Sleeve monogram M, No 2

Deeply embedded in the late C18th/early C19th, I feel utterly at ease with wearing this sort of monogram on my sleeve  although the sudden rush of ever so slightly warmer weather means for the first time this year I’ve abandoned long sleeves. Never mind, I don’t see myself departing from my new  historical home any time soon – Lord Northwick is still going to be with me when Autumn comes.

Navy T shirt with embroidered and appliquéd
M (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

While my days are filled scouring David’s research papers and websites for mentions of the elusive lord, my evening reading has been devoted to getting a bigger picture of the period. At the moment I’ve turned up a gem in Susan Sontag’s The Volcano Lover, a novel trying to understand perhaps the most famous ménage à trois of all time : Sir William Hamilton (diplomat, collector, dilettanti, volcano lover), his second wife Emma Hamilton (originally poor but beautiful; later not so beautiful and poor again) and Horatio Nelson (hero and I’m afraid indubitably, war criminal). I know Lord Northwick was frequently no more than a place setting away from the historical figures in the book and that he paced the same decks they did at the same time. In one way it’s frustrating that I  find no mention of the man I’m trying so hard to find more about. On the other hand, reading the book has been an exhilarating visit – a sort of package holiday –  touching the edges of somewhere I want to know more about.  More ‘War and Peace’ than Bridgerton (not that I’ve seen it), I really rather loved the ‘The Volcano Lover’.

Navy T shirt with embroidered and appliquéd
M (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

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  1. Posted June 13, 2022 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that eventually we will arrive at a more nuanced teaching of history, but in the meantime, those of us who grew up on a diet of Heroes and Horrors and Never The Twain Shall Meet, are going to have to adjust to more accurate descriptions of some of our rather glamorised Heroes.

    King John, however (I’ve been embedded in the medieval!) seems to have been pretty much as black as folk history painted him…

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 22, 2022 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, nothing any more can be taken for granted as being the unvarnished truth. It makes life a bit more trying and tiring but if that’s how things are, we must go along with re-examining – but not trashing – history.

      • Posted June 23, 2022 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed. It may end up more interesting, if less full of bright colours and contrasts!

        • Mary Addison
          Posted June 24, 2022 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Well that’s very kind, thank you, Rachel.

  2. ceci
    Posted June 14, 2022 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Ah, what a satisfying “M”this is! The monochrome one was more challenging for me – the multicolored frivolity suits the fun of decoration on the sleeve. And yes, history’s lies and omissions – its hard to resist the knee-jerk deference inculcated in school I find – I wonder who is getting that treatment in schools these days?


    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 22, 2022 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the deficiencies of the monochrome M -m you may not like the next one either!!
      I know revisionism is so trying let alone the holier than thou attitude that often comes with it.
      We expect near perfection from others without necessarily realising we are falling far short of that ideal ourselves.

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