Volunteer Nurses in the Great War: 1914 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

The fashionable women of England are very anxious to help. At least they say they are, and never would we doubt a lady’s word. But their good intentions are thwarted on every side. Lord Kitch…

Source: Volunteer Nurses in the Great War: 1914 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk | Atlas Obscura

A kingly feast, from the Bayeux Tapestry. (Image: Public domain)

It can seem sometimes like all diet advice boils down to the same basic ideas. Eat vegetables, healthy proteins, avoid processed snack food and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

This was not, however, the case in medieval times.

The Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum was created, allegedly, by famous doctors for English royalty and disseminated in the form of a poem. It recommends, very specifically, red wine, fresh…

Source: I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk | Atlas Obscura

Johann Struensee, the German doctor who ruled Denmark | Dance’s Historical Miscellany

For most people in the Anglo-Saxon world at least, Danish history is a blank, perhaps filled in only by vague memories of Hamlet’s line “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. I’m going to write about one of the most significant figures in 18th century Danish history and possibly one of the most intriguing political figures I have ever…

Source: Johann Struensee, the German doctor who ruled Denmark | Dance’s Historical Miscellany

A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life: The Pious Life of Louise-Marie de France

Originally posted on A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.

Louise-Marie de France (Versailles, France, 15th July 1737 – Saint-Denis, Paris, France, 23rd December 1787)

Louise-Marie de France by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1748

Louise-Marie de France by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1748

Whether you knew her as Madame Septième, Madame Dernière, or Madame Louise, the tenth child of King Louis XV and Queen Maria Leszczyńska was born into a world of great privilege and it would be one that she ultimately rejected, choosing instead to forge a path of her own making.

Born into the splendour of Versailles, Louise was sent as an infant to be raised at the Abbey of Fontevraud with three of her sisters. The impact of this early decision was to have a profound impact on Louise’s life. From birth, a good marriage and respectable society life lay in store for the girl but she wanted to serve only her religion, with all efforts to arrange a marriage ending in failure.

At the age of thirteen Louise returned to Versailles in 1750 and remained there through twenty tumultuous years, witnessing births, scandals and deaths. After two decades at court and with Louis enjoying the company of Jeanne Bécu, Madame du Barry, Louise went to her father and begged leave to return to the convent as a Carmelite nun. Tormented by the king’s apparently low morals, she intended to give her life to God by way of…

via A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life: The Pious Life of Louise-Marie de France.

Exhibition: Love Bites – Caricatures by James Gillray

The History of Love

To mark 200 years since satirist James Gillray’s death, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is currently holding an exhibition in his honour. During his lifetime he created over 1000 prints, and here on display is a group of 60 examples ostensibly held together by heartstrings – they explore the artist’s often scathing view of love, sex. marriage, friendship and political allegiance in Georgian England, as well as his talent for lampooning his contemporaries.

It offers a refreshing look at Gillray from a perspective coloured more by human intimacy and alliance than the usual political division and grotesquery – we are even treated to William Pitt the Younger as a Poldark-style shirtless Adonis (alright, probably Apollo, technically). Swoon.

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William Pitt the hunk (& a few obligatory Frenchmen with no pants on in the background), from Light Expelling Darkness(1795)

Instead of drooling, eyeball-devouring French revolutionaries, or George III defecating on France, or Napoleon merrily wallowing…

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Scandalous Women: Scandalous Royal Romance: King Carol II of Romania and Magda Lupescu

Originally posted on Scandalous Women


The story of how King Edward VIII of Great Britain abdicated the throne for the ‘Woman I Love,’ the thrice-divorced Wallis Warfield Simpson is well-known.  Countless books have been written; TV and miniseries have been produced about what many people consider to be one of the greatest and most scandalous royal love affairs in history.  While the love story of King Carol of Romania and his mistress Magda Lupescu is nothing more than a footnote to history.  Like Edward, Carol refused to give up his flame-haired Pompadour.  However, unlike King Edward VIII, Carol actually managed to regain his throne, ruling for almost ten years before the coming war and his own autocratic style forced him into exile.

He was born on October 15, 1893 in Peles Castle to Crown Princess Marie (born Princess Marie of Edinburgh) and Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania. Soon after Carol was born, his care and education was taken over by Queen Elisabeth and King Carol.  Marie was allowed no say in the education of her children, and her husband did little to support her against the King and Queen. Marie was an adoring but ineffectual parent. She found it difficult to even scold them at times, thus failing to properly supervise them. Consequently, Carol grew up wilful, spoilt by everyone.  He was convinced that he knew right about everything. Finally he was sent to Potsdam, to his father’s old regiment. Outwardly his behavior improved. The discipline and regimen of the army suited his love of rules and protocol.

The prince grew into a striking young man, over 6 feet tall…

via Scandalous Women: Scandalous Royal Romance: King Carol II of Romania and Magda Lupescu.