Posted in 19th century, history, lifestyle, literature, people, victorian, tagged clothing, dandy, england, germany, history, nineteenth century, prince puckler, travel literature on October 19, 2008|
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Last week I told about the book I read, in which Prince Pückler-Muskau tells about his travels abroad. Here are some more bits from the book.
Prince Pückler attends a breakfast at the Duke of Devonshire’s at Chiswick. It begins at three, and last until past midnight. The brother in law of Napoleon was there. There was a big chaos of coaches driving up, a cabriolet was crushed and many coaches were damaged, because everyone wanted to get as close to the house as possible. The Duke brags that the dessert alone had cost him a hundred pounds. At two o’clock he leaves for the Duke of Northumberland’s, where a small party of about a 1000 people will take place.
Description of a concert: “The rooms were choke-full, and several young men lay on the carpet at the feet of their ladies, with their heads against cushions of sofas on which their fair ones were seated. This Turkish fashion is really very delightful: and I wonder extremely that C— did not introduce it in Berlin.” [C— is the English ambassador in Berlin]
He is surpised at the press freedom: the “Great Captain” who wants to re-enter parliament is called ‘a spoiled child of fortune’ in the newspaper. In Germany, censorship was introduced in the 1820s by Klemens von Metternich.
He receives 5 to 6 invitations a day for social gatherings, and goes out quite a lot.
When he is going horsebackriding with some ladies in the countryside, air balloons are seen. I didn’t know air balloons were used (except by scientists and adventurers) that early!
Prince Pückler also shares with us some information on the dandy. “An elegant [a dandy] requires per week: 20 shirts, 24 pocket handkerchiefs, 9-10 pairs of summer trowsers, 30 neckhandkerchiefs (unless he wears black ones). 12 waistcoats, stockings à discretion.
He dresses 3 to 4 times a day: a breakfast toilette: a chintz dressing gown and Turkish slippers. A morning riding dress: frock coat, boots and spurs. A dinner dress: dress coat and shoes. Then a ball dress: ‘pumps,’ which means shoes as thin as paper.”
I hope you enjoyed Prince Pücklers adventures in England! I’ll go back soon and write down some more.
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Posted in 19th century, history, lifestyle, literature, people, victorian, tagged england, germany, history, nineteenth century, prince puckler, travel literature on October 12, 2008|
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Recently I have been reading the book Tour in Germany, Holland and England in the years 1826, 1827 & 1828, with remarks on the manners and customs of the inhabitants, and anecdotes of distinguished public characters. In a series of letters / By a German prince by Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau, in a translation by Sarah Austin, London, 1832.
The book is a collection of letters by Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), written to his love Julia. I wasn’t allowed to take the book from the libary, or make copies, so I transcribed some parts of it, because it’s quite amazing.
“This evening, a splendid fête at Lord H—-‘s closed the Easter festivities. Most fashionable people now make another short stay in the country, and in a fortnight hence the season proper begins. I am going bach to Brighton for a few days, but shall wait for the Lord Mayor’s dinner.
[april 16th] This took place today in Guildhall; and now that I have recovered from the fatique, I am extremely glad I went. It lasted full six hours, and six hundred people were present.” There were two bands of music, tabled in parallel setting, and toasts of a national character (which he dissaproved of, being German). The ladies were “frightfully dressed and with a tournure to match.” At 12 the ball began, but the Prince was too tired from dining for six hours in uniform, that he drove home in a hurry and went to bed.
I have some more fragments from the book, which I will post next week!
If you’re interested in Prince Pückler’s work, you can read an interesting article on his influence on American landscape gardening, in this PDF.
If you’re interested in travel literature (it was quite a fad!) you can find a list here.
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Posted in 19th century, architecture, history, people, places to go, victorian, tagged 19th century, bavaria, castles, fairytale castles, fairytales, germany, history, ludwig, ludwig II, nineteenth century on February 17, 2008|
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As a follow-up to my post about Ludwig II of Bavaria, a post about the castles he built.
I think in his time, Ludwig might be seen in the same manner we regard someone like Michael Jackson, and his castles remind of MJ’s Neverland Ranch.
The most impressive castle is Neuschwanstein, which was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner.
Herrenchiemsee is the biggest palace, but nor very impressive compared to Ludwig’s fairytale-style castles.
The Linderhof is the smallest castle, and the only of his buildings that Ludwig saw completed. You can clearly see how it was inspired by Louis XIV’s Versailles, in the shape of the castle.
The Königshaus am Schachen is, as the name says, more a house then a castle. It can only be reached after hours of walking. It was officially meant to be a hunter’s resort, but Ludwig used it to celebrate his birthdays.
Castle Falkenstein is a ruin Ludwig bought in 1883, with the intention to transform it into a fairytale castle. However since he died in 1886, the castle was never completed. This is how it was supposed to look when finished:
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Posted in 19th century, history, people, victorian, tagged 19th century, germany, history, könig ludwig, ludwig, ludwig II of bavaria, mysterious deaths, victorian, wagner on February 10, 2008|
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First of all, the Victorian Era blog was rated a 9.2 by Blogged.com. Thanks!
Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Bavaria, (August 25, 1845 – June 13, 1886) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death. He is also referred to as the “Swan King” or “der Märchenkönig” (the Fairytale King.)
Ludwig ascended to the Bavarian throne at 18, following his father’s early death. His youth and brooding good looks made him wildly popular in Bavaria and elsewhere. One of the first acts of his reign was to summon opera composer Richard Wagner to his court in Munich. Ludwig had admired Wagner since first seeing his opera, and for the rest of his live he would be Wagners patron and a great influence on his works. King Ludwig lived in a fairytale world, so he felt at home in Wagner’s stormy operas about old mythes and sagas.
At the end of his life, Ludwig was declared insane by his family. Many historians believe that Ludwig was indeed sane, an innocent victim of political intrigue. Others believe he may have suffered from the effects of chloroform used in an effort to control chronic toothache rather than mental illness.
Mystery surrounds Ludwig’s death on Lake Starnberg (then called Lake Würm). On June 13, at 6:30 p.m., Ludwig asked to take a walk with Professor Gudden, the psychiatrist that headed the team of Ludwigs doctors. Gudden agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. King Ludwig and Professor Gudden were found dead floating in the water near the shore of Lake Starnberg at 11:30 p.m.
Mystery! Suspense! Ludwig built many beautiful castles, but I’m saving those for a next post.
Here is an interesting website with an extended biography.
I haven’t read this book but it seems very promising.
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