Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Catching Living Manners, and a Free Book

As I was researching last week (lovely, lovely research), I happened upon the following caricature by James Gillray, who loved poking fun at everyone and anyone in the late 18th century and early nineteenth century. I simply had to share it with you. The title is “And catch the living Manners as they rise” (a quote from a poem by Alexander Pope).

Several things intrigued me about this. Various museums and art sellers have copies of this print, but whoever hand-tinted the colors had a jolly time of it. I always thought tinters were advised to stick with a specific color scheme for all prints, but not this one. Depending on the print, those massive ostrich plumes might be magenta, emerald, buttercup, or turquoise, and some had tips of either gray or slate blue. Likewise, her turban and the ribbon under her breast ranged from cream to rose. One of the prints had the bodice of her dress a peachy color, causing the owner to claim she was nude from the waist up!

Another interesting thing about this print was the names of those who created it and sold it. While it is widely credited to Gillray, at least one of the prints mentioned that it was from a design by “Miss Aynscombe.” This was likely Charlotte Aynscombe, a talented artist in her own right. The piece was sold by Hannah Humphrey, a publisher and printseller, from her establishment at No. 18 Old Bond Street. I can imagine the fine ladies and gentlemen strolling that shopping mecca and stopping to stare at the print in the window. More than one lady likely refrained from touching the ostrich plumes in her cap.

Finally, I’m intrigued the gentleman’s outfit. I have not seen styles showing a gentleman whose waistcoat is so long that it actually connects with his pantaloons, but we can certainly recognize the style of a far-too-wide cravat and the rosettes on both his pantaloons and his shoes. Interesting to read the item described in his hand as a “bludgeon.” Hitting people over the head with his fashion style, perhaps?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this picture.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read the Spy Matchmaker series or know a friend who might enjoy it, you should know that the first book in the series, The Husband Mission, is free through January 27, 2021.

Katherine Collins is on a mission. The spirited spinster is financially beholden to her stepsister, who will inherit a fortune--if she marries in the next six weeks. Katherine even mounted an espionage campaign to locate the perfect husband, Alexander Wescott, Viscount Borin. Alex cannot understand why he’s under surveillance, but it seems to have something to do with the intriguing Katherine. Rejected for service by England’s spymaster, he ought to be searching for a wife. But what wife can compare to the excitement of international espionage? Unless, of course, she’s up for a little espionage herself.

Barnes and Noble


QNPoohBear said...

That's a very interesting print. I love satirical prints. They say a lot about the culture. Those plumes are ginormous and the man is clearly a dandy. I do hope they find evidence it was drawn by a woman and she gets the credit she deserves. Interesting that her prints were sold by a woman too. That provides a different look at Regency society.

Thanks for the free book. I just picked up Miss Fairchild again last night from my keeper shelf. The acidic paper is burning up and the book is falling apart. (I have the digital version as well!). I gave away Lord Borin's Secret Love and no doubt that would be tattered too. I learned my lesson and I'm currently collecting digital copies of Fortune's Brides. Never Kneel to a Knight is up soon on my TBR list!

Regina Scott said...

I found the involvement of the two women interesting too, QNPoohBear. Definitely more research needed! :-)

And you are very welcome about the book. I am honored you enjoy my work so much that it makes the keeper shelf!

QNPoohBear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QNPoohBear said...

I have a Regency/Downton Abbeyish keeper shelf in my bedroom. I also love cozy mysteries. I spent 2020 collecting comfort reads. I found out a local indy bookstore sells e-books through Kobo so I had my mom buy a few for my birthday and Christmas. She didn't want to support Amazon and was worried the local stores would be hit hard by the quarantine. Apparently not but we still like to support them over big box stores.

Regina Scott said...

Sounds like a neat set up, QNPoohBear. I love how some of the indies are partnering with Kobo. Our local bookstores are all closed to walk-in traffic, though a few are doing curbside if you order online, and I hear the Barnes and Noble is limited to a half hour visit. A half hour! I can use that up on one display table! :-)