18th century


Alexandrine Le Normant d’Étoilles

Alexandrine Le Normant d’Étoilles, Boucher, private collection. Although Versailles is better known as a very adult sort of playground, full of gilt and priceless treasures, I’ve always been fascinated by the children who lived there over the decades that it was inhabited by the French court, and to whom it must surely have been like living in the midst of some sort of crazy fairytale. I love their portraits too – dressed up like miniature adults in their finery, gazing solemnly out of the canvas and clearly barely stifling their impatience to be off and away somewhere else, the only […]


The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760

A Musical Tea Party, Laroon, 1740. Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014. In 1714 George I ascended the throne as the first British monarch of the German House of Hanover. With the dawn of a new dynastic age came a silent revolution – one of the most dramatic periods of change across all aspects of British political, intellectual and cultural life. To mark the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the Georgian era, The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760 explores royal patronage and taste in the reigns of George I and George II as a product of […]


Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Tischbein, c1797. Photo: National Museums, Berlin. Long time, no see, my history loving amigos. I’ve been busy researching my novel about Sophie Scholl, enjoying the sunshine and sorting out some pretty exciting stuff that I’ll be sharing with you over the next few months – including press trips, camera in hand to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace to take a look at their new major exhibitions. To make up for my laxity, here’s a post about one of my favourite historical ladies – the extremely beauteous […]