mercoledì 22 febbraio 2017

The 'Petticoat Duellists' of 1792 and of 1892.




Quando pensiamo ad una Lady, sia essa del XVIII o del XIX secolo, immediatamente la nostra mente ci suggerisce ritratti leggiadri che comunicano eleganza, delicatezza, fragilità ... tale è quanto il concetto di femminilità esprime ed esprimeva nell'immaginario collettivo, ma non tutte le Ladies erano così ... femminili, vi era chi esibiva tratti mascolini ed esprimeva temperamenti aggressivi al punto, pensate, di giungere a duellare, non solo con altre Ladies, persino con individui dell'altro sesso !
Ma a noi qui oggi interessa trattare di due duelli completamente al femminile che passarono alla storia come i più famosi PETTICOAT DUELS, ossia duelli in sottoveste, separati l'uno dall'altro da un secolo esatto.

Nel 1792 il Carlton House Magazine ci racconta che Lady Almeria Braddock e Mrs Elphinstone ( probabilmente Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscontessa Keith ) 


Portrait of Hester Maria, Viscountess Keith Elphinstone née Thrale (1764-1857)
by George Sander (1774 - 1846)



si sfidarono a duello in quello che venne definito il primo "PETTICOAT DUEL": Lady Almeria Braddock, durante una visita della venerabile Mrs Elphinstone si sentì insultare con insolenza da quest'ultima la quale le disse con la più totale indifferenza che dimostrava almeno il doppio dei suoi anni, ossia che invece che 30 ne dimostrava 61 e la metteva a conoscenza del fatto che fosse opinione diffusa che quella fosse la sua reale età; ella si sentì così autorizzata a chiedere di sfidarla in un duello che si sarebbe tenuto in Hyde Park a Londra dove le Ladies, a dieci passi l'una dall'altra, cominciarono a duellare con le pistole: Mrs Elphinstone dimostrò una migliore abilità con il grilletto tanto che centrò con un proiettile il cappello di Lady Almeria. 

I loro secondi supplicarono affinchè le ostilità avessero così una loro conclusione, ma rifiutandosi Mrs Elphinstone di chiedere scusa il combattimento proseguì, questa volta con le spade: Lady Almeria riuscì a colpire la propria avversaria ad un braccio e fu così che l'onore di entrambe si disse gratificato; entrambe le Ladies lasciarono il campo e Mrs Elphinstone accettò di far pervenire per iscritto a Lady Almeria Braddock le proprie scuse.

Il racconto ci risulta intrigante, ma va detto che non è mai esistita una Lady o un Lord Braddock ... a quel tempo viveva una certa Lady Almeria Carpenter (1752-1809), 


Lady Almeria Carpenter by Richard Cosway (1742 - 1821)



figlia del Conte di Tyrconnell, e amante del Principe William Henry, il Duca di Gloucester ed Edimburgo (1743-1805 - figlio di re Giorgio II) e madre di sua figlia illegittima Louisa Maria La Coast ... ma ciò non toglie che ella potesse comunque essere protagonista del fatto ed abbia scelto un falso cognome per mantenere l'anonimato ...




Ma con ogni probabilità il più famoso "PETTICOAT DUEL" fu quello combattuto a petto nudo esattamente un secolo dopo quello su menzionato, analogamente al quale doveva essere al primo sangue, ma data la gravità della controversia e la ferocia delle combattenti, costoro non si fermarono finché non furono entrambe ferite. 


Emile Bayard, An Affair of Honor, 1886 ca.




Ci troviamo questa volta nell'estate del 1892 e non più nella capitale britannica, bensì in Austria, mentre stanno fervendo i preparativi per la rassegna teatrale musicale di Vienna a proposito della quale due nobildonne entrarono in diatriba: la Principessa Paulina Metternich


 Princess Pauline von Metternich by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1860




Presidente Onorario della Mostra, e la Contessa Anastasia KiielmanseggPresidente del Comitato delle Dame, erano in disaccordo circa l'arredo floreale dell'evento.

Dovete sapere che la rivalità tra Principessa Paulina e la Contessa Kielmannsegg era evidentemente risaputa nella Vienna del tempo tanto da essere persino documentata nelle pagine della rivista femminile britannica The Lady’s Realm: si diceva che la contessa Anastasia, russa di nascita ed abbastanza giovane da poter essere figlia della sua rivale in opere caritatevoli, fosse molto ambiziosa ed avesse un grande talento per l'organizzazione di spettacoli di ogni genere, ed inoltre che durante il lutto della giovane principessa Paulina si fosse data da fare con inesauribile energia. 


