Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pretty Girl Postcards

I just discovered Pretty Girl Postcards on Etsy, and I had to share it with you! Featuring a line of historically-inspired postcards with witticisms like "All I Want is a Little More Than I'll Ever Get" and "You Are Quite Attractive For a Crazy Person", most of them are taken from 18th-century fashion plates, but there are several vintage magazine covers as well. The wide variety of texts allow for almost any occasion. I'm sending the one above to my best friend who is having a bad year in the certainty that it will make her laugh.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 15, 1781

My broken wrist seems to have healed completely, and in the meantime T- has returned from Calais. His first act was to inform me that he has been invited by a Sir William Clayton, Lord Marlow, to stay at his estate in England and that he intends to do so with permission from his superiors at the Ferme. I think that they believe this will help them in some way, though I cannot see how.

I asked him about my letters, and he replied rather sheepishly that he had thought to turn my mind to duty rather than affection, and believed me to be overwrought needlessly.

We were sitting in the salon, the heady smell of lilies coming through the open window, causing T- to comment on my love of the flower. "Forget me." He said "You will be happier for fullfilling your place, you were not made to suffer, but to be happy. I cannot continue to keep you from that."
"You will make me happy, I will make me happy! Only we two together could make that real. Who can I trust? Who love, who need as I do you? It's your advice I want when I do not know what to do, because I know you to be a man of intelligence and compassion, and not one who seeks to gratify only himself." I replied.

He began to speak again, but the strain of the last few months overcame me in an instant. "I will not believe that you can be happy with this plan either. I was foolish to think that such a farce could bring about anyone's satisfaction, but it was wrong from the start, I see that now, and everything that has happened only serves to prove it. I am tired of waiting for my hopes and plans to come to fruition. I think that there is a time to dream and a time to act, and that time is now. We will make a future for ourselves, since no one will give it to us. If I lose everything, even Auvergne itself it will be worth it to be your wife and not some piece of property, bound by contract to die in an attempt to prolong their line."

I was ranting now, but I couldn't stop the torrent. "I know myself, and this simpering, quiet, passive mouse is not who I am. I will not play this role. I will not. You will not ask it of me, if you love me." Thierry caught up my hands, pulling me into his chest to hold me quivering with rage.

Hushing me he responded "But the King, you told him you would marry the Marquis de Franconville-aux-Bois."
"He has forgiven Lafayette for abandoning his post to take a ship across the ocean and fight for the Americans before we were even at war. He will forgive me this. One small Countess can't matter so very much. But your work; might your superiors be prevailed upon to dismiss you?"
"I think that at present they find me far too useful." Thierry said with a sly smile.
"Thierry, what is the nature of the work that you do for them, and how did you come to meet with this English Lord?" I asked, concerned.
"I cannot tell you exactly what I have been asked to do, but let us simply say that it would benefit them to have me travel and learn what I can. As to Lord Marlow, he was visiting Calais and is a great admirer and scholar of Charlemagne, and finding out that I am descended from that personage we struck up an immediate friendship." He answered.

So there it is. We must find some way to alter the course of the future, but as of yet I do not know how. We must do it fast, the wedding is only two weeks away. For the first time in a long time, I feel strong. I feel myself. Hard won as it is, I will not lose that.

Olympe, Comtesse

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Direct TV, 18th century style

I know I just posted a video and I try not to do that back-to-back, but this was too fun not to share!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Music to my ears- Sonnerie de St. Genevieve du Mont-de-Paris

One of my favorite classical pieces ever, the Sonnerie de Ste. Genevieve etc. ("the bell-toll of St. Genevieve") was composed by Marin Marais (who has such a lovely and alliterative name) in 1725. More about him later; for now just enjoy the music...

Doesn't it just give you a sense of the churchbells ringing?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

March 30th, 1781

A small note written with difficulty. I have broken my right wrist in a fall. A stupid slip on my own skirts. There will be few entries for a while.

- Olympe, Comtesse

Monday, May 2, 2011

Recipes from Claude Moore Colonial Farm

I was searching for some 18th century recipes to try out and came across this lovely site which has 16 simple favorites for those who want an authentic meal from a colonial farm. Claude Moore Farm is located in McLean, Virginia, not far from where I live, so I will have to go visit it and give you a full report!