Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Third Day of Christmas Mary Graham Gave to Me...

Three fainting spells...

Poor little Mary Graham. I do not exaggerate when I say "little" either. Mary was always looked upon with pity because she had such a potential for beauty if only she weren't so skinny. Mary was crippled by tuberculosis which made her weak and constantly seeking relief from the illness in warmer climates. Her trekking also kept Mary from falling victim to the party scene in London like so many other young aristocrats such as her best friend, Georgiana.

8 comments:

  1. It's funny how Gainsborough always makes her look so tall. I always thought there was something unnatural about that ball gown portrait & now I know what it is thanks to your bio of Mary. :)

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  2. Wasn't Mary Graham one of Georgian's closest friends before her death?

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  3. Yeah they were best friends but unfortunately Mary's illness took her away from Georgiana which is too bad because Mary kind of kept Georgiana in check.

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  4. A dress worn by Mary c 1790 still exists (and unaltered, too) in a private collection. Based on it's length, it is thought that she was about 5' 6"--rather taller than most women of her day.

    There's a picture of the dress in a little book published by the National Gallery of Scotland called Gainsborough's Beautiful Mrs Graham.

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  5. i love how gainsborough portated her

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  6. Mary Graham is my favorite! She was such a beautiful woman, plus she even looks like a good friend of mine...lovely work here lovely site.

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  7. The Gainsborough portrait wasn't based in reality. Wasn't there a post about the Rubens Wife trend. Since he made up the dress, he probable tried to make her look better. Nobody wants to pay big bucks to look sick and frail.
    Its ashame that she was so sick, imagine if she had been able to get as close to G as Bess.

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  8. All I knew about Mary is her friendship with the Duchess. So I read the biography you did and I am now adding her to my "need to read list of books."

    The way she was treated after she died had sadden me.

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