Showing posts from May, 2018

Elizabeth Craven and Grace Dalrymple Elliott

We know for a fact that Elizabeth Craven was personally acquainted with Grace Dalrymple Elliott, the Scottish beauty who was famed in her lifetime for many reasons, not least for being at various times the mistress of the English Prince of Wales and of the French Duc d'OrlĂ©ans.  If those two great connoisseurs of female beauty both paid homage to her, we can be certain that Grace was really very attractive and the portraits are not misleading.

In this portrait by Gainsborough, Grace emphasizes her magnolia-white skin by wearing a black ribbon tied under the chin and trailing down her long neck into the bosom.

Grace Elliott and Elizabeth Craven had a common acquaintance with George, Earl of Cholmondeley, the wealthy playboy who is said to have fathered one of Grace's children. They moved in the same circles. Yet Craven does not mention Grace Elliott in her Memoirs, nor does Grace Elliott mention Craven in hers. This leads to the conclusion that the two women probably did not li…

The Georgian Mile High Club, or Love in a Balloon

Who started the Mile High Club? Maybe you think that this is a twentieth century idea. Until recently, so did I. Aeroplanes were invented in the early twentieth century and quite soon after they were invented somebody came up with the idea of the Mile High Club. Sex in the stratosphere sounded like an original idea for adventurous people and so much more exciting than just a hotel bedroom. Of course that was before seat belts were made compulsory.

But it seems the Mile High Club was invented in Georgian times by the 4th Earl of Cholmondeley (pronounced Chum-ley) one of the most notorious rakes and libertines of Elizabeth Craven's time. She undoubtedly knew him - she mentioned him in her Memoirs - and he mixed in the circles of the supreme rake, Georgie-Porgie the Prince of Wales.

Elizabeth Craven knew Lord Cholmondeley from her girlhood, when he was one of the eligible young men who were invited to her home to meet her and her elder sister, Georgiana, along with Lords Tyrconnel and …