Primo piano della Contessa Anastasia Kielmannsegg tratto direttamente da The Lady’s Realm




Ebbene, tornando al suddetto contenzioso, le aristocratiche dame decisero che a placare la controversia altro non potesse essere che un duello armato, e fu così che e nobildonne si diedero appuntamento a Vaduz, sulla frontiera svizzera, al di fuori del territorio austriaco, dove s'incontrarono in compagnia dei loro secondi, la Principessa Schwarzenberg e la Contessa Kinsk, e di un medico preparato, la Baronessa Lubinska, su consiglio della quale le due duellanti furono fatte spogliare fino alla cintola prima che il conflitto avesse inizio, in modo da far sì che nessun elemento dell'abbigliamento potesse essere d'intralcio ai loro movimenti e potesse infettare eventuali ferite.

Quando la lotta fu sul punto di cominciare tutti gli uomini, ossia i rispettivi servi che erano al seguito, furono fatti allontanare e messi di schiena perché non potessero vedere le loro dame seminude.

Entrambe le signore sferzarono un paio di colpi con la loro spada finché la principessa Paolina finì con il tagliare il naso della contessa Anastasia: alla vista del sangue, e forse colpita da ciò che aveva procurato, la principessa abbassò le difese, ma invece di cessare, i combattimenti proseguirono e la contessa accoltellò la principessa ad un braccio.

Si segnala che entrambi i secondi, alla vista del sangue, si sentirono mancare e nell'udire le grida delle signore, i cavallereschi (o curiosi) fanti e cocchieri tentarono di accorrere in loro aiuto.

Dal momento che la principessa fu la prima a colpire e a far scorrere il primo sangue fu dichiarata vincitrice, anche se alcuni ritenevano che il colpo di striscio non era meritevole di riconoscimento almeno tanto quanto quello inflitto dalla contessa che provocò nel braccio della principessa un taglio ben più profondo. Indipendentemente da ciò, sotto la spinta dei loro due secondi, rianimati dopo poco il ferimento di entrambe, il ​​duello si concluse e le signore si ricomposero per fare ritorno a Vienna con i loro cocchi, per recuperare il loro posto nella scala sociale che le voleva aggraziate e sotto gli occhi di tutti per l'eleganza e l'etichetta di cui erano portatrici ... pensate !


Ed anche per oggi il nostro tempo insieme si conclude qui, vi ringrazio sentitamente per la dedizione con cui sempre mi seguite e vi aspetto per altre curiosità, altri eventi storici, altri viaggi a ritroso nel tempo ...

A presto 💕 


















- picture 1




When we think of a Lady, both of the XXVIIth and XIXth century, immediately our mind suggests us graceful portraits showing elegance, delicacy, fragility ... this is how the concept of femininity expresses and expressed in the collective imagination, but not all the ladies were so ... feminine, there were those who exhibited masculine traits and showed aggressive temperaments to the point, think, to fight, not only with other ladies, even with individuals of the opposite sex !

But we here today are interested to deal with two duels, completely female, which went down in history as the most famous PETTICOAT DUELS, separated from each other exactly by one century.

In 1792 the Carlton House Magazine reads that Lady Almeria Braddock and Mrs. Elphinstone (probably Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith)




- picture 2 - Portrait of Hester Maria, Viscountess Keith Elphinstone née Thrale (1764-1857) by George Sander (1774 - 1846)




challenged themselves to a duel which was called the first PETTICOAT DUEL: Lady Almeria Braddock, during a call paid by the venerable Mrs. Elphinstone felt insulted with insolence when the latter said with complete indifference that she was showing at least the double of her age, namely that instead of 30 she looked 61, and made her aware of the fact that it was widely believed that this was her real age; she felt so resentful to ask to fight with her a duel which had to be held in Hyde Park in London where the Ladies, ten paces from each other, began to battle with pistols: Mrs. Elphinstone showed better skills with trigger given she centered with a bullet Lady Almeria's hat.

Their seconds pleaded for the hostilities to be at their conclusion, but refusing Mrs Elphinstone to apologize,  the fight continued, this time with swords: Lady Almeria managed to hit her opponent in her arm and that was how the honor of both was told to be gratified; both ladies left the camp and Mrs. Elphinstone agreed to provide in writing to Lady Almeria Braddock her apologizes.

