Friday, March 26, 2010
discussion about Austen's incomplete novel, Sanditon, on Austenprose along with numerous fashion plates from the Regency Era with an expert who explains all of the details of the ladies's attire from head to toe. This series has already wrapped up, but it is well worth a visit. This is one of the best Austen blogs out there.
Posted by Mary Simonsen at 12:24 PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam (1677 – 1743) was an Irish nobleman and politician. He succeeded to the Viscountcy of FitzWilliam in 1704, and became a member of the Irish Privy Council in 1715. He was elected as a member of Parliament for Fowey, a rotten borough in Cornwall. Now, you’re probably thinking that Cornwall is a long way from Derbyshire. However, that was the beauty of rotten boroughs. You didn’t have to live anywhere near them.
It is possible that this branch of the Fitzwilliam family had come from Ireland and migrated north to Derbyshire where they put down roots. Being of Hiberno-Norman ancestry, they might have intermarried with another Norman family, the Darcys. So it is possible, if not likely, that Mr. Darcy is of Irish descent.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The picture above is of last night's winner, L. J. Jenkins, on Voodoo Child. Here is what Jenkins had to say in an interview after the ride: "Why would L.J. Jenkins pick Voodoo Child – a bull who had only been ridden once in 34 outs on the Built Ford Tough Series – when there were 10 other bulls to choose from? Why would he choose a bull who had bucked him off two weeks earlier in just 4.5 seconds? 'Everybody’s been wondering why I keep picking him,'” Jenkins said after riding Voodoo Child for 94 points to win the Glendale Invitational, 'but I knew something that everybody else didn’t. I knew I could ride the bull.'"
Posted by Mary Simonsen at 6:45 PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
An example of America’s enthusiasm for Greece, Rome, and Egypt can be seen in the names given to the cities established during this period: Troy, Attica, and Ithaca, New York, Alexandria, Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Athens and Rome, Georgia, among others. Its greatest and continuing impact can be seen in architecture. Country manor houses (see Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia above) were designed with Ionic and Doric columns and/or cupolas, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, New York Public Library and just about every 19th Century and early 20th Century state house.
America’s enthusiasm for all things Classical is the only possible explanation for Greenough’s sculpture of George Washington in toga-like draping. Commissioned by the U.S. Congress in 1832 in honor of Washington’s 100th birthday, it was modeled on the statue of Zeus in the temple on Mount Olympus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But a half naked sculpture of a man who had led America in its darkest hours during the Revolution and who was its first president had a real ick factor to most who viewed it in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
Many Americans found the sight of a bare-chested Washington off-putting and even comical. According to the Smithsonian Press, “After the statue was relocated to the east lawn of the Capitol in 1843, some joked that Washington was desperately reaching for his clothes. In 1908, Greenough's statue finally came in from the cold, and Congress transferred it to the Smithsonian. It remained at the [Smithsonian] Castle until 1964, when it was moved to the new Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History). The marble Washington has held court on the second floor ever since.” The Father of His Country as a frat boy is a must see for anyone visiting the District of Columbia.