Thought i would upload a pictorial of my recent trip to Bath, in Somerset after being reminded of the yearly Jane Austen Festival which happens in September. I so wish i could go but my holiday is in October this year, perhaps next year. I really loved my little break in Bath and the first place i visited was the Herschel Museum, a short walk round a corner from the circus. I wanted to cram as much as i could into my holiday as i could and i like science, especially astronomy which is what William Herschel was famous for, he is “best remembered for the discovery of Uranus, William Herschel was also responsible for increasing the dimensions of the Milky Way, discovering the satellites of Saturn and other planets, the rotation of Saturn’s rings as well as the motion of binary stars”.
He use to make and polish his own telescope in his work-shop, on the floor is the marks from the molten tin that was drop and cracked the floor.
They even had on display a visitor entry when he was becoming famous for his work, here the Princess Royal, Charlotte the eldest daughter of George III and her younger sister Augusta are noted visitors, I got a little excited when I saw this, was a good job i was on my own.
Of course i was really excited when i saw they had an original dress worn by William’s sister Caroline, who also acted as a secretary to him and was a very intelligent lady in her own right. I’m only 5 foot so i was shocked to see how small the dress was, apparently they were wafer thin back then because this dress was from the end of the 18th century when she was an older lady.
I don’t know if anybody else has noticed that little boys before the first world war always wore little frilly dresses, just like the ones their sisters were wearing. I collected loads of photo’s of the Russian royal family from the internet after reading about them and bought several books (The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs and Queen Victoria’s Family, both by Charlotte Zeepvat) which had loads of photos like this.
After researching these little boys fashions i found that before the first world war its has always been like this.
The above are picture of boys, the little boy in the pink dress is American and would have continued to wear dresses until he was breeched, which i guess has something to do with boys in earlier times wearing breeches when they were considered a child and not a toddler anymore. Also in this photo, the young boy’s bodice has no point going down as a young girls would (which would have been following the line of the corset underneath) which is something that would have made the two sexes distinguishable.
You can also see this here with the three eldest children of the Prince of Wales, the two children sitting are the future George III and his brother Edward. Edward is wearing a similar dress to the boy above while George’s dress is very similar to his sister’s Augusta’s, yet they are distinguishable by the cut in George’s Bodice which the pointed edge is atached to his apron, while his sisters bodice has a pointed edge with no cut.
Later on the fashions became more blurred, with practicality taking precedence over rules and symbols as children were becoming more playful and free in there portraits. Above is two boys playing with each other and animals, unrestricted by lace and stiff bodices. While young girls were portrayed in similar scenes and demonstrating that fashion had inevitably moved on, they still had the stiff pointed bodices over their restricting corsets, perhaps predicting the strict fashion code and social codes they would have to follow later in their lives.
Above is George III youngest daughters Mary, Sophia and Amelia.