This story is quite intriguing, but it must be said that there has never been a Lady or a Lord Braddock ... at that time lived a certain Lady Almeria Carpenter (1752-1809),




- picture 3 - Lady Almeria Carpenter by Richard Cosway (1742 - 1821)




daughter of the Earl of Tyrconnell and lover of Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1743-1805 - son of King George II) and the mother of his illegitimate daughter Maria Louisa The Coast ... but why couldn't she be the protagonist of the fact deciding to choose a fake name to remain anonymous ... ?



But probably the most famous PETTICOAT DUEL was the one fought bare-chested exactly a century after that  mentioned above, similar to it since it also was to be first blood, but given the seriousness of the dispute and the ferocity of the fighter, they didn't stop until they were both injured.




- picture 4 - Emile Bayard, An Affair of Honor, 1886 ca.




This time we find ourselves in the Summer of 1892 and no more in the British capital, but in Austria, while preparations for the musical theater festival in Vienna are underway and this is just the subject on which two noblewomen entered the controversy: Princess Paulina Metternich,




- picture 5 - Princess Pauline von Metternich by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1860




Honorary President of the Festival, and the Countess Anastasia Kiielmansegg, President of the Ladies Committee, disagreed about the event floral decoration.

You should know that the rivalry between Princess Paulina and Countess Kielmannsegg was evidently well known in Vienna as much as to be even documented in the pages of the British women's magazine The Lady's Realm: it was said that the Countess Anastasia, Russian born and young enough to be the daughter of her rival in charitable works, was very ambitious and had a great talent for organizing events of all kinds, and that during the mourning of the young Princess Paulina had been busy with endless energy.




- picture 6 - Close-up of the Countess Anastasia Kiielmansegg taken directly from The Lady's Realm




Well, coming back to this dispute, the aristocratic Ladies decided that to pacify the dispute could not be other than an armed duel, and that was how they arranged to meet themselves in Vaduz, on the Swiss border, outside the territory of Austria, where they arrived in the company of their seconds, Princess Schwarzenberg and Countess Kinsk, and a noblewoman prepared in medical science, Baroness Lubinska, on advice of whom the two duelists were made to strip to the waist before the conflict began, so as to ensure that any clothing item couldn't be a hindrance to their movements and couldn't infect any wounds.

When the fight was about to start all men, that is their servants who were following them, they were taken away and put on ther back toward the scene because they could not see their half-naked ladies.

Both ladies lashed a few shots with their sword until Princess Pauline cut off Countess Anastasia's nose: maybe for the sight of the blood, or maybe for the scare for what she had procured, the Princess lowered her defenses, but instead to cease, the fighting continued and the Countess stabbed the Princess to an arm.

It is noted that both the seconds, at the sight of blood, felt to swoon and hearing the cries of the ladies, either for chivalry or for curiosity, infantrymen and coachmen tried to go to their aid.

Since the Princess was the first to strike and to slide the first blood, she was declared the winner, although some felt that the glancing blow was not worthy of recognition at least as much as the one that inflicted the Countess who caused a well deeper cut on the Princess's arm. Regardless, under the pressure of their two seconds, fastly revived,  the duel ended and the ladies composed themselves to return to Vienna with their chariots, to regain their place in the social ladder which wanted them to be graceful and under the eyes of everybody for the elegance and the etiquette, which they were the bearers of... think you !


And even today our time together here has reached its end, thank you for the dedication with which you always follow me, and I'm waiting for you for sharing other curiosities, other historical events, others travel back in time ...

See you soon 💕 








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40 commenti:

  1. Dearest Daniela, I really appreciate all the time you put into your posts. Your blog is like a breath of fresh air...always. Thank you so much for sharing, and I hope you are having a great week. Hugs.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Linda
      cherished friend, with your beautiful words you always make my day, thank you from the bottom of my heart !!!

      Wishing you a lovely remainder of your week,
      sending dear hugs and more hugs to you ♡❤♡

      Elimina
  2. Wow, I can hardly believe this to be true! But why not? Women have their disagreements too. It is very hard to imagine settling anything this way, isn't it? So very intriguing. Thank-you again for your interesting tidbit of history.
    Sending you Love and Hugs,
    Andrea

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Andrea
      lovely lady, I also think it to be almost incredible, but it's documented in more than one historic source, so we have to believe it, even if it seems unbelievable ... what a shame for a lady to do such things !

      Thanking you for your enjoyment,
      I'm sending blessings on your day,
      may it be as beautiful as you, Dearie ✿⊱╮

      Elimina
  3. So interesting - one never thinks of women of that era engaging in anything so violent. The affairs of honour seem so trivial, don't they?....but I guess that has always been the case with that sort of thing. Feelings hurt, dignity insulted and then a duel!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Pondside
      I'm so very glad to read that you've found this topic interesting ... actually such aggressive behavior is not suitable to ladies, but it happened, and in more occasions, furthermore !

