Yes the lovely Milady Lodge who I am hoping to persuade to take a little time out from her busy life to come by and show some of these items, has a quite stunning array of boards at Pinterest, many dedicated to Regency fashion.
So the other week I embarked on my rules and the business of kissing, touching a little upon the matter of courtesans.
A courtesan was originally a courtier, which means a person who attends the court of a monarch or other powerful person. The modern use of the term for a prostitute or mistress of a man of rank belies a much more complex heritage however
A quick reconnoitre–goodness one can see all these book club books are certainly rubbing off– down the list of famous ones thoughtfully provided by Wikipedia was somewhat surprising.
Madame Du Pompadour, Madame Dubarry certainly but Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly? I don’t know which rich, powerful men these poor street ladies were the mistress of. Both were victims of Jack the Ripper.
As for Calamity Jane, I think the deadwood stage would be rocking all over the plain in absolute astonishment. Although it seems Milady Calamity did apparently earn her living a certain way at one point, I don’t know how many kings and empire builders resided at the Fort Laramie Three-Mile Hog Ranch. But there, I do not know everything, so some of you might surprise me here.
So Elizabeth.. well today Elizabeth seems almost forgotten, certainly amongst these other ladies, which is why I have chosen her. Elizabeth began her career in a high class brothel, first meeting Charles James Fox when he kicked down the door of the room she was entertaining Lord Bolingbroke in.
Ten years and a string of aristocratic keepers later, including the Prince of Wales, she and statesman and politician, Fox became lovers. The very big deal being that when the attachment threatened him, he refused to break it off, saying, “You shall not go without me, wherever you go. I have examined myself and know that I can better abandon friends,country, everything than live without Liz.” Ooooh! Such a gent, he sounds, I confess I might swoon.
Then he married her in one of the most famous and controversial decisions of the time. Following his death she was a Statesman’s Respected Widow on a large pension. Indeed many of her ex lovers granted her annuities.
Obviously Milady Armistead had class, in addition to many other attributes.