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Friday, 09 March 2012


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Aha, good old Nancy Astor. What a spirited woman she was, and the first woman to take her seat as an MP; the first being Countess Markiewicz, who was Sinn Fein and thus refused to take the oath of allegiance.

My early career was in publishing, ad we published the memoirs of Nancy Astor's maid: 'Rose. My Life in Service'. She was alovely old dear, and full of anecdotes about gilded society life.

Mrs. Astor's is indeed a remarkable portrait. At first glance it looks to be a record of social position and wealth. Then we see the pose and the expression and the body beneath the yards of fabric (well, men do, anyway!) and we realise that she knows things that women in those days presumably didn't talk about. I wonder if such portraits made the husbands proud, or a little bit jealous?

'Webrights', that old maid could have earned a fortune these days as an advisor to all these TV shows attempting to show us how it was in 'those days'.

'W', you're becoming over-excited again, calm down ,dear, or Mrs. 'W' will have to be informed!

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