Cover Girl Nell Gwyn

Kingsfavorite by Susan Holloway Scott

Once upon a time, before every last second of every other person’s life was documented by way of a digital camera or cell-phone (at least every other person beneath a Certain Age), images were special.  Before photography and daguerreotypes became widespread in the early 19th century, the overwhelming majority of people lived their entire lives without any sort of visual documentation.  No photo-smiles, retouching, good sides or bad.  One’s image was based entirely on the here and now, or memory.

Portraits belonged to the rich, the famous, and the infamous.  Portraits were expensive, and the formal ones could take months, even years, to complete.  Portraits celebrated beauty, rank, wealth, achievement, nobility, or notoriety, and did so for all posterity.  Charles_on_throne_jpg_3 Portraits could be viewed and venerated as stand-ins for the actual person, whether the king in a distant colonial outpost or a deceased dowager duchess respectfully added to the other ancestors in the family gallery.

Portraits also grace the covers of my historical novels.  I’ve been phenomenally fortunate in my covers, which have each featured an actual portrait of my heroine.  In the past, I’ve blogged about the portraits on the covers of Duchess and Royal Harlot, so it seems only fair that I write as well about the portrait of Nell Gwyn on the cover of my current novel, The King’s Favorite.

Those two earlier heroines –– Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, and Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland –– wereMarlborough both seventeenth century Ladies with a capital L, and as such they had their choice of the very best and most fashionable artists.  They were painted grandly, lushly, extravagantly, with the trappings of their titles and wealth around them. (That's Sarah with her family to the right, and even the younger son is looking flawlessly aristocratic.)

Nell Gwyn was different.  Nell was Common.  True, she was a celebrity in an era that was just beginning to realize the concept, an immensely popular actress before she became a royal mistress.  With her curly auburn hair, she wasn’t considered classically beautiful so much as charmingly pretty (what we’d now call “cute”), and her diminutive size (best modern guesses peg her at about 4’10”) made her an unlikely model for a goddess.  She was gleefully unapologetic of her humble beginnings, and only affected grand airs to twit her betters.

But like many people who rise from poverty, Nell was acutely aware of the symbols of success.  Although she could scarcely write her name, she made sure that all the silverware (and even many of the window panes) in her townhouse carried her monogram.  Nell understood the importance of portraits.  She wanted her Verelst_nell beauty and success to be honored and preserved for future generations, but more importantly she wanted the notoriously unfaithful Charles to remember her now.

Nell sat for her portrait numerous times during her short life.  She didn’t always have the most skilled painters (see the awkward effort to the right by Simon Verelst), and because of her background, she was often shown with one or both breasts bared.  Her tiny stature makes her near-nude pose as Venus for Sir Peter Lely seem a little odd to modern eyes (and that's not to mention that weird vertical-futon-thingee she's lounging against), but Charles loved the picture so well that Nell had a copy of it painted for him to hang in his private quarters in the palace.  The artists loved painting her as well; because of her great popularity, they couldBetter_naked_nell_jpg count on selling prints engraved after the original portrait.

The portrait of Nell by Sir Peter Lely on the cover of The King’s Favorite was painted and copied several times, too, and it’s unlikely that this version was the original.   My cover is even further removed.  For design purposes, my publisher asked for permission from the owners to reverse the painting, and to change the color of the gown from yellow to a more eye-catching red. 

There’s another reason for the color change, too, the kind of weird coincidence that delights art historians.  If you look back at the cover of Original_yellow_nell_jpg Royal Harlot, you’ll see that Barbara is wearing the same yellow gown/blue cloak combination.  And I mean the SAME gown and cloak.  Because 17th century artists kept “costumes” (long swaths of rich fabric that could be pinned and clasped into a variety of vaguely classical styles) for posing in their studios, it’s very likely that both women are wearing the exact same length of yellow cloth pulled from Sir Peter’s wardrobe –– and I also imagine that Nell might have done so intentionally to irritate Barbara.

But in this painting meant as a gift for Charles, only Nell would have chosen to be painted in such a rural setting.  She was Charles’s country mistress, his favorite companion on escapes from the London Court to Windsor Castle.  She taught him to fish, and he tried to teach her to ride, and together they swam in the river and strolled through the fields and forests, and it’s likely she wished to remind the king ofNell_engravingvalck these balmy, happy days in her company. Her throat and ears bare of jewels and her hair carelessly tousled,  she drapes a wreath of wildflowers around the neck of an adoring lamb who may (or may not) represent a besotted, tamed Charles himself. 

What did Charles think?  Ahh, for that you’ll just have to read The King’s Favorite, and find out for yourself.

If you were sitting for your portrait, how would you wish to be portrayed: as a Greek goddess, a Regency lady, or a movie star at Cannes, a prowling tigress, a star-spangled alien, or something else altogether? Or do you have another question or comment about Nell herself? I’ll give away a signed copy of The King’s Favorite on Sunday night to a reader who posts before then. 

125 thoughts on “Cover Girl Nell Gwyn”

  1. A portrait – of moi? I’d like to be painted as a 20-25 year old, thanks very much!
    How odd that during our most photogenic period we (or at least me) are so afraid of having our pictures taken, that very few exist. Yes, I’d love to recapture my lost youth. As for setting, I think I’d like to be a scantily clad goddess (at 20-25), Let’s show our body at the best stage of it’s life too!

    Reply
  2. A portrait – of moi? I’d like to be painted as a 20-25 year old, thanks very much!
    How odd that during our most photogenic period we (or at least me) are so afraid of having our pictures taken, that very few exist. Yes, I’d love to recapture my lost youth. As for setting, I think I’d like to be a scantily clad goddess (at 20-25), Let’s show our body at the best stage of it’s life too!

    Reply
  3. A portrait – of moi? I’d like to be painted as a 20-25 year old, thanks very much!
    How odd that during our most photogenic period we (or at least me) are so afraid of having our pictures taken, that very few exist. Yes, I’d love to recapture my lost youth. As for setting, I think I’d like to be a scantily clad goddess (at 20-25), Let’s show our body at the best stage of it’s life too!

    Reply
  4. A portrait – of moi? I’d like to be painted as a 20-25 year old, thanks very much!
    How odd that during our most photogenic period we (or at least me) are so afraid of having our pictures taken, that very few exist. Yes, I’d love to recapture my lost youth. As for setting, I think I’d like to be a scantily clad goddess (at 20-25), Let’s show our body at the best stage of it’s life too!

    Reply
  5. A portrait – of moi? I’d like to be painted as a 20-25 year old, thanks very much!
    How odd that during our most photogenic period we (or at least me) are so afraid of having our pictures taken, that very few exist. Yes, I’d love to recapture my lost youth. As for setting, I think I’d like to be a scantily clad goddess (at 20-25), Let’s show our body at the best stage of it’s life too!

    Reply
  6. Hmm. Jeans, red turtleneck sweater, sitting cross-legged in a pile of autumn leaves with a book in my hand. My glasses would be off, of course and someone would have fluffed my hair. The artist could remove the age-droopy eyelids and that pesky set of moles on my cheek w/o surgery.
    This book looks marvelous. Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
  7. Hmm. Jeans, red turtleneck sweater, sitting cross-legged in a pile of autumn leaves with a book in my hand. My glasses would be off, of course and someone would have fluffed my hair. The artist could remove the age-droopy eyelids and that pesky set of moles on my cheek w/o surgery.
    This book looks marvelous. Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
  8. Hmm. Jeans, red turtleneck sweater, sitting cross-legged in a pile of autumn leaves with a book in my hand. My glasses would be off, of course and someone would have fluffed my hair. The artist could remove the age-droopy eyelids and that pesky set of moles on my cheek w/o surgery.
    This book looks marvelous. Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
  9. Hmm. Jeans, red turtleneck sweater, sitting cross-legged in a pile of autumn leaves with a book in my hand. My glasses would be off, of course and someone would have fluffed my hair. The artist could remove the age-droopy eyelids and that pesky set of moles on my cheek w/o surgery.
    This book looks marvelous. Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
  10. Hmm. Jeans, red turtleneck sweater, sitting cross-legged in a pile of autumn leaves with a book in my hand. My glasses would be off, of course and someone would have fluffed my hair. The artist could remove the age-droopy eyelids and that pesky set of moles on my cheek w/o surgery.
    This book looks marvelous. Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
  11. I would be myself, but photo-shopped to remove the double chin, under-eye bags and 30 years. I could get into an elegant gown and jewels and be surrounded by flowers.

    Reply
  12. I would be myself, but photo-shopped to remove the double chin, under-eye bags and 30 years. I could get into an elegant gown and jewels and be surrounded by flowers.

    Reply
  13. I would be myself, but photo-shopped to remove the double chin, under-eye bags and 30 years. I could get into an elegant gown and jewels and be surrounded by flowers.

    Reply
  14. I would be myself, but photo-shopped to remove the double chin, under-eye bags and 30 years. I could get into an elegant gown and jewels and be surrounded by flowers.

    Reply
  15. I would be myself, but photo-shopped to remove the double chin, under-eye bags and 30 years. I could get into an elegant gown and jewels and be surrounded by flowers.

    Reply
  16. Hmmm…something very slinky and sexy in black, with the body I had at 27, standing before a mystical colored background, and my black Doberman laying in front of my feet…yup, works for me! 😀

    Reply
  17. Hmmm…something very slinky and sexy in black, with the body I had at 27, standing before a mystical colored background, and my black Doberman laying in front of my feet…yup, works for me! 😀

    Reply
  18. Hmmm…something very slinky and sexy in black, with the body I had at 27, standing before a mystical colored background, and my black Doberman laying in front of my feet…yup, works for me! 😀

    Reply
  19. Hmmm…something very slinky and sexy in black, with the body I had at 27, standing before a mystical colored background, and my black Doberman laying in front of my feet…yup, works for me! 😀

    Reply
  20. Hmmm…something very slinky and sexy in black, with the body I had at 27, standing before a mystical colored background, and my black Doberman laying in front of my feet…yup, works for me! 😀

    Reply
  21. Well, I don’t know why, since I’m not enamored of the time period, but I have a vision of myself in an 18th century gown, with lots and lots and lots of jewelry. With a good deal of skin on display, I would want it to be my much younger self. And I would want to be Queen, yes–but not the one who got her head cut off, thanks very much.

    Reply
  22. Well, I don’t know why, since I’m not enamored of the time period, but I have a vision of myself in an 18th century gown, with lots and lots and lots of jewelry. With a good deal of skin on display, I would want it to be my much younger self. And I would want to be Queen, yes–but not the one who got her head cut off, thanks very much.

    Reply
  23. Well, I don’t know why, since I’m not enamored of the time period, but I have a vision of myself in an 18th century gown, with lots and lots and lots of jewelry. With a good deal of skin on display, I would want it to be my much younger self. And I would want to be Queen, yes–but not the one who got her head cut off, thanks very much.

    Reply
  24. Well, I don’t know why, since I’m not enamored of the time period, but I have a vision of myself in an 18th century gown, with lots and lots and lots of jewelry. With a good deal of skin on display, I would want it to be my much younger self. And I would want to be Queen, yes–but not the one who got her head cut off, thanks very much.

    Reply
  25. Well, I don’t know why, since I’m not enamored of the time period, but I have a vision of myself in an 18th century gown, with lots and lots and lots of jewelry. With a good deal of skin on display, I would want it to be my much younger self. And I would want to be Queen, yes–but not the one who got her head cut off, thanks very much.

    Reply
  26. I pick… Venus… painted when I was 18. I looked really, really good then but I was too dumb to know it and enjoy it. Ahhh, youth. It’s wasted on the young. 🙂

    Reply
  27. I pick… Venus… painted when I was 18. I looked really, really good then but I was too dumb to know it and enjoy it. Ahhh, youth. It’s wasted on the young. 🙂

    Reply
  28. I pick… Venus… painted when I was 18. I looked really, really good then but I was too dumb to know it and enjoy it. Ahhh, youth. It’s wasted on the young. 🙂

    Reply
  29. I pick… Venus… painted when I was 18. I looked really, really good then but I was too dumb to know it and enjoy it. Ahhh, youth. It’s wasted on the young. 🙂

    Reply
  30. I pick… Venus… painted when I was 18. I looked really, really good then but I was too dumb to know it and enjoy it. Ahhh, youth. It’s wasted on the young. 🙂

    Reply
  31. That’s favourite game a friend and I play: which painter from history would we like our portrait painted by. We both have a preference for Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun because every woman she ever painted looks beautiful, elegant and twenty years old at the most.
    Another favourite, less famous and a generation younger, is Frans Jozef Kinsoen.
    But Holbein has painted wonderful women’s portraits too, against flat coloured backgrounds. Which leads me to miniaturists, imagine having a miniature of yourself by Hilliard! A man who painted Elizabeth I is bound to understand about making you look as young and pretty as possible, while still looking vaguely recognisable.

