Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Little News

There are a couple of small news items. First of all, I have just delivered the amended proofs of History of Men's Fashion - What the Well Dressed Man is Weating for an updated and 'improved' further reprint and, secondly, besides the features in the January  and February editions of The Field magazine (respectively on loving cups, and the Aston Martin link with James Bond), I have a feature in the June edition (published on May 16th) on buttonhole flowers. Oh! - and, by chance, 16th May is the 197th anniversary of the beginning of Beau Brummell's nocturnal flight to Calais, down the Dover Road, and into legend.

Finally, here's a nice little number from Jack Buchanan, just to show that, in the contexct of the modern world we are a very special minority interest group indeed:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

St George's Day

Roses come into it so I guess that it has something to do with gardening -

Since 4 June 1793, to celebrate the birthday of King George III, there has been the Eton Boating Procession, when the boys wear boaters which, since WWII, have been bedecked with real flowers - and increasingly far too many of them - far too bling (real flowers also almost always anachronistically appear in 'period dramas' in films and on the television). Before WWII there had been a special boater -

decorated with a red ribbon, bearing the gold lettering 'St George', artificial roses and the badge of St George.

Little is known about the real St George. Eusebius of Caesarea mentions a soldier of noble birth who was executed by the Emperor Diocletian on 23 April 303 AD; his head being taken to Rome and his body being buried in his native Lydda, in Syria, where a spectacular rose bloomed on  his grave. He is traditionally held to have been the defender of the poor and the weak and, besides recognition in many other countries too, he is enough of a Saint, next to St Sebastian, to warrant a holiday in Rio de Janeiro.

The legend of his slaying the dragon to save a beautiful maiden dates from the sixth century and was included in The Golden Legend by James Voragine in 1265; although placing the event in the Lebanon; whereas English tradition places it on Dragon Hill, Uffington (where the dragon's blood poisoned the earth so that no grass will grow on the spot). Sainted since 900, the Synod of Oxford, sitting at Osney Abbey in 1222, decreed that 23 April should be a holiday in England (but it is no longer - at least not in the sense of a vacation). St George is supposed to have appeared to the Crusaders at the Battle of Antioch in 1098 and King Richard III (The Lionheart) adopted him as his Patron Saint during the third Crusade.

By the end of the fourteenth century, St George (displacing St Edmund), was established as the patron saint of England.

Accordingly, on this day: sursum corda:

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Next Post

I have decided that my next post will not appear until I have something to report on my garden.

Friday, 12 April 2013

80 Years Young

Aged 80 in this clip and just about the last one left of her generation of real, old, live entertainers - and no wonder the Carlisle Hotel in NY lets Elaine Stritch live there free in return for a couple of nights' entertainment a month:

Going Dancing in Sleepy Hollow Centro Tonight

But not as well as this:

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Raffaello Baldassare Castigilione's Dictum

In his Book of the Courtier (1528), Baldassare Castigilione describes wit, sprezzatura, and apparent effortlessness in any endeavour, as ‘’a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.’’

Mrs T's Table

There will be a great deal of loved-her-eulogy and hated-her-diatribe about Mrs T over the next few days but here is a unique titbit (apparently, it's 'tidbit' in the USA). Margaret Thatcher was the pupil of Peter Rowland in his tax chambers at 2 Temple Gardens, in the Inner Temple. Almost by chance, I now possess various books that belonged to him and two things that Mrs T would certainly remember: a framed print of the mural in the Palace of Westminster of The Plucking of the Red Rose and the White Rose in Inner Temple Gardens, by Henry Arthur Payne (depicting the start of the War of The Roses, as supposed by Shakespeare):

- and an ornate, mahogany pedestal table at which Mrs T (remembered by Rowland as 'bossy') must have worked. The table is in storage in England, so no picture, I am afraid.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Saturday, 6 April 2013

About Turn

I think that I can justify yet another change of mind over this blog on the basis that only Beta-brains can never admit that they are wrong. Moreover, since I have control over what is or is not published here (including comments) and that the place is, to that extent, 'hog-free', I will post when I feel like it. But no more contributions to forum boards, where (inter alios), drunks, boors, hogs and weirdos creep in the undergrowth.

To be going on with, here is a jolly little number from Zarah Leander: