Posts Tagged ‘Dangerous Deceptions’

Who’s Real?

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Mary BellendenYes, “Careless” Mary Bellenden’s is real too.  As annoying as it is to have a Molly and a Mary to keep straight, there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.  Mary apparently regularly stole the show with her appearance, and her behavior.  She certainly had the eye of the gentlemen poets of the day

THE HON. MARY BELLENDEN

Now to my heart the glance of Howard flies ;

Now Harvey, fair of face, I mark full well.

With thee, youth’s youngest daughter, Sweet Lepell,

I see two lovely sisters hand in hand,

The fair-haired Martha, and Teresa brown Madge Bellenden, the tallest of the land ;

And smiling Mary, soft and fair as down.

Epistle to- Mr. Pope by Gay.

Who’s Real?

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UntitledWho was real resident in the Palace of Spies?  Sophy Howe was.  I wasn’t able to find art on her, but here’s what historian Lucy Worsely, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces has to say about Sophy in her book Courtiers (a book I highly recommend if you want to know more about what was really going on at Court).

Who’s Real?

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Ever wonder which of the characters in Palace of Spies was a real person?  Quite a lot of them were.  Starting with Peggy’s BFF at court:  Molly Lepell.

WARNING!  There’s actually a spoiler in this…

 

Molly LepellMolly was Maid of Honour to Caroline. She was nicknamed ‘the Schatz’, German for ‘treasure’.
She was renowned for her beauty, her elegant figure, her big grey ‘soft and sprightly’ eyes and her lustrous skin. Sprightly and fun-loving as well as being well educated and intelligent, Molly learnedto carefully disguised her learnedness at court.

She secretly married Lord Hervey in 1720. Married maids were forced to relinquish their positions, something Molly could not afford to do. After marriage, and perhaps as a result of her husband’s infidelities, Molly missed the chase and scandal of being pursued by men.

‘Bright Venus yet never sat bedded,
So perfect a beau and a belle,
As when Hervey the handsome was wedded,
to the beautiful Molly Lepell,
– Chesterfield and Pulteney

For more on the historical Molly Lepell, check out this great site.