    Reply
  32. That’s favourite game a friend and I play: which painter from history would we like our portrait painted by. We both have a preference for Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun because every woman she ever painted looks beautiful, elegant and twenty years old at the most.
    Another favourite, less famous and a generation younger, is Frans Jozef Kinsoen.
    But Holbein has painted wonderful women’s portraits too, against flat coloured backgrounds. Which leads me to miniaturists, imagine having a miniature of yourself by Hilliard! A man who painted Elizabeth I is bound to understand about making you look as young and pretty as possible, while still looking vaguely recognisable.

    Reply
  33. That’s favourite game a friend and I play: which painter from history would we like our portrait painted by. We both have a preference for Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun because every woman she ever painted looks beautiful, elegant and twenty years old at the most.
    Another favourite, less famous and a generation younger, is Frans Jozef Kinsoen.
    But Holbein has painted wonderful women’s portraits too, against flat coloured backgrounds. Which leads me to miniaturists, imagine having a miniature of yourself by Hilliard! A man who painted Elizabeth I is bound to understand about making you look as young and pretty as possible, while still looking vaguely recognisable.

    Reply
  34. That’s favourite game a friend and I play: which painter from history would we like our portrait painted by. We both have a preference for Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun because every woman she ever painted looks beautiful, elegant and twenty years old at the most.
    Another favourite, less famous and a generation younger, is Frans Jozef Kinsoen.
    But Holbein has painted wonderful women’s portraits too, against flat coloured backgrounds. Which leads me to miniaturists, imagine having a miniature of yourself by Hilliard! A man who painted Elizabeth I is bound to understand about making you look as young and pretty as possible, while still looking vaguely recognisable.

    Reply
  35. That’s favourite game a friend and I play: which painter from history would we like our portrait painted by. We both have a preference for Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun because every woman she ever painted looks beautiful, elegant and twenty years old at the most.
    Another favourite, less famous and a generation younger, is Frans Jozef Kinsoen.
    But Holbein has painted wonderful women’s portraits too, against flat coloured backgrounds. Which leads me to miniaturists, imagine having a miniature of yourself by Hilliard! A man who painted Elizabeth I is bound to understand about making you look as young and pretty as possible, while still looking vaguely recognisable.

    Reply
  36. Susan here:
    You know, I realized I didn’t ‘fess up to my own portrait-fantasies. 🙂
    I’ve always loved the full-length-giant-size portraits made for grand-scale country houses and palace, the ones that are bigger than the walls in my house. *g* And like Loretta, I’d want all the trappings of jewels and rich fabrics. This IS a fantasy, right?
    I’d be in my glory-days, my mid-twenties-to-thirties, when my hair was still long and dark. Because I’m tall, and a real Casper, I’d choose the painters who specialized in pale ladies on a grand scale — Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Whistler. Probably Lely, too, after all these Restoration portraits!
    Though I wouldn’t object to sitting for an Annie Leibovitz photograph, either…

    Reply
  37. Susan here:
    You know, I realized I didn’t ‘fess up to my own portrait-fantasies. 🙂
    I’ve always loved the full-length-giant-size portraits made for grand-scale country houses and palace, the ones that are bigger than the walls in my house. *g* And like Loretta, I’d want all the trappings of jewels and rich fabrics. This IS a fantasy, right?
    I’d be in my glory-days, my mid-twenties-to-thirties, when my hair was still long and dark. Because I’m tall, and a real Casper, I’d choose the painters who specialized in pale ladies on a grand scale — Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Whistler. Probably Lely, too, after all these Restoration portraits!
    Though I wouldn’t object to sitting for an Annie Leibovitz photograph, either…

