Thursday, 11 April 2013

Eighteenth Century Teen-ager


Thanks to Carenza for guest blogging yesterday.    Nigel and I spent the day off with Carolyn, David and Hannah at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, admiring the way the other half used to live. 

It must have been tough to be an aristocratic eighteenth century teenager.  If you had a row with your parents, you would have a very long way to flounce before you got to your bedroom, and when you slammed the door, if your mother heard it at all, she might just think it was a distant game-keeper executing a poacher.

The equivalent of a Facebook page was the long gallery hung with portraits by fashionable artists –

“Here’s me riding to hounds.  Here’s me and my brother with our swords….No, that’s not a wig. Yeah, everybody was wearing rosettes on their shoes just then.”

While I condemn this elitism, I have to admit that those paintings are more aesthetically pleasing than current “Selfie” photos, taken holding a mobile at arm’s length.

There was no excuse for teens to get away to a local night club either – the house had its own ballroom, and with so much gleaming gilding, there was no need for a glitter ball.  However, the architect clearly hadn’t understood the idea of podium dancers – up on the plinths were Hercules, Diana and Venus – great bodies but not much movement going on.