Saturday, January 22, 2011

Georgian speed dating???

A British newspaper reports that those unlucky in love might want to try the 'Nelson touch' with the opposite sex.

HIS romance with mistress Lady Hamilton is the stuff of legend - and singletons will hope to harness some of Lord Nelson's pulling power at a speed dating event with a difference.

In an age where the search for love is often confined to the internet and the closest thing to penning a love letter is sending a text message, the National Museum of the Royal Navy will host a Georgian-themed speed dating event - mixing up the 21st and 18th centuries like never before.

Wearing Georgian masks, 50 hopefuls will mingle for four minutes at a time at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in a bid to find someone special.

The dating event on Saturday, February 12, will be held in the museum's opulent Nelson gallery, an exhibition dedicated to the life of the famous admiral, who died leading Britain to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Its inspired theme comes from the museum's unique collection of 19th century love letters sent from sailor Walter Grainger to his wife, Edith. The letters, which are hand-painted, will be out on display on the night in a bid to foster romantic feelings.

Organiser Roxy Martin-Cottee, 18, said: 'We wanted to do something around the love letters for Valentine's Day and this gives it a quirky twist. The Georgian masks will create an air of mystery and it'll be very romantic.

'I think people used to be more romantic in the old days. I'm hoping people come and have a really good night and maybe meet someone.'

There will be wine and a string quartet at the three-and-a-half hour event, which starts at 7.30pm.

The museum's enterprise manager Giles Gould said: 'It's a great setting for speed dating. There are lots of nooks and crannies so we can space the tables out away from each other. There's also lots of things to have a look at like old love letters.'

Mr Gould jokingly added: 'The room is all about Nelson. There is a Lady Hamilton section - not that we're encouraging mistresses on the night.'

There's more at the link.

I just hope they don't take the Georgian era theme too far. There were elements of that period that really, really won't do today!

The Georgians did not have very good personal hygiene.

People started to wash more often by the Regency period. By this time cotton had also become a popular fabric, as it washed more easily than others. However, for most of the period, both rich and poor were much smellier than today, many had rotting teeth and unsanitary habits.

There were few flushable indoor toilets. After a long dinner, at the point where the ladies withdrew, both sexes would make use of chamber pots, the gentlemen behind a screen in the dining room itself and the ladies behind a screen in the drawing room. Hygiene was not a great priority for any of the social classes and ladies’ fans were not only to keep them cool. They were also to disperse the odours of their less than fragrant menfolk. George III introduced sea bathing to the gentry as a healthy and pleasurable diversion, but only for the men; it was not deemed suitable for women. Some men took to having a daily dip in a cold plunge pool. This was thought a healthy, rather than hygienic, activity.

I've heard of not being in good odor with someone, but that's taking it altogether too far for my romantic instincts!


1 comment:

Jenny said...

regarding hygiene -

1. There's "beauty tips" books going back *centuries*. Just like now some folks were scrupulous, some weren't. But you can do a lot with a fresh basin, wood ash soap, and linens.

2. You realize people in probably less than a century will be disgustedly aghast at the microbial load you're carrying right now, today? By the standards of folks raised up with late 21st/early 22nd nanomedicine, we'll all likely be every bit as "squick" as tribal folk running around covered in lice and tapeworms are to us.

... all in what you're accustomed to.