head was the splendid diamond tiara, and her Majesty also wore a necklace and ear-rings of the same precious gem. Her hair was plainly dressed in loops falling over the cheeks, and drawn up behind the ears.

On entering, the Queen looked rather nervous, but her Majesty speedily resumed her wonted dignity. Prince Albert was attired in the robe of a Knight of the Garter, and the Duke of Sussex, also in the robe of a Knight of the Garter, was stationed next to his Royal Highness. The Duke of Wellington stood behind the Queen's chair, the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Steward at her right hand. At the commencement of the ceremony the Royal party formed a semicircle on the haul pas, the Archbishop of Canterbury standing in the middle, and the rest being disposed as follows :—

On the Queen's entering the choir, the grand march from Judas Maccabeus was performed on the organ by Dr. Elvey. Before its completion, however, the Royal party had taken their seats, and a signal was given to discontinue the performance. It was understood that her Majesty had expressed a wish that the ceremony should not he protracted by instrumental performances, and that it was in compliance with the Queen's express desire, and that alone, that any abbreviation took place in the musical arrangements previously decided on.

The organ having ceased, the Archbishop of Canterbury commenced the reading of the baptismal service. His Grace read the beautiful Liturgy of the Church in a clear and impressive tone of voice, calculated to awaken the liveliest sense of the solemnity of the occasion. Nothing particular occurred in the perusal of the service until the Archbishop came to the questions propounded to the godfathers and godmothers of children brought to be baptised. His Grace then turning to the sponsors, most impressively demanded of them as follows: —

"Dost thou, in the name of this child, renounce the Devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the same, so that thou wilt not follow, nor be led by them?"

To this the King of Prussia replied for the sponsors generally, in conformity with the words of the Liturgy, "I renounce them all."

His Majesty delivered this sentence and the other responses in the service quickly, but distinctly and emphatically.

Archbishop. "Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotton Son?"

His Majesty and the other Royal Sponsors answered in an audible voice, "All this I steadfastly believe."

The Archbishop having arrived at that part of the service in which he is to take the child into his arms, her Grace the Duchess of Buccleuch received the infant Prince from the nurse, who stood close to the Queen and Prince Albert, and delivered his Royal Highness to the Archbishop. His Grace held the royal child in his arms with the greatest care, surrendering the Prayer-book to the Bishop of London, who held it for him during this part of the solemnity.

His Grace then turned to the King of Prussia and the other sponsors, and said, "Name this child." His Majesty replied in a clear voice, " We name him Albert Edward." The Archbishop then performed the holy rite of sprinkling and signing the mark of the cross upon the child's forehead, saying, "Albert Edward I baptize thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The organ gave forth, and the congregation joined in a solemn "Amen." The Prince lifted his little hands on being sprinkled and crossed.

The Archbishop then delivered up the Prince to the Mistress of the Robes, who carried his Royal Highness to his nurse, Prince Albert was observed to watch most attentively his Royal Highness's progress from the font to his nurse's arms. The Queen also cast glances of motherly pride and delight at her youthful heir.

The Archbishop then offered up the thanksgiving for the admission of the child as a member of Christ's Church, and then, all kneeling, the holy prayer given to Christians by the Saviour was most impressively delivered. At this moment the scene was solemn and magnificent in the extreme, and would afford a worthy subject for the pencil of the artist.

At the conclusion of the service the Prince was carried from the choir to the Chapter-room, and the organ pealed forth the magnificent "Hallelujah Chorus" of Handel. Prince Albert was observed to beat time during its performance, and the Queen cast repeated glances at the organ gallery, which without any great stretch of imagination might be construed to be expressive of her Majesty's satisfaction and approbation. Her Majesty also once or twice during the ceremony addressed herself to Prince Albert and the Lord Chamberlain.

The chorus having been brought to a conclusion, the Queen curtseyed most gracefully, first to the King of Prussia and the sponsors, then to the Archhishop and the ecclesiastics, and then with a kindly smile, to her uncle, the Duke of Sussex, who stood near her. Then, taking Prince Albert's arm, her Majesty left the choir in the same form as she entered it

The Queen having retired, the King of Prussia bowed to the ladies of the Court, and then to the ecclesiastics. His Majesty then offered his arm to the Duchess of Kent, and left the choir by the south door, followed by the Duke of Cambridge and the rest of the Royal party.