    Reply
  38. Susan here:
    You know, I realized I didn’t ‘fess up to my own portrait-fantasies. 🙂
    I’ve always loved the full-length-giant-size portraits made for grand-scale country houses and palace, the ones that are bigger than the walls in my house. *g* And like Loretta, I’d want all the trappings of jewels and rich fabrics. This IS a fantasy, right?
    I’d be in my glory-days, my mid-twenties-to-thirties, when my hair was still long and dark. Because I’m tall, and a real Casper, I’d choose the painters who specialized in pale ladies on a grand scale — Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Whistler. Probably Lely, too, after all these Restoration portraits!
    Though I wouldn’t object to sitting for an Annie Leibovitz photograph, either…

    Reply
  39. Susan here:
    You know, I realized I didn’t ‘fess up to my own portrait-fantasies. 🙂
    I’ve always loved the full-length-giant-size portraits made for grand-scale country houses and palace, the ones that are bigger than the walls in my house. *g* And like Loretta, I’d want all the trappings of jewels and rich fabrics. This IS a fantasy, right?
    I’d be in my glory-days, my mid-twenties-to-thirties, when my hair was still long and dark. Because I’m tall, and a real Casper, I’d choose the painters who specialized in pale ladies on a grand scale — Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Whistler. Probably Lely, too, after all these Restoration portraits!
    Though I wouldn’t object to sitting for an Annie Leibovitz photograph, either…

    Reply
  40. Susan here:
    You know, I realized I didn’t ‘fess up to my own portrait-fantasies. 🙂
    I’ve always loved the full-length-giant-size portraits made for grand-scale country houses and palace, the ones that are bigger than the walls in my house. *g* And like Loretta, I’d want all the trappings of jewels and rich fabrics. This IS a fantasy, right?
    I’d be in my glory-days, my mid-twenties-to-thirties, when my hair was still long and dark. Because I’m tall, and a real Casper, I’d choose the painters who specialized in pale ladies on a grand scale — Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Whistler. Probably Lely, too, after all these Restoration portraits!
    Though I wouldn’t object to sitting for an Annie Leibovitz photograph, either…

    Reply
  41. Susan, I LOVE it when you talk about portraits in depth! Even though I’m not a Charles II groupie, that painting of him is magnificent. It’s nice to have the range of images of Nell.
    Modern day photographs are too quick, too unforgiving. A portrait took time, so it could be distilled into one’s best looks.
    As for a portrait of me–could I be painted as Catherine Zeta Jones? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  42. Susan, I LOVE it when you talk about portraits in depth! Even though I’m not a Charles II groupie, that painting of him is magnificent. It’s nice to have the range of images of Nell.
    Modern day photographs are too quick, too unforgiving. A portrait took time, so it could be distilled into one’s best looks.
    As for a portrait of me–could I be painted as Catherine Zeta Jones? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  43. Susan, I LOVE it when you talk about portraits in depth! Even though I’m not a Charles II groupie, that painting of him is magnificent. It’s nice to have the range of images of Nell.
    Modern day photographs are too quick, too unforgiving. A portrait took time, so it could be distilled into one’s best looks.
    As for a portrait of me–could I be painted as Catherine Zeta Jones? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  44. Susan, I LOVE it when you talk about portraits in depth! Even though I’m not a Charles II groupie, that painting of him is magnificent. It’s nice to have the range of images of Nell.
    Modern day photographs are too quick, too unforgiving. A portrait took time, so it could be distilled into one’s best looks.
    As for a portrait of me–could I be painted as Catherine Zeta Jones? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  45. Susan, I LOVE it when you talk about portraits in depth! Even though I’m not a Charles II groupie, that painting of him is magnificent. It’s nice to have the range of images of Nell.
    Modern day photographs are too quick, too unforgiving. A portrait took time, so it could be distilled into one’s best looks.
    As for a portrait of me–could I be painted as Catherine Zeta Jones? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  46. I’ve always thought that I would be an ideal model for many of those English/German 18th century portraits (a la George III), as I have the long sharp nose, weak chin, jowly jowls (more jowly as I get older), and pale skin featured in so many of them.
    When I was a young woman (a slim shadow of my present self) I looked a lot like this Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
    http://tinyurl.com/5bnj3l
    and it remains my favorite imaginary alter ego.