      Wishing you a joyous remainder of your week,
      I'm sending hugs and ever much love to you across the many miles,
      with much, sincere, gratitude ❥

      Elimina
  4. Thank you for another precious post, sweet friend. You are such a dear blessing to me. I don't know why I never thought to do this before, but I finally signed up to receive your beautiful posts via email. This way, I will never miss one. God bless you and hold you close. Sending you much love and many thanks for your friendship and prayers.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Cheryl
      it is I who thank you for gracing my blog today with your so precious and important presence here, dear, dearest friend, blessed be !

      Hope you're having the most pleasant of weeks,
      I'm sending my dearest love to you,
      thank you for being always so supportive,
      cherished friend of mine ♡ஐ♡

      Elimina
  5. Hi! I was wondering if you could go into your settings and turn on the translate feature. Your site is lovely, but i can't read it. looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Thanks, kelleyn

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ kelleyn
      if you scroll down the page, you can find the English version of my article ready to be read, it's just above the comments, probably you haven't seen it !

      Thank you so, so much for your nice words, darling friend, they really bless my heart !

      Wishing you a beautiful remainder of your week,
      thanks most sincerely for visiting ಌ•❤•ಌ

      Elimina
  6. Ciao cara, resto sempre impressionata dai tuoi interessantissimi post!!
    Grazie per condividerli!
    Ti abbraccio

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Manu
      dolcissima, sono io ad esserti grata, per le graditissime visite e per le deliziose parole che sempre mi scrivi nei tuoi commenti, grazie per la tua preziosa presenza !

      Contraccambio il tuo abbraccio con tanta, tanta gioia,
      e che il prosieguo della tua settimana rechi solo serenità e letizia con sé ♥♡♥

      Elimina
  7. I didn't know that petticoat duals could be quite so dangerous. Lucky the ladies in question were not fatally wounded!
    The potrait of Princes Pauline is gorgeous.
    Have a wonderful Thursday Danni :)x

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Prunella Pepperpot
      how very delightful of you to come and visit me, you always bless my heart, Dearie !

      You're right, Winterhalter's paintings are all so gorgeous, not for chance he became the painter of Royals and Emperors, he reached the utmost in his Art, I so love every, just every painting of his !!!

      Sending blessings of joy on your coming days, sweet friend
      with much love and gratitude *♥∗✿∗♥*

      Elimina
  8. Another fascinating and beautiful post, Dany. These duels of long ago were fought on the basis of the strangest disagreements, weren't they. I amazed that women would duel on something as trivial as being offended by a disparaging comment. I love the term the "petticoat duellists". Have the most lovely week, sweet Dany.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Kim
      my lovely friend, I also feel so amazed thinking of such duels, believe me !

      Wishing you a most pleasant remainder of your week,
      I'm sending hugs and ever much love across the many miles ❥

      Elimina
  9. Nothing like a good cat fight and then return to being the lady you're required to be. Such fun.

    Have a fabulous day, my friend. ☺

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Sandee
      it's quite unusual to think of a lady in such a way, but I'm glad to have amused you, believe me, dear friend !

      Enjoy your day you too, Sweetie,
      sending much love ಌ❀ಌ

      Elimina
  10. Cara Daniela interessante e curiosa questa vicenda di cui nulla sapevo.Come sempre i tuoi post mi trasportano in un altro mondo e mi fanno evadere dal quotidiano.Le uniche dispute tra donne a cui ho assistito sono finite con un gran numero di capelli in meno da parte di entrambe!!Aspetto con piacere la prossima evasione.Un abbraccio baby

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ baby
      per fortuna non ho mai assistito a nulla del genere, la giudico una cosa talmente penosa ... due donne, è incredibile che giungano a tanto, che si abbassino a tal punto, ma come vedi anche la storia ci documenta su donne che addirittura appartenevano al mondo aristocratico, persino una principessa che per quel frangente si è dimenticata del suo sangue blu, si è spogliata dei suoi abiti ricercati e costosi e si è lasciata trasportare dagli istinti più bassi !

      Felicissima di averti ancora una volta intrattenuta con diletto ti auguro una serena giornata ed un lieto weekend, mia cara,
      con infinita gratitudine ✿⊱╮

      Elimina
  11. Non sapevo nulla in merito a duelli al femminile! Come sempre mi hai dato notizie interessanti e molto curiose
    Bacioni Alessandra

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Alessandra
      il tuo interesse è la mia gioia, carissima amica dall'animo gentile, grazie !

