Victorian "Bluestockings"

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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#21
Here's a little more about the Bluestockings from the British Literary Society. To me it almost sounds as if the ladies invented the forerunner to the modern day book club :nerd:

Bluestocking, any of a group of ladies who in mid-18th-century England held “conversations” to which they invited men of letters and members of the aristocracy with literary interests. The word has come to be applied derisively to a woman who affects literary or learned interests. The Bluestockings attempted to replace social evenings spent playing cards with something more intellectual. The term probably originated when one of the ladies, Mrs. Vesey, invited the learned Benjamin Stillingfleet to one of her parties; he declined because he lacked appropriate dress, whereupon she told him to come “in his blue stockings”—the ordinary worsted stockings he was wearing at the time. He did so, and Bluestocking (or Bas Bleu) society became a nickname for the group. This anecdote was later recounted by Madame d’Arblay (the diarist and novelist better known as Fanny Burney), who was closely associated with (but also satirized) the Bluestockings.
The group was never a society in any formal sense. Mrs. Vesey seems to have given the first party, in Bath. After she moved to London, a rivalry developed with Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, who became the leader of the literary ladies. Others included Mrs. Hester Chapone, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, Miss Mary Monckton, and Miss Hannah More, whose poem “The Bas Bleu, or Conversation,” supplies valuable inside information about them. Guests included Dr. Johnson, David Garrick, the Earl of Bath, Lord Lyttleton, and Horace Walpole (who called them “petticoteries”). Source
 

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grace

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#24
While I am probably a "bluestocking" as well, I will add one caveat to the male perception of these ladies. In my experience, these intellectual types can be quite the steamrollers, particularly when they get going! :giggle: And as a general rule, a steel fist is not going to be appreciated as much as a velvet glove.

Add to that the fact that many of these women were *cough* vocal and therefore, are easier to dislike...just a thought.

*dives behind needlework.
 
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#25
In my experience, these intellectual types can be quite the steamrollers, particularly when they get going! :giggle: And as a general rule, a steel fist is not going to be appreciated as much as a velvet glove.
Interesting observation. I'm all for charm (may have actually used it to my advantage a time or two or three or four :giggle:), but sometimes women do need to be steamrollers. I'm sure some of our Victorian friends were perceived that way. What do you think @Anna Elizabeth Henry?
 

Waterloo50

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#26
One little story from the late 1970s: I went to an all-girls school, a pretty good one, we had a lot of daughters of aristocrats, it had been the educational institution for the Upper Ten Families in my hometown. Now believe it or not, back in 1979 I had a class in school, named "Values and normative rules" and one semester we worked on emancipation - not only women's emancipation, but also slavery etc. But when we worked on women's emancipation, our male teacher asked the class "Prove the sentence that intelligent women are mostly ugly"
Imagine! He stood in front of a class of bright young girls !!!!
:mad::bomb::spider:

But even worse was that some of the girls even raised their hands to reply!!! I will never forget that one sycophant really said "That is probably because while these women do a lot of intellectual work, they forget to wash their hair and to apply make-up."
My friend Sabine and I thought we had to choke on what we could not say to her in that situation!! :cannon:

So if you look for members for your "CWT Bluestocking Society" - seems here is another one!
And by that logic, all pretty women are stupid. :smile coffee:
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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#27
Interesting observation. I'm all for charm (may have actually used it to my advantage a time or two or three or four :giggle:), but sometimes women do need to be steamrollers. I'm sure some of our Victorian friends were perceived that way. What do you think @Anna Elizabeth Henry?
Charm is a helpful tool some of the time. Especially when trying to wiggle something extra out of someone - however, I'm the farthest thing from a shrinking violet. Had I been alive in the Victorian era I fear I would've been outspoken and no doubt steamrollering my radical views out in the world. I grew up a tomboy so I'm Jo March all the way - independence and respect are important to me.
 
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#28
Charm is a helpful tool some of the time. Especially when trying to wiggle something extra out of someone - however, I'm the farthest thing from a shrinking violet. Had I been alive in the Victorian era I fear I would've been outspoken and no doubt steamrollering my radical views out in the world. I grew up a tomboy so I'm Jo March all the way - independence and respect are important to me.
I'm right there with you! I'm a steel magnolia for sure and proud of it.
 

TnFed

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#30
One little story from the late 1970s: I went to an all-girls school, a pretty good one, we had a lot of daughters of aristocrats, it had been the educational institution for the Upper Ten Families in my hometown. Now believe it or not, back in 1979 I had a class in school, named "Values and normative rules" and one semester we worked on emancipation - not only women's emancipation, but also slavery etc. But when we worked on women's emancipation, our male teacher asked the class "Prove the sentence that intelligent women are mostly ugly"
Imagine! He stood in front of a class of bright young girls !!!!
:mad::bomb::spider:

But even worse was that some of the girls even raised their hands to reply!!! I will never forget that one sycophant really said "That is probably because while these women do a lot of intellectual work, they forget to wash their hair and to apply make-up."
My friend Sabine and I thought we had to choke on what we could not say to her in that situation!! :cannon:

So if you look for members for your "CWT Bluestocking Society" - seems here is another one!
They forget to wash their hair. Lol,lol,lol,lol,lol.
 
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#35
I don't know much about Camilla, but she was never pretty. Why do I always thing or chickens and horses when I hear her name? Apologies to Gonzo... and to horses.
Well, I think Camilla might not be the prettiest of women, but she has more between her ears than just the perfect haircut! She is the living proof that women don't need to be 20, wearing a size zero and perfect veneers on their teeth to charm a veritable prince! She is loud, she has wrinkles and a few pounds more than a topmodel. So what? She made her prince fall in love with her - through her wits and her humor. At the end of the day, that is what counts in my opinion. They can laugh together an they adore each other for making the other one laugh. Who could ask for more?
 

Northern Light

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#36
Well, I think Camilla might not be the prettiest of women, but she has more between her ears than just the perfect haircut! She is the living proof that women don't need to be 20, wearing a size zero and perfect veneers on their teeth to charm a veritable prince! She is loud, she has wrinkles and a few pounds more than a topmodel. So what? She made her prince fall in love with her - through her wits and her humor. At the end of the day, that is what counts in my opinion. They can laugh together an they adore each other for making the other one laugh. Who could ask for more?
I was merely commenting on Alex's comment, and I agree with you, FF. I think it is too bad they hadn't been allowed to marry each other in the first place and it would have saved a lot of grief for all concerned.
On the other hand, if that was the case, we wouldn't have the present generation of young royals who have inherited so much of their mother's best qualities.
 
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#37
I was merely commenting on Alex's comment, and I agree with you, FF. I think it is too bad they hadn't been allowed to marry each other in the first place and it would have saved a lot of grief for all concerned.
On the other hand, if that was the case, we wouldn't have the present generation of young royals who have inherited so much of their mother's best qualities.
My post probably sounded more harsh than intended, please forgive me Lorna! And I do agree, the young Royals are an asset to the Royal family. The other day I read something funny, which is a bit out of the way here, but maybe the mods will look away for a moment. Do you remember Freud and his theory of *** envy? Well , the other day I read that we Germans collectively suffer from "Queen envy" - and that is absolutely true for me. I love to watch or read everything connected to the English monarchy and I love these traditions that are fallen out of time a bit... and as a four year old I saw the Queen in person driving by in an open car here in Hannover - me sitting on my Dad's shoulders. Probably that shaped me for life, lol!!
 

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