Tuesday 28 April 2009

Who would you Tweet about?

Twitter has become a place where you can read the thoughts and musings of famous people who have been 6ft under for many years, including Henry VIII and Winston Churchill! The tweets (as the posts are dubbed) imagine how important historical figures may have thought about major events that happened in their life time. Read more about these famous tweeters here.

Which historical figure would you tweet as??

Sunday 12 April 2009

The Duchess of Devonshire...Part 2

To Georgiana's disappointment the Duke was not different in private to what he was in public-he remained cold and unemotional. This was the cause of much distress to Georgiana who was in a sense the exact opposite to the Duke-she was passionate, fun-loving and sociable. Georgiana could only hope that affection, and possibly love, would come later.
It was because of Georgiana's many attributes that she soon became a popular public figure and leader of the Ton-a group of high society who inspired fashion, trends and tabloid headlines. Anything Georgiana did was the 'done' thing and anything Georgiana wore became the 'it' item of the season. She was a tabloid sensation-reporters followed her wherever she went. You could say that modern celebrity journalism started with her.
It was after Georgiana became an integral part of fashionable society that she started to gamble-initially just to get out of Devonshire House, which was boring and monotonous to her. But Georgiana's gambling would become a problem, especially in later years when creditors were pressing Georgiana to pay them back. For many years Georgiana was able to keep the creditors at bay with loans from friends, including from the Prince of Wales, but there would come a day when Georgiana had to confess all to the Duke as the debts mounted.
By 1782 Georgiana had still not produced an heir; so the Duke and the Duchess decided to travel to Bath so that Georgiana could take the waters there, with the hope of improving her fertility. It was in Bath that Georgiana met Lady Elizabeth Foster, known as Bess, a separated mother of two who was estranged from her husband, and therefore did not see her sons for 14 years. Georgiana and Bess soon became extremely close and ended up being life long friends. Bess was a main stay in Georgiana's life up until Georgiana's death in 1806, even when Georgiana discovered that Bess and the Duke were having an affair. The affair would serve as an advantage to Georgiana however, as Bess was able to smooth over conflict and disagreement between the Duke and the Duchess. Bess also provided Georgiana with the love and affection she craved from her husband, and so Georgiana would not hear bad things said about Bess and ignored all her mother's calls for Georgiana to send Bess away. Although Bess did truly love and care for Georgiana she was always jealous of her friends popularity and status-Bess' commitment to the Devonshires served her well in the end when she became the second Duchess of Devonshire in 1809.

Come back for the third installment when we discover what Georgiana was like as a mother and about her involvement in politics!

Wednesday 8 April 2009


SallyMandy has opened this up to everyone and I will too, so here goes:

What is your current obsession? Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. After recently finishing Amanda Foreman's fab book about Georgiana all I have done is talk about her non-stop! I'll be visiting Chatsworth soon!!!

Good fika place? (That would be coffee to us non-Swedes)
Every morning on my way to work I pick up a large black coffee from my local mickey d's-it is seriously the best coffee I have ever tasted!! Honest!

Do you nap a lot? No-not a napper at all.

Who was the last person you hugged? My husband-he's yummy.

What’s for dinner? Jacket spuds with beans and cheese. Delicious!

What was the last thing you bought? The tour guide to Calke Abbey-a country house in Ticknall, Derbyshire.

What are you listening to right now? I have been listening to all sorts this week as I am on holiday from school. This morning it was Michael Jackson's Dangerous album, his best in my opinion.

What’s on your bedside table? Books-I just love them.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you. SallyMandy, your blog is uber interesting! Keep up the good work!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? I would have to say the Vatican city-not because I am religious but because myself and colleague were talking about this last week and I said I quite fancied living in Vatican City. I realise a number of obstacles would have to be overcome but hey?

Favourite holiday (sorry) spot? Isle of Wight-it is a lovely little Island and home to Osborne House-Queen Victoria's most favourite residence.

Name the things you can’t live without. I can not live without my husband, my close family and friends and my comfy little abode.

What would you like to have in your hands right now? A black coffee from mickey d's.

What is your favourite tea flavour? I hate tea. A very un-English thing to say but it's rank.

What would you like to get rid of? Manchester United Football Club.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? The Maldives. An hour is plenty for a small atoll with not much to look at-just enjoy the peace and solitude for an hour would be bliss.

What did you want to become as a child? A teacher-honest! And I am!

What do you miss? (This is Belette Rouge's question) University-it was awesome.

What are you reading right now? Becoming Queen, Kate Williams.

What do you fear the most? Things changing.

What designer piece of clothing would you most like to own (new or vintage)? Not really into designer clothing but would love to own a number of designer bags-the Dior saddle bag mostly.

If you could go back in time what period and where would you go to and why? (question added by TammiMagee of Histatic!) At the minute I would go to the mid to late 18th century in order to meet Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire to see what she was like in person.

Last question, added by Sallymandy: How do you feel about the economy? (please feel free to respond, whether you do the whole meme or not). It's rubbish-too many people are losing their jobs!

That’s all for me. If you’d like to do the meme, here’s how it works.

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.

2. Tag eight other un-tagged people. (I decided to open this up to anyone.)

Sunday 5 April 2009

The Duchess of Devonshire...Part 1

I have just finished reading Amanda Foreman's wonderful biography 'Georgiana-Duchess of Devonshire', published in 1998. All I can say is that I've been truly captivated by this extraordinary woman and her high octane life. Georgiana was born into the Spencer family at Althorp on 7th June, 1757. Georgiana, despite being closely followed by a baby brother, was her mother's life-long favourite.
Georgiana had a typical aristocratic upbringing-her life governed by the seasons and moving from house to house depending on what time of the year it was. As with all aristocratic families the Spencer's regularly took holidays on the continent to enjoy the benefits of a warmer climate. The whole Spencer family embarked on a Grand Tour in 1772 when Georgiana was 15. Society everywhere admired Georgiana wherever she went-Georgiana was beautiful and graceful, even as a 15 year old girl.
During this tour the Spencer's moved to Spa in 1773-this is where Georgiana met the twenty-four year old Duke of Devonshire. After Georgiana had danced with the Duke several times and sat next to him at various dinners, she was quite 'in love' with the idea of being his wife. The Duke of Devonshire was rather inept in public, not very talkative or one to show his emotions but Georgiana thought that, like her father, the Duke would be different in private.
In 1774 talks about a marriage between the Duke and Georgiana were concluded-it was set-Georgiana would be the Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana's reaction to the proposal convinced her mother and father that she was truly in love with the Duke, however, Amanda Foreman believes that Georgiana reacted in such a happy way because she knew the marriage would please her parents.
Georgiana was married on her 17th birthday in 1774 to the Duke in what was being dubbed the 'wedding of the year' by society. There were high hopes for the marriage; of course, one high hope would prevail over all others-the hope that Georgiana would give the Duke an heir.