      Che la tua giornata ti sorrida di letizia,
      te lo auguro dal profondo del cuore ♡❤♡

      Elimina
  12. Dear Lovely Daniela...your posts are always a joy and this one is no exception. Your research and your images are so detailed! How strange to imagine half clad women duelling. I had no idea! Thankyou for your visit yesterday. I'm always thrilled to see you. Love, Mimi xxx

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Mimi
      what a blessing to have you here today, I thank you most sincerely for gracing my blog today, precious friend of mine !

      May the remainder of your week and your weekend ahead be as beautiful as you, Dearie, with utmost gratitude,
      you've filled my heart to overflowing •♥•*Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ*•♥•

      Elimina
  13. I have never heard of women dueling before. it's amazing that a princess did it and even was half naked doing so, that is so surprising. This must have been building up for a long time to have come to this over decorating. You always share such interesting topics :)
    Wishing you all the best for the remainder of this week.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Conniecrafter
      let's admit that these are quite unusual things, generally other behaviours are suited to ladies - in fact Princess Pauline von Metternich and Countess Anastasia Kielmannsegg went to their appointment secretly, probably they didn't boast of the duel they were going to face, but probably they both could not avoid it !

      I'm so grateful to you, precious friend of mine, your interest and enjoyment are always such a blessing to my heart, you always make my day !

      Sending huhs and more hugs to you,
      with my heart filled with joy and thankfulness ಌ•❤•ಌ

      Elimina
  14. Carissima Dany, che post interessante!! Sempre bello passare da te e prendersi il tempo di leggerti:)) un abbraccio forte e che tu possa avere un Wk sereno contemplando il tuo bel parco... la primavera é alle porte 😀💓😘

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ WOODY
      amica mia dolce, grazie per la tua preziosa presenza qui !

      Ti abbraccio forte forte augurandoti una nuova settimana colma di letizia, con infinita gratitudine ༺♡❀♡༻

      Elimina
  15. Sweet friend, I learn so much interesting history from your blog! Fun to know that there were even tomboys back then. Women who dared to be different! :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Jann
      my lovely lady, you've just found the right word, they were tomboys for real !

      Thanking you so, so much for your always so welcome visits and nice words, I'm sending blessings on your new week just begun, may it be filled with joy and wonder ❥

      Elimina
  16. cara dany
    non ne sapevo nulla dei petticoat duell! che affascinanti storie!

    come sempre corredate da deliziose parole e immagini sognanti...
    ti abbraccio e ti auguro una dolce domenica
    daniela

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ daniela
      come sempre le tue dolcissime parole di apprezzamento accarezzano il mio cuore con gioia, ti sono talmente grata per tutto ciò !!!

      Che la tua nuova settimana sia prodiga di letizia e di serenità,
      te lo auguro di vero cuore •♥•*✿*•♥•

      Elimina
  17. Well, this is something I had never heard of before. . .women dueling. This seems to put to death every argument we have that men are the only aggressors in our society. Apparently, both genders historically have been thus. Thanks for enlightening us, Dany. Hugs.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ A Joyful Cottage
      it is I who thank you, dearest Nancy, and I do it wholeheartedly, your words of appreciation mean so much to me !

      Wishing you a pleasant new week,
      I'm sending blessings of joy to you ⊰✽*✽⊱

      Elimina
  18. What a wonderful post, Dany!
    I love the look of petticoats, but I'll bet they were very, very warm (and uncomfortable) in the summertime,
    I wish you a beautiful week, sweet friend.
    Sending you hugs from across the ocean.
    xo.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Lisa
      your amusement is my joy, precious friend of mine, I thank you from the bottom of my heart !

      Wishing you a lovely week,
      filled with so many little things which to be glad for,
      with utmost gratitude ∗⊱༺♡❀♡༻⊰∗

      Elimina
  19. oh how fascinating! I enjoyed reading this little bit of history. Thanks for sharing with Thursday Favorite Things.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Angelina
      it's my pleasure and delight, it is I who thank you for hosting such a lovely link-up party, my lovely lady !

      Thanking you from the bottom of my heart for your words of enjoyment,
      I'm sending hugs and ever much love to you ಌ•❤•ಌ

      Elimina
  20. How fun is this? I've never heard of women dueling.
    Amalia
    xo

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Amalia
      my dearest, we have to admit that it's a quite uncommon behaviour for ladies to have, but History tells us it happened for real !

      Wishing you a wonderful remainder of your week,
      with much love and thankfulness ✿⊱╮

      Elimina

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS, SO PRECIOUS TO ME.