Polly

Writings and Witterings

Initial Thoughts on Anne Somerset (1673–1763)

14 Comments

NT; (c) National Trust, Antony; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Lady Anne Somerset by Godfrey Kneller, 1691

So… I am to write a poem about Anne Somerset and her shoes…likely to be a sort of mule made of embroidered silk. There will be a cubby hole, into which the shoes will fit, in the basement at Croome – and the poem, once written, will be there too. My thoughts at the moment are along the lines of something to show her curiosity, she was a known gossip, so I’m thinking a large keyhole for people to look through – you know the sort of thing – think ‘Keyhole Kate,’ but at the same time, don’t underestimate this woman!

In my mind’s eye, I see the poem written on a piece of canvas or linen or cotton made into a scroll and tied with ribbon (in a colour to be picked up in her shoes, the glorious burgandy shown below is rather stunning, or perhaps the black is more ‘her’) that people can release to read the poem. I’m thinking about how to fix it to the box… as Croome is Grade II listed obviously we can’t use screws or glue, so this could be a challenge… hmmm…any thoughts?

When we look through the keyhole we see a picture of Anne and her friends in the drawing room having a chat (perhaps?) – does anyone know a good illustrator who would be willing to produce this for me gratis? They would, of course, be acknowledged.

18th century mule

18th century mule 2Anne was a complex woman, the mother of two boys, she loved gardening, landscape, poetry, botany, architecture, medicine and later developed her ‘creative and literary interests’*. She is described as a religious writer renowned for her charity and piety who also had an interest in contemporary drama. Her ‘large collection of plays, mostly comedies, includes some racy plays and shows a sophisticated broad-mindedness that reflects her involvement with fashionable life.’**

Anne lived to be nearly 90 years old, left Croome when she became the Countess Dowager on the death of her husband, the 2nd Earl, in 1710, then there was a rift in the intervening years that was healed sometime around the 1750′s at the behest of the 6th Earl, who rather wanted his wife to be invited to Badminton.

Any old how, that’s enough about the Countess for now. Should anyone have information or ideas, that would be helpful, it will need to be documented so that I can reference it, I’d be ever so pleased to hear from you.

My next task is to put this into some sort of plan for those nice creative types at Croome – but this is all I have time for today – back to other things :)

*Gordon, Catherine, 2000, The Coventry’s of Croom’, Chichester: Phillimore in Association with The National Trust

**http://www.oxforddnb.com retrieved May 2014

Click here for an interesting article about Anne and here to see a great blog about Croome Court.

I’ve decided to open a separate blog dedicated to my micro-residency at Croome, so that I can track the project. You can find it here – look forward to seeing you there.

About these ads

14 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts on Anne Somerset (1673–1763)

  1. Polly, this is a really beautiful post. I will be following you from Writer Site in the future, instead of through Don’t We Look Alike. Marisha and I are going on hiatus over there. Luanne

    • Thanks for letting me know, Luanne. Is it a temporary hiatus or don’t you know yet? Glad to see you enjoyed the post :)

      • It might be permanent . . . or not. We’re kind of burned out on writing publicly on the topic and are both soooooo busy with other projects (her, acting; me, writing).

        • Ah… sometimes things run their course. I can understand your burn-out, you’ve worked hard on the blog, it was always interesting. Maybe it’s time to preserve your energy and focus on what suits you – I wish you both well :) x

  2. Sounds like an interesting woman.

  3. Plenty to think about, for sure, Joe :)

  4. Okay Polly, you have piqued my curiosity… Interesting post for this history junkie! :)

  5. This is delightful! I love your vision. Maybe you could use some sort of light box to be able to peer inside – then it could be on a stand and you wouldn’t need to fix it to any walls. I hope we get to see the finished article :) I like this whole biographic history avenue that you are taking us down :)

    • The boxes will be lit from inside – I’ve moved everything about the Croome project to a new blog now. Didn’t want things to get too confusing here.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s