Thursday, April 23, 2015

Etiquette, Society Gossip and Feminine Fancies

Gilded Age beauty, and wife to U.S. President, Grover Cleveland, Frances Cleveland, didn't fancy wine.

More harmless than malicious, with the exception of the description of one Gilded Age wife, "Feminine Fancies" was the title of a Gilded Age newspaper society column. Without the likes of today's TMZ, Extra, E!, this was a way to cover the society women of the day, and pass on a bit of gossip at the same time. The following is one such column:  


Mrs. Cleveland never drinks wine.

Mrs. William Masters is credited with owning $2,000,000 worth of jewelry.

Drop on inn to Lady Henry Somerset's
Lady Henry Somerset, so it appears in the parliamentary statistics, is the owner of two licensed inns.            
Unless Mrs. Henry M. Stanley was living like someone on "Hoarders," due to her parasol collection, I'm not sure why this "marvelous" collection was deemed "peculiar" society column news fodder. 
Mrs. Henry M. Stanley has a peculiar fad. Her hobby is parasols, of which she has a truly marvelous collection.

Mrs. Ann Walter Thomas, and English lady otherwise noted as a linguist, has the credit of being the best Welsh scholar living.

New York's well-known society woman, Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts who took to husband Colonel Ralph Vivian, of the English army, is said to have presented him a policy on her own life for $100,000.


After writing three recent posts on the very popular Washington D.C. wives of the Chinese Minister and Corean Chargés d'Affaires, we at Etiquipedia, sadly, have not been able to find a photo or depiction of either. We especially are quite taken with the descriptions of Mrs. Ye Cha Un. If any of our readers can lead us to a photo, we would be very grateful! The photo above is a depiction of what a Corean/Korean woman of the late 19th Century would have worn. It is from http://english.chosun.com/
Mrs. Tsue Kwo Yin, wife of the Chinese Minister at Washington, never goes out with her husband, but Mrs. Ye Cha Yun, wife of the Corean Chargés d'Affaires left Corean customs at home and goes almost every where her husband goes.
Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief... Congressman Springer's wife is NOT a bluestocking intellectual!
Congressman Springer's wife is described as a charming little woman, as lively as a cricket, devoted to her home and the interests of her husband. She has written more or less for publication, though she is not a bluestocking. All the young people like her.

Poor Mrs. Kipling was on the receiving end of a mean spirited comment, and we are not sure why. We are happy to read she is "bright" and "entertaining," though.
Miss Balastier, who wedded writer Rudyard Kipling, was a New York girl until she went to live with her brother, Walcott B
alastier, in London. Kipling's bride is not pretty, but she is very bright and entertaining. She is very petite, blue-eyed and brown haired.
A grown up Consuelo Vanderbilt, in a photograph with her two young children.
Miss Consuelo Vanderbilt, the 14-year-old daughter of Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt, is a handsome child, with hair and eyes as dark as a Spanish gypsy and the imperious manners of a young princess. She is quite a marvel of erudition and speaks German and French, Chinese and Italian with equal fluency.


From Rome New York's, Daily Sentinel, 1891


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia