Remember, remember, the Fifth of November…

Elizabeth Stuart by Gerrit van Honthorst. National Portrait Gallery, London.

I was doing some reading about the Gunpowder, Treason and Plot thingie when I came across this lady. I read that she was Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England and our very own Anne of Denmark and naturally my interest was spiked.

Elizabeth was born on the 19th of August 1596, the second child of James and Anne at Falkland Palace in Fife, Scotland and was six years old when her father took the English throne.

Elizabeth in 1606, by Robert Peake the Elder. Metropolitan Museum of Art

She comes into the Gunpowder, Treason and Plot by being Guy Fawkes’ intended Catholic monarch. It was his plan to kidnap her in 1605, when she was nine, and, after assassinating her father to put her on the throne. Happily, Guy Fawkes was apprehended before he could murder her father and Elizabeth remained a princess, not to follow in her aunt’s footsteps as a reigning queen of England.
Elizabeth was married on Valentine’s Day 1613 to Frederick V, the Elector of the Palatinate in Germany. They were married at the palace of Whitehall and John Donne, the famous 17th century poet, wrote a poem to celebrate the event “Epithalamion, or Marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth, and Count Palatine being married on St. Valentines Day.”

Frederick led the coalition of Protestant princes at Holy Roman Emperor’s court and marrying Elizabeth would have tightened his ties to his fellow protestants at the court. Despite the business-like affair of their marriage, the two were believed to be genuinely in love with each other and Frederick even created an English wing in his palace at Heidelberg to make his wife comfortable.

Elizabeth is also sometimes called The Winter Queen, the cause being her husband’s short reign as king of Bohemia. Frederick was offered the Bohemian crown in 1619 and both him and Elizabeth were crowned in November 1619. However, Ferdinand II, the Holy Roman Emperor, had a birthright to the throne and did not let them reign long. He forced the couple into exile by 1920, where Elizabeth came to be known as the Winter Queen.

In 1648 her son, Charles I, won back the Electorate of the Palatinate and after the Restoration of the English and Scottish Monarchs, it was also possible for Elizabeth to travel to England to visit her nephew, Charles II.

It is also through Elizabeth’s line the Hanoverian royal house of Britain, which ended in 1901 with Queen Victoria, is descended. Her daughter, Sophia of Hanover, had become the nearest Protestant to the English and Irish crown and under the Act of Settlement (1701) the royal crown was bestowed on her and her issue.

And this particular blog owner, will never cease to be amazed at how interconnected the royal houses of Europe really are. I hope all of my readers in England are having a great Bonfire Night!

Elizabeth as a widow, by Gerard van Honthorst. National Gallery of London.



What I Did While I Wasn’t Here

Hi! Remember me? I used to blog here relatively regularly but then life happened and I didn’t for far too long. Yeah, I’m back.  Here’s what I did while I wasn’t here.

1: I became a BA of Liberal Arts! Today, even!

2: I came home from Edinburgh and am now pleasantly settled in Copenhagen. Within a week and a half, I had a place to live (where I’m moving this July!), my old job back, plus one new job acquired!

3: I decided not to continue in the field of English. It was a very happy decision and now that I know what I actually want to do, I am so much happier.


4: I’ve applied to nursing school and am fairly confident I will get in. If you’re family and I haven’t told you yet in person, I apologise, but it is a Real Decision™ and I’m very happy that I have made it. I shall let you all know (blog readers and family) whether I’ve been accepted in the end of July when I find out.

5: I’m going to New York in three weeks (exactly) and I’m so excited. I plan to visit lots of museums and take lots of pictures for you, my faithful readers.

6: This blog now has nearly 20,000 page views! That’s so exciting and I want to thank all of you who have stopped by and continue to do so. It makes me so happy to see that even this humble blog has some readership.

But enough about me, let’s take a look at some links I’ve compiled for your pleasure.

7:  Draw This Dress is one of my favourite blogs. Two talented artists share links to old-timey fashions and then interpret them in their drawings. These are a few of my favourites.

Go click on the source because there are so many wonderful pieces of art to gawk at.

8: My favourite new site has rapidly become xoJane. I can’t speak too much about why because it’s such a diverse site. Maybe, that’s it, actually.

9: If you’re into Vintage Fashion the place to live vicariously through a stranger’s blog is Vixen Vintage. Be warned: You will experience mad wardrobe envy.

10: Have you checked out Hark, A Vagrant! lately? The front page currently is my favourite flimsy, flirty, 18th century painting. Don’t forget to spend two hours going through the archives so I’ll at least not feel so alone in doing so.

