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.
Gertrude Mahon, known as the Bird of Paradise, was one of the most infamous prostitutes of the 18th century. Born in 1752, she was the daughter of the Countess of Kerry and her second husband James Tilson, a diplomat. Tilson, who loved the high life, squandered all their money to keep up with the Joneses.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
Anne Boleyn loved dogs. She doted on Purkoy, the little lapdog given her by Sir Francis Bryan, who had received it from Honour, Lady Lisle. When he brought him to court, the Queen fell in love with him straight away. In a letter to Lady Lisle, Sir Francis explains: “…it may please your Lordship to
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
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