“Adored Granville, who could make a barren desert smile,” was what Harriet Cavendish*** wrote as his bride. They married in 1809, and she went on loving him until the day she died, in 1862.
“LORD GRANVILLE died on January 8, 1846. Long as his death had been expected, when the end came it was a crushing blow to his wife, from which she never quite recovered,” (Some Records of the Later Life of Harriet, Countess Granville by her Grand-daughter Susan H Oldfield)
I came upon the “barren desert” line a long time ago, when reading Judith Schneid Lewis’s In the Family Way. It stuck with me, and ended up, paraphrased, in one of my stories. He was deemed “the handsomest man in England.” I’ve been trying for years to find pictures of him. I've got two so far. The family portrait includes his two illegitimate children by Harriet’s aunt, Lady Bessborough--another interesting story, which I mention inLord of Scoundrels. I’m pretty sure I came upon a portrait at Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, but I’m not positive it was the right man. It’s hard to keep the Granvilles and the Leveson-Gowers straight. But the gentleman at Dunrobin was quite handsome, so I did gaze worshipfully at him.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.