The Archbishops and other Prelates next passed out of the chapel, leaving it by the south door. The company assembled in the body of the choir were then permitted to pass to the altar table, to inspect the plate, the font,&. Great anxiety was shewn to dip a handkerchief or glove into the water of the font, with a view to treasure up such articles as reminiscences of this auspicious occasion. Indeed, such was the anxiety to approach to the font and altar, that it was some time ere the chapel could he finally cleared.

Among the occurrences of the day most particularly observed was, the devotion evinced by the King of Prussia. His Majesty's conduct throughout the service was indeed a pattern for princes and for subjects. The chapel was well ventilated, a pleasant warmth being maintained without the interruption of any currents of air. The King of Prussia was dressed in a scarlet military uniform, with blue facings and silver epaulettes. His Majesty wore the Collar of the Order of the Black Eagle.

The royal procession having departed from the Chapel, returned in nearly the same order in which it entered it, coming out through Cardinal Wolsey's Chapel, and passing through the Norman Gateway to the Quadrangle, and thence to the Castle. The good humoured expression of the countenances of the majority of the distinguished personages as they left the Chapel, particularly of the fair portion of them, seemed to indicate that they had been much pleased with the proceedings. [...]

A State Banquet was given in the evening in St. George's Hall, which presented a truly Royal appearance.

About two months ago, Mr. Scoles of Argyll-place, forwarded to Buckingham Palace a bottle, containing water from the River Jordan, to be used in the baptismal ceremony of the Prince of Wales. The water was taken from the river by Mr. Scoles in the year 1825, while pursuing his professional studies in the East, and when sent to the Palace was clear and sweet, although so many years have elapsed since it was sealed up. Mr. Scoles had the honour to receive the following letter from the Hon. C. A. Murray, Master of her Majesty's Household:—

"Buckingham Palace, Dec. 1, 1841.

Sir — I have the honour to inform you that I have this morning delivered into the hands of Prince Albert the parcel which you transmitted to the Lord Steward, containing water from the River Jordan; and I am commanded to communicate to you the gratification with which it is received by her Majesty and his Royal Highness, who will order it to he reserved for the baptismal ceremony of the infant Prince. — I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant

(Signed) Cuarles A. Murray.

J.J. Scoles, Esq."

Further reading:
The Magazine of the beau monde; or, Monthly journal of fashion [afterw.] The Nouveau beau monde; or Magazine of fashion

Book Reviews: Activate Your Brain & HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence

Hello everyone,

I have some interesting history books to share with you soon, but today let's talk about a last couple ones about self-help and business. Enjoy!

Activate Your Brain: How Understanding Your Brain Can Improve Your Work - and Your Life by Scott G. Halford
Would you like to harness the full power of your brain so that you can improve your life and work? Then go grab a copy of Activate Your Brain, a helpful guide that will help you navigate your brain and make the most of it. Halford starts by describing our three brains, which are responsible for our automated, emotional and logical functions, how they work, and how our brain acts differently depending on whether it feels threatened or in control.
Of course, it's when it is unthreatened and in control that our brains function best. How to reach that state? The next three sections explain exactly that. Halford shares the foods our brain needs to function properly, the importance of exercise and sleep, how to reduce stress and build stamina, use focus and willpower to reach our goals, create a sense of meaning and significance in our life, and a lot more.
Halford has a knack for simplifying complicated neuroscientific concepts, making them easily accessible and comprehensible to everyone. And his many practical tips to put what you've learned in practice are easy to do and incorporate into your daily life. That way you can improve your brain health and, as a result, make better personal and professional decisions. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence by Harvard Business Review
To be a great leader, you need more than an analytic mind, a decisive personality, and a big track record of accomplishments. You also need emotional intelligence. Although still grossly undervalued in the business world, teams that are lead by emotionally intelligent leaders tend to perform much better, and achieve bigger and better results faster. Luckily, emotionally intelligence can be learned.
The guys at Harvard Business Review have combed through hundreds of articles in their archive and selected ten to help you improve your emotional intelligent, and, as a result, your career. They explain what emotional intelligence is and what traits you must cultivate to boost yours, the importance of resilience, how to understand your strengths and weakness as well as your values and goals, how to manage your and your teams' emotions to avoid conflicts, how to make empathetic and smart decisions, and much more.
The articles are short, but informative and insightful. They feature several examples of leaders who got it right and others that, with their emotional ignorance, have hurt their team, preventing them from reaching their goals. They also include lots of useful and practical tips on how you can boost your people's skills. Of course, reading about them isn't enough. You have to put them in practice too. But if you need help and don't know where to start, get a copy of this book. You'll be glad you did.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

