Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Tall, Dark, & Non-Peacock-ish Gentleman

Friday, August 21, 2009
Charles II w: pineapple cropped Susan reports:

Despite what Fashion dictates, there have always been plenty of gentlemen in every age who choose to go their own way, or at least choose to adapt the trends to their personal tastes. Certainly the dashing fellow with the pipe in Loretta's last post fits that bill, and I imagine Dain did, too.

I've further proof in King Charles II (1630-85), who features so prominently in my last four historical novels. (Look to my own blog to read more about him.) While most of Charles's court was sporting the latest is gaudy Parisian styles, Charles himself preferred simply cut dark clothes when he didn't have to don the ermine for state occasions. (Alas, not even he could escape those awful big, baggy petticoat breeches.) Charles even limited his everyday ornament to having the badges of the order of St. George and the Garter embroidered directly on the fronts of his coats, rather than having to wear the bejeweled versions. As one contemporary noted, "His dress was plain but very elegant and neat: no body wore his cloaths better."

Which is, of course, much easier to do when you're over six feet tall and athletically fit, like Charles. And Dain. And the gentleman in Loretta's post –– who is coincidentally standing in pretty much the same pose as Charles. Whoa!

On an entirely different note: I couldn't bring myself to crop out the little dog standing to the right of Charles. He's a genuine King Charles spaniel, and yes, this is THE King Charles for which the breed is named.

8 comments:

Jane O said...

Ah, Charles II, the only English king with a sense of humor. Who could fail to love him?

Deb Marlowe said...

Not me! I adore him--he's just such a character!

I'm loving the discussion here--so glad I found you ladies! I admit I do have a thing for the buff and blue Regency gentleman like in the Pemberly photo, but I also carry a torch for the earlier, flashier gentlemen! There is just something incredibly *other* about a man in a frock coat, carrying a sword. Utterly masculine--if you have an eye for their time!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Susan, I like the contrast between the big, dark, masculine guy, and his sweet little dog.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Jane O -- Not only did Charles have a sense of humor, he had a self-deprecating and utterly charming sense of humor, clearly unique among English kings AND queens. No surprise at all that most of his female subjects sighed after him....

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Deb Marlowe--
I agree, Deb -- but then I can find something redeeming in just about all of the gentlemen of the past. (My only exception is probably the Elizabethan fellows in trunk hose with a codpiece. No thank you!)

Anyone unconvinced about how sexy those 17th century guys could be with their long wigs, long coats, and tall boots, just check out Johnny Depp in "The Libertine." NO ONE works a wig like Johnny. ::sigh::

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Vanessa, Charles had packs of those little dogs. He was definitely a dog-and-horse Englishman. I like to imagine him on one of his daily walks (more like forced marches to his less athletic courtiers, huffing and puffing to keep up) through St. James's Park with a dozen or so of those little dogs galloping around his long legs. Must have been quite a sight!

News From the Holmestead said...

(Making a note to order The Libertine from Netflix) :-) The more I hear about Charles, the more I warm to him. I like that he was cool enought to set his own fashion of understated elegance--the Beau Brummel of his day. *g*

Back in my dog show days (used to show Dobermans) I'd noticed those little spaniels and thought they were too cute for words. Since then, I've found out there are two different breeds (King Charles Spaniel, a pug-faced critter, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, without the squashy pug face), so I don't know which is the one shown in those old pictures. Regardless, they're little cuties.

~Sherrie Holmes

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Hi, Sherrie! I'm afraid I don't have your expertise in canine matters, so I can't tell you which breed of King Charles spaniels is the more historically "correct." They ARE beauiful dogs, or at least the ones I've known belonging to friends.
Hmmm....I sense another blog here...!

 
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