    Reply
  47. I’ve always thought that I would be an ideal model for many of those English/German 18th century portraits (a la George III), as I have the long sharp nose, weak chin, jowly jowls (more jowly as I get older), and pale skin featured in so many of them.
    When I was a young woman (a slim shadow of my present self) I looked a lot like this Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
    http://tinyurl.com/5bnj3l
    and it remains my favorite imaginary alter ego.

    Reply
  48. I’ve always thought that I would be an ideal model for many of those English/German 18th century portraits (a la George III), as I have the long sharp nose, weak chin, jowly jowls (more jowly as I get older), and pale skin featured in so many of them.
    When I was a young woman (a slim shadow of my present self) I looked a lot like this Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
    http://tinyurl.com/5bnj3l
    and it remains my favorite imaginary alter ego.

    Reply
  49. I’ve always thought that I would be an ideal model for many of those English/German 18th century portraits (a la George III), as I have the long sharp nose, weak chin, jowly jowls (more jowly as I get older), and pale skin featured in so many of them.
    When I was a young woman (a slim shadow of my present self) I looked a lot like this Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
    http://tinyurl.com/5bnj3l
    and it remains my favorite imaginary alter ego.

    Reply
  50. I’ve always thought that I would be an ideal model for many of those English/German 18th century portraits (a la George III), as I have the long sharp nose, weak chin, jowly jowls (more jowly as I get older), and pale skin featured in so many of them.
    When I was a young woman (a slim shadow of my present self) I looked a lot like this Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
    http://tinyurl.com/5bnj3l
    and it remains my favorite imaginary alter ego.

    Reply
  51. Susan S. you’d have to remember that Annie L. photographs her subjects nude. I’m not sure that many ladies of my age group would feel comfortable with that. And youth IS wasted on the young!

    Reply
  52. Susan S. you’d have to remember that Annie L. photographs her subjects nude. I’m not sure that many ladies of my age group would feel comfortable with that. And youth IS wasted on the young!

    Reply
  53. Susan S. you’d have to remember that Annie L. photographs her subjects nude. I’m not sure that many ladies of my age group would feel comfortable with that. And youth IS wasted on the young!

    Reply
  54. Susan S. you’d have to remember that Annie L. photographs her subjects nude. I’m not sure that many ladies of my age group would feel comfortable with that. And youth IS wasted on the young!

    Reply
  55. Susan S. you’d have to remember that Annie L. photographs her subjects nude. I’m not sure that many ladies of my age group would feel comfortable with that. And youth IS wasted on the young!

    Reply
  56. I think I’m of the “warts and all” school. I’ll take myself as I am now, gray stripes in my hair and all, wearing jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve polo shirt, sitting at my desk with bookshelves in the background. That’s how my grandchildren will remember me anyway 🙂

    Reply
  57. I think I’m of the “warts and all” school. I’ll take myself as I am now, gray stripes in my hair and all, wearing jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve polo shirt, sitting at my desk with bookshelves in the background. That’s how my grandchildren will remember me anyway 🙂

    Reply
  58. I think I’m of the “warts and all” school. I’ll take myself as I am now, gray stripes in my hair and all, wearing jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve polo shirt, sitting at my desk with bookshelves in the background. That’s how my grandchildren will remember me anyway 🙂

    Reply
  59. I think I’m of the “warts and all” school. I’ll take myself as I am now, gray stripes in my hair and all, wearing jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve polo shirt, sitting at my desk with bookshelves in the background. That’s how my grandchildren will remember me anyway 🙂

    Reply
  60. I think I’m of the “warts and all” school. I’ll take myself as I am now, gray stripes in my hair and all, wearing jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve polo shirt, sitting at my desk with bookshelves in the background. That’s how my grandchildren will remember me anyway 🙂