What do you think of these books?

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

The Wedding Of Princess Mary Of Teck And Prince George, Duke Of York

As Princess Mary of Teck walked down the aisle to her waiting groom, George, Duke of York, she must have thought about the tragedy that led her to this day, and this union. Mary, the daughter of the Duke of Teck and Princess Mary of Cambridge, a cousin of Queen Victoria, was originally engaged to George's older brother, Albert Victor, known as Eddy, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Eddy was neither particularly attractive nor intelligent, and pretty much a stranger to Mary, but none of that mattered.

Queen Victoria, who was very fond of the English born and raised princess, thought the pair was well-matched and so, when Eddy proposed, in 1891, Mary said yes. But a few weeks later, tragedy struck. Eddy caught influenza, which developed into pneumonia. On 14 January 1892, he died at Sandringham House, Norfolk, less than a week after his 28th birthday. At his funeral, Mary laid her bridal bouquet of orange blossoms on Eddy's coffin.

Mary may have now slipped into oblivion if Queen Victoria hadn't decided that she had what it takes to make a great Queen. So, she encouraged a match between Mary and Eddy's younger brother and now second in line to the throne, George. The entire country expected George to propose to Mary too. But both Mary and George initially had lots of doubts about the suitability of this match. But, a year after Eddy's death, George proposed and was accepted. Time would prove they had made the right choice. The couple quickly became very devoted to each other.

The weather was hot and sunny, with only a slight refreshing breeze, on 6 July 1893, as the royal procession made its way in open carriages to the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, London, among the cheers of the large crowd that had come to witness and celebrate the happy event. The bride looked stunning in a silver and white brocade gown, decorated with roses, shamrocks, and thistles and her mother's lace veil. In her hands, she was holding a bouquet of white flowers.

"Dear May looked so pretty & quiet and dignified", Queen Victoria later wrote in her journal, "She was vy. simply and prettily dressed--& wore her mother's lace veil. The bridesmaids looked vy. sweet in white satin, with a little pink & red rose on the shoulder & some small bows of the same on the shoes.... Georgie gave his answers distinctly...while May, though quite self-possessed, spoke vy. low."

The ceremony was performed by the the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Benson, with the assistant of the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Rochester. Among the guests were Alix of Hesse and the Tsarevitch Nicholas of Russia, which had recently got engaged. Afterwards, the royal party and their guests went to Buckingham Palace where a luncheon was served. The guests enjoyed a delicious meal, which ended with a very ambitious wedding cake.

Made by Mr Poplin, "it was was 6ft. 10in. high, and weighed between 2cwt. and 3cwt. This cake…took the Royal confectioner five weeks to make, there being as many as thirty-nine separate pieces of plaster in some of the figure moulds. Altogether, there were at this wedding six immense cakes, on what is known as the “general table,” and in addition to these, Mr. Ponder made sixteen or eighteen smaller cakes for cutting up, each cake averaging about 22lb. Moreover, Messrs. Gunter say that they cut up no fewer than 500 slices of wedding-cake on this occasion."

At 5pm, Mary, now wearing a dress of white Irish poplin, and George left the party for their honeymoon. They would spend it at York Cottage, on the grounds of the Sandringham Estate.

Further reading:
Edwardian Promenade
Madame Guillottine
Queen Mary 1867-1953 by James Pope-Hennessy