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.
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
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.
Prince Albert, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, had set his eye on the 17 year old Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna. But everyone seemed to be against the match. Marie Alexandrovna didn’t want to leave Russia. Her parents weren’t keen on that idea either. They much preferred to keep their daughter close.
One of the perks of being a queen is receiving lots of presents. In June 1842, Queen Victoria received quite a few from the Imam of Muscat, as the Earl of Aberdeen reveals in this short letter to Her Majesty: Foreign Office, 28th June 1842 Lord Aberdeen, with his humble duty, begs to enclose for
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