Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Twenty-Four Characters for Twelfth Night

I was doing research (lovely, lovely research!) and came across a picture I just have to share with you.

We’ve talked about Twelfth Night several times, and a masquerade to celebrate it is included in The Aeronaut’s Heart in My Fair Regency. January 6 marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas and the end of the Christmas season in general. In England, it might be commemorated with parties and a special cake. I am a bit late for this year’s celebration, but I offer you the following to get you thinking for next year. (Fingers crossed that if you click on the picture, you can see a larger version.)

These cards were designed and published by Thomas Rowlandson in 1811 and depict the various “characters” you might play during a Twelfth Night party. Your hostess might hand you a role to play when you arrived, or she might have sent you the card in advance so you could come in character and in costume.

And oh, the plot possibilities!

  • A shy young lady aghast at being asked to play Lady Racket.
  • A mismatched couple; say the gentleman is asked to play Captain Dash but the lady is stuck with Lady Careless.
  • Your rival insisting that you play Miss Gadabout.
  • A studly fellow being assigned Lord Flutter while a bookworm is assigned Major Matchless.
  • The grumpiest chaperone being given Mrs. Friendly!

What do you think? See one you’d like to play? Or one you wouldn’t?

Wishing you a very happy new year, with many wonderful characters to discover in books you love!

No comments: