elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
English actress Lavinia Fenton was beautiful, lively, and vivacious. But life hasn’t always been kind to her. Born in Charing Cross, probably the daughter of a sailor her mother had a brief fling with, Lavinia had to work from an early age. She was a waitress and a barmaid, but then, still a child, turned
Heather Carroll remembers actress Elizabeth Campbell, nee Gunning, who went on to marry the richest men in Scotland. To quote: Elizabeth and her sister may not have necessarily been good actors, but they did become very popular and were soon known as “The Beauties.” Even Peg Woffington was seen with the Gunning sisters. As proof
When she was 16, Mary Darby, the actress who would become known as Perdita, succumbed to pressure from her family and married Thomas Robinson, an articled clerk who claimed, falsely, to have an inheritance. Mary wasn’t in love with her husband, and their union was unhappy. In her memoirs, she describes as their union came
Heather Carroll remembers the 18th century actress Peg Woffington. To quote: Not only did Peg show a skill in playing breeches roles, which she was given quite frequently, but she took to playing aristocrats well. An interesting fact considering her voice was described as “harsh.” Peg quickly gained the reputation of being a leading comic