And to finish up, here’s what I’m currently doing:

11: Here’s what I’m reading right now:



…and finally, here’s what I’m planning to post about for the foreseeable future:

12: I’ll continue my fashion history run-down

13: I’ll review a few of the books I’ve read lately

14: I’ll write about history themed dramas I’ve watched recently

15: and finally, I’ll write about a few of my favourite writers!

It’s great to be back to blogging, and I do solemnly swear to never stay away for so long ever again or at least until my school starts back up again.

Vogue at Versailles

Errr…. That is Vogue at Le Grand Trianon, the home of Louis XIV’s mistress, Francoise-Athénäis, the marquise of Montespan. It’s an impressive building with rooms kept completely in reds or yellows or reds which is enough to awe any visitor. But until October visitors are treated to another form of grandeur. At the Grand Trianon there is an exhibition called The 18th Century Back in Fashion which features pieces from the haute couture, but also ready-to-wear, collections of several modern/contemporary designers.

I thought I’d show off a couple of the gowns exhibited among the 56 pieces at the exhibition. The pieces can usually be found at the Museum Galliera. Apart from the modern gowns, authentic 18th century pieces can be seen, for comparison.

Seeing these amazing dresses etc. in the flesh, so to speak, in such an impressive place was definitely the highlight of our visit to Versailles.

The photos are taken by Julie Ansiau. I make no money from this, all rights reserved to Vogue and Julie Ansiau.

Christian Dior.

Pink taffeta by Doutzen Kroues, inspired by Fragonard. 2007.

Pale green tulle. 2011.

Christian Dior. Better view of the one above.

Christian Dior. Better view of the one above

Bit big for a bedroom, mind.

Robe á la Francaise, 1755-1760

Rochas, 2006.

This gown was created in relation to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

Jean-Paul Gaultier jacket inspired by the wide paniers of the 18th century.

Christian Dior, 2004-05.

Amazingly over the top.

Underwear, 1765, showing exactly what went on under those beautiful gowns.

Vivienne Westwood, 1991.

Christian Lacroix, 1995-96.

I mean, w-o-w.

Christian Lacroix, 1998-99

Vivienne Westwood

I had to include this because of the gorgeous fabric used.

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen.

He was just a genius, wasn’t he?

Vivienne Westwood from the collection Vive la Cocotte, 1995-96

Nicolas Ghesquiére for Balenciaga, 2006

Pierre Balmain, 1954

Isn’t it amazing how the 18th century fashions were relevant in the 50s and continue to influence fashion until today?

Christian Dior, 1954

Thierry Mugler, 1992-93

Sometimes I think I missed my calling as a Goth. I could totally wear this.

Thierry Mugler, 1997-98

I just love this one.

The entire slideshow can be seen here.

And just to finish, here’s a portrait of Madame de Montespan herself:

Busy, busy, busy!

There hasn’t been much activity on this blog for some time. I’ve been getting ready to move – as I’ve been accepted into the European Union’s Erasmus program, I will be moving to Edinburgh for a year in the first week of September.

I’m nervous. And excited. But mostly, busy. I’ve been struggling with official websites that for some ungodly reason hide the exact information you need in the deepest, darkest recesses of their websites, and filled out form after official form just to make sure my home university would accept my year abroad.

The Danish ministries of Education and Science have openly endorsed sending students abroad. They talk about brainpower, broadening horizons, bringing home internationally educated students that will propel the Danish business and science sectors forward. I don’t really identify with any of that, probably because I’m an Arts and Humanities student.

For the past year or so I’ve been so worried about, and focused on, my year abroad that it came to feel more important than my year here. Now, that the leaving date is rapidly nearing I can’t stop worrying about what will happen after I’m done.

Basically, I can’t wait to be in Edinburgh because then it will feel real.

I’d like to promise more activity on this blog, but I hate making promises I can’t keep, so consider this blog on a sort of semi-hiatus. I won’t stop posting, but I don’t know how much and how often.

ETA: I went to France (and Paris) over the summer, and actually made it to Versailles this time, so if my family ever uploads the pictures they took (my camera was left at home by mistake), I’ll be sure to share them here 🙂 It was a fantastic visit, specifically the fashion exhibit at Le Grand Trianon that we weren’t allowed to photograph. It had rococo-inspired clothes designed by people like Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Fabulously fantastic!

Anyway, here’s a beautiful picture by Alphonse Mucha that I really like. I actually really like most things Alphonse Mucha (and generally anything Jugend).