Saturday, January 2, 2010

Some of the Fussy Windbags of the Regency

These three have each contributed greatly to their age but have also in one way or another provoked my ire.
Matthew Gregory Lewis by Henry William Pickersgill

Matthew Gregory Lewis aka the Monk, a vain, pompous fusspot who was a part of the Duchess of York’s set. His work is credible enough that irritating college students, in grand shows of superiority, still hold to their bosoms copies of his Monk as a sign of their intelligence. I absolutely cannot abide the effect is work has on seemingly rational 20 somethings.
Henry Hunt painter unknown

Henry Hunt ‘the Orator’ was a vain, irresolute ninny who talked himself in to the center of the tragedy at Peterloo massacre and should have, as far as I’m concerned, been flogged publicly for his carelessness. Fifteen people lost their lives and hundreds sustained serious injuries because of this fool and his idiot associates. He was, in the end, no more than an ignorant chatterbox out to further his own ends under the guise of a revolutionary.

Hannah More painting by H.W. Pickersgill, A.R.A.

Hannah More, instructing the ‘good poor’ to keep the Sabbath sacred, condemning them for pastimes she ignored in the rich and lordly. The poor hard working folk who had usually only the one day in the week to get out and amuse themselves had to abide these More Laws. ‘The amusements of a Christian must have nothing in them to excite the passions which it is his duty to subdue; they must not obstruct spiritual-mindedness, nor inflame the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and pride of life.’ In the end, it was nothing more than puritanical nonsense meant to oppress those most in need of light amusement, but I will give her credit for her opposition to the slave trade.

The truth is they are none of them so bad it's just some times one gets irritated by the madness one reads. I came across these three in J.B. Priestley book "The Prince of Pleasure" today and by the end I'd have enough of them. Yet here I am posting about the, which proves how very mad I am.

A lovely weekend to all,



  1. Nasty, smelly men! Kick 'em!

    I'm sure I have a copy of The Monk in storage in Glasgow. I take it I shouldn't read it?

    Okay. Okay. Just checking.

    Steph x

  2. I don't know about the men, but I completely agree with you about Hannah More. What a sanctimonious woman.

    I have the Prince of Pleasure but haven't read it yet! I hope in 2010 to make it through at least SOME of the Regency/Georgian non-fiction I have on my shelf!

  3. Venting always helps! Hopefully it gets them right out of your head :)

  4. What a group. I imagine them all in a room together trying to best each other.

  5. You remind me of how little I know in this area - I feel a little more educated about these people after reading this.

    As always I feel more refined after reading these things.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Tom Bailey

  6. The first one somehow reminds me of Ricky, from the 80s movie "Better Off Dead." The second looks like a local news anchor, a sort of Ted Baxter with ruffles. And the lady looks the sort who mouths mildly scolding mottoes such as "girls who whistle come to bad ends" and believes them because they are mottoes.

    None of them are invited to my next party.

    Simone, I hope you know how much I enjoy and look forward to your comments on my blog. You're nothing but a joy.


  7. Nice posts, they have already found their way to irritate me ;)

  8. As usual you have educated me. You have an award on my blog!


  9. Simone, venting is good. It's clears the mind. And in this case, educates the rest of us on topics we should not venture to. I don't think you gave them too much attention. You gave them no praise and no admiration, so no you're not mad.

  10. A sad comment on human nature is that very few people do things for the public good. Most are out for themselves, as the first two blatantly were, and as for Hannah More, the rich are never blamed for things the poor are condemned for. Good for you for taking them to task. They deserve it.

  11. That was really very bold, Simone. Also this is quite a coincidence! I just happened to get a copy of "the monk" along with a bunch of books as a new year present from dad! At the risk of sounding like an illiterate, I must confess that i have never heard of him before. Despite my passion for story telling, I am pretty new to literature per se. So I am trying to catch up on all that I seem to have missed

  12. The Fussy Windbags of the Regency was the name of my band in the early 1980s!
    Happy New Decade, Simone!
    I am so glad to have discovered you in 2009.

  13. How very nice to have you all understand were I'm coming from. You know I have copy of 'monk' that I've never been able to read all the way through but I'm going to make the attempt again. If only so I can honestly say I read his book from cover to cover.
    Michele thank you so very much for the award I'll be sure to write a post about it in a week or so.
    Oh and Kish it doesn't make you sound illiterate most of us don't come to his work until we are in our 20's.
    You are all lovely people and I'm glad know each of you.
    Take my care when you go and have a brilliant week.
    Warm regards,

  14. Is there something wrong with being a little mad? No. I think not. I learned something and so you have achieved your goal I think.

  15. hmmm... well, this is interesting... but i didnt know anything about this...

  16. oh, btw, i LOVE the soundtrack to The Romantic Query Letter... i just noticed :D
    so glad i found you!