    Reply
  61. I’d go for any artist who was’t afraid of a little retouching here and there. LOL!
    Wouldn’t it be fascinating if authors got to commission a painted portrait for their book covers, so they could incorporate “symbols” like the ones in these old pictures of the Royals? Now that would be fun, for readers and authors alike.
    Great post, too. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  62. I’d go for any artist who was’t afraid of a little retouching here and there. LOL!
    Wouldn’t it be fascinating if authors got to commission a painted portrait for their book covers, so they could incorporate “symbols” like the ones in these old pictures of the Royals? Now that would be fun, for readers and authors alike.
    Great post, too. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  63. I’d go for any artist who was’t afraid of a little retouching here and there. LOL!
    Wouldn’t it be fascinating if authors got to commission a painted portrait for their book covers, so they could incorporate “symbols” like the ones in these old pictures of the Royals? Now that would be fun, for readers and authors alike.
    Great post, too. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  64. I’d go for any artist who was’t afraid of a little retouching here and there. LOL!
    Wouldn’t it be fascinating if authors got to commission a painted portrait for their book covers, so they could incorporate “symbols” like the ones in these old pictures of the Royals? Now that would be fun, for readers and authors alike.
    Great post, too. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  65. I’d go for any artist who was’t afraid of a little retouching here and there. LOL!
    Wouldn’t it be fascinating if authors got to commission a painted portrait for their book covers, so they could incorporate “symbols” like the ones in these old pictures of the Royals? Now that would be fun, for readers and authors alike.
    Great post, too. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply
  66. Funny, isn’t it, how when one finally sees the fun in flaunting oneself, there’s not much left to flaunt?
    I admit it: I wanna be Nell Gwyn.
    I always wonder how faithful portraits were to their subjects, and I’ve not been able to reach a conclusion. There must have been a fine line to tread between realism and pissing off the subject. I’ve never seen a pic of Nell Gwyn where she didn’t look cute… Hmm now, she was popular. The painters probably liked her and had fun painting her. Louise de Keroualle (I’m looking forward to her story) is pretty, too, but she was unpopular. I’ve seen portraits of Charles II where he’s to die for, and others where he looks like a grumpy old man. Did he ever get annoyed, or did his sense of humor prevail?
    Fun stuff!

    Reply
  67. Funny, isn’t it, how when one finally sees the fun in flaunting oneself, there’s not much left to flaunt?
    I admit it: I wanna be Nell Gwyn.
    I always wonder how faithful portraits were to their subjects, and I’ve not been able to reach a conclusion. There must have been a fine line to tread between realism and pissing off the subject. I’ve never seen a pic of Nell Gwyn where she didn’t look cute… Hmm now, she was popular. The painters probably liked her and had fun painting her. Louise de Keroualle (I’m looking forward to her story) is pretty, too, but she was unpopular. I’ve seen portraits of Charles II where he’s to die for, and others where he looks like a grumpy old man. Did he ever get annoyed, or did his sense of humor prevail?
    Fun stuff!

    Reply
  68. Funny, isn’t it, how when one finally sees the fun in flaunting oneself, there’s not much left to flaunt?
    I admit it: I wanna be Nell Gwyn.
    I always wonder how faithful portraits were to their subjects, and I’ve not been able to reach a conclusion. There must have been a fine line to tread between realism and pissing off the subject. I’ve never seen a pic of Nell Gwyn where she didn’t look cute… Hmm now, she was popular. The painters probably liked her and had fun painting her. Louise de Keroualle (I’m looking forward to her story) is pretty, too, but she was unpopular. I’ve seen portraits of Charles II where he’s to die for, and others where he looks like a grumpy old man. Did he ever get annoyed, or did his sense of humor prevail?
    Fun stuff!

    Reply
  69. Funny, isn’t it, how when one finally sees the fun in flaunting oneself, there’s not much left to flaunt?
    I admit it: I wanna be Nell Gwyn.
    I always wonder how faithful portraits were to their subjects, and I’ve not been able to reach a conclusion. There must have been a fine line to tread between realism and pissing off the subject. I’ve never seen a pic of Nell Gwyn where she didn’t look cute… Hmm now, she was popular. The painters probably liked her and had fun painting her. Louise de Keroualle (I’m looking forward to her story) is pretty, too, but she was unpopular. I’ve seen portraits of Charles II where he’s to die for, and others where he looks like a grumpy old man. Did he ever get annoyed, or did his sense of humor prevail?
    Fun stuff!

