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Pregnancy Tudor

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  • Wanda Pease
    I knew I had the pictures, I just couldn t get downstairs to my library at the right time. Although she is not pregnant (I think) there are two pictures of
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 31, 2004
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      I knew I had the pictures, I just couldn't get downstairs to my library at
      the right time.

      Although she is not pregnant (I think) there are two pictures of Mildred
      Coke, Lady Burley, that show her in gowns under Spanish Surcotes that
      certainly could be used by a pregnant woman. They are by The Master of
      Mildred Coke (student of Hans Epworth?)

      The other which I think is definitely of a pregnant woman is: Unknown Lady
      (sigh!) 1595, Sir William Separ (attributed). Her surcoat fastens just
      under the bust and goes around what is a very pregnant tummy. Undergown
      appears be thickly sewn with pearls and she has the typical headdress of the
      day.

      All these pictures can be found in black and white in one of my favorite
      Tudor portrait books: The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean
      Portraiture, Roy Strong, 1969, SBN 7100-6734-8, Library of Congress number
      71-85489. Wonderful book except that only a very few pictures are in color,
      and those are "tipped in", i.e. separate pictures, glued into place on the
      page.


      I suspect that Spanish surcotes covered a multitude of "sins". After all,
      Elizabeth didn't notice that Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of her favorite
      Ladies in Waiting, was pregnant until she was fairly far along (after
      marriage to Walter Raleigh).



      Regina Romsey
      "The work of our Laurels will astonish people a century from now; the
      deeds of our knights will be forgotten in five years; and nobody knows
      what the Pelicans have done." Sir Alan Culross
    • Ariane H
      ... Catching up on email... while the Spanish surcote/ropa/loose gown/whatever-you-call-it seems to have come into vogue a bit later than the Tudor period, it
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 2 3:04 PM
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        wandap@... wrote:

        >Although she is not pregnant (I think) there are two pictures of Mildred
        >Coke, Lady Burley, that show her in gowns under Spanish Surcotes that
        >certainly could be used by a pregnant woman.
        ><snip>
        >I suspect that Spanish surcotes covered a multitude of "sins". After all,
        >Elizabeth didn't notice that Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of her favorite
        >Ladies in Waiting, was pregnant until she was fairly far along (after
        >marriage to Walter Raleigh).
        >
        >

        Catching up on email... while the Spanish surcote/ropa/loose
        gown/whatever-you-call-it seems to have come into vogue a bit later than
        the Tudor period, it could certainly have been worn during a pregnancy.
        There's a great, if obvious, example from Webster's _The Duchess of
        Malfi_ (performed just after 1600): the Duchess hides her several
        pregnancies by wearing, "contrary to our Italian fashion...a
        loose-bodied gown." When the bad guy is totally certain that she's
        pregnant, he exclaims, "A whirlwind strike off these bawd
        farthingales,/ For, but for that, and the loose-bodied gown,/ I should
        have discovered apparently/ The young springal cutting a caper in her
        belly." By "farthingale" I don't know if he meant the cone-shaped ones,
        or the barrel-shaped ones that became fashionable later, but both make
        the waist look smaller. I wonder if they could even be worn above the
        natural waist, so as to completely cover a pregnant belly? That seems
        like it might look really bizarre, on the other hand, if you're swathed
        in a loose-fitting gown and all the masses of fabric are held away from
        your body by the hoopskirt, maybe it really would make the shape of the
        belly indistinguishable.


        Vittoria

        --
        "And besides, in those days, when they said prostitute, they meant a woman who was free, without ties, an intellecual who didn't want to be a housewife. She might hold a salon. Today she'd be in public relations."
        -- Umberto Eco, _Foucault's Pendulum_
      • N B
        I wonder if they could even be ... There are some pics in hispanic costume around 1500 of high waisted farthingale dresses. Farthingale starting beneath the
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2 4:05 PM
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          I wonder if they could even be
          > worn above the
          > natural waist, so as to completely cover a pregnant
          > belly? That seems
          > like it might look really bizarre, on the other hand, if
          > you're swathed
          > in a loose-fitting gown and all the masses of fabric are
          > held away from
          > your body by the hoopskirt, maybe it really would make
          > the shape of the
          > belly indistinguishable.
          >
          >
          > Vittoria
          >
          There are some pics in hispanic costume around 1500 of high
          waisted farthingale dresses. Farthingale starting beneath
          the boobs.

          Cat
          > --
          > "And besides, in those days, when they said prostitute,
          > they meant a woman who was free, without ties, an
          > intellecual who didn't want to be a housewife. She might
          > hold a salon. Today she'd be in public relations."
          > -- Umberto Eco, _Foucault's Pendulum_
          >
          >
          >


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        • uxbridgefox
          ... According to Francois Boucher in 20,000 Years of Fashion the farthingal started in Spain when a Queen, married to an invalid king who was not well enough
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2 4:20 PM
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            > >
            > >
            > > Vittoria
            > >
            > There are some pics in hispanic costume around 1500 of high
            > waisted farthingale dresses. Farthingale starting beneath
            > the boobs.
            >
            > Cat

            According to Francois Boucher in 20,000 Years of Fashion the
            farthingal started in Spain when a Queen, married to an invalid king
            who was not well enough to have relations with her, became pregnant
            with her lovers child. She wore bents in her skirts to hide her
            pregnancy from her husband the King. This started the scandalous
            fashion of the farthingal.

            Sorry I have forgotten the specific names and dates.

            Eleanor le Brun
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