    Reply
  70. Funny, isn’t it, how when one finally sees the fun in flaunting oneself, there’s not much left to flaunt?
    I admit it: I wanna be Nell Gwyn.
    I always wonder how faithful portraits were to their subjects, and I’ve not been able to reach a conclusion. There must have been a fine line to tread between realism and pissing off the subject. I’ve never seen a pic of Nell Gwyn where she didn’t look cute… Hmm now, she was popular. The painters probably liked her and had fun painting her. Louise de Keroualle (I’m looking forward to her story) is pretty, too, but she was unpopular. I’ve seen portraits of Charles II where he’s to die for, and others where he looks like a grumpy old man. Did he ever get annoyed, or did his sense of humor prevail?
    Fun stuff!

    Reply
  71. So many great ideas for portraits! I knew we were all an imaginative bunch here at the Wenches — even when it comes to imagining ourselves. Or maybe that’s especially in regard to ourselves? *g*

    Reply
  72. So many great ideas for portraits! I knew we were all an imaginative bunch here at the Wenches — even when it comes to imagining ourselves. Or maybe that’s especially in regard to ourselves? *g*

    Reply
  73. So many great ideas for portraits! I knew we were all an imaginative bunch here at the Wenches — even when it comes to imagining ourselves. Or maybe that’s especially in regard to ourselves? *g*

    Reply
  74. So many great ideas for portraits! I knew we were all an imaginative bunch here at the Wenches — even when it comes to imagining ourselves. Or maybe that’s especially in regard to ourselves? *g*

    Reply
  75. So many great ideas for portraits! I knew we were all an imaginative bunch here at the Wenches — even when it comes to imagining ourselves. Or maybe that’s especially in regard to ourselves? *g*

    Reply
  76. Susan here again:
    Both Barbara M. and Mary Jo commented on the portrait of Charles II. I have to admit that of all the zillions of portraits of him, this one amuses me the most.
    Look at it again, and ignore the scepter and orb and crown and the fancy white stockings. Look instead at the blank-eyed, grumpy expression on his face, and the way he’s kind of slouching down in his throne, almost sprawling like an impatient teenager. Charles was notoriously fidgety, a man who didn’t like sitting still, and I imagine (and I’m only imagining here, without any scholarship to back up my opinion) he’s heartily wishing he were anywhere else than posing for his portrait. Kings are supposed to be grand and regal, not disgruntled, but disgruntled is what this portrait says to me.
    Quick, Nell, come cheer this poor fellow up! *g*

    Reply
  77. Susan here again:
    Both Barbara M. and Mary Jo commented on the portrait of Charles II. I have to admit that of all the zillions of portraits of him, this one amuses me the most.
    Look at it again, and ignore the scepter and orb and crown and the fancy white stockings. Look instead at the blank-eyed, grumpy expression on his face, and the way he’s kind of slouching down in his throne, almost sprawling like an impatient teenager. Charles was notoriously fidgety, a man who didn’t like sitting still, and I imagine (and I’m only imagining here, without any scholarship to back up my opinion) he’s heartily wishing he were anywhere else than posing for his portrait. Kings are supposed to be grand and regal, not disgruntled, but disgruntled is what this portrait says to me.
    Quick, Nell, come cheer this poor fellow up! *g*

    Reply
  78. Susan here again:
    Both Barbara M. and Mary Jo commented on the portrait of Charles II. I have to admit that of all the zillions of portraits of him, this one amuses me the most.
    Look at it again, and ignore the scepter and orb and crown and the fancy white stockings. Look instead at the blank-eyed, grumpy expression on his face, and the way he’s kind of slouching down in his throne, almost sprawling like an impatient teenager. Charles was notoriously fidgety, a man who didn’t like sitting still, and I imagine (and I’m only imagining here, without any scholarship to back up my opinion) he’s heartily wishing he were anywhere else than posing for his portrait. Kings are supposed to be grand and regal, not disgruntled, but disgruntled is what this portrait says to me.
    Quick, Nell, come cheer this poor fellow up! *g*

    Reply
  79. Susan here again:
    Both Barbara M. and Mary Jo commented on the portrait of Charles II. I have to admit that of all the zillions of portraits of him, this one amuses me the most.
    Look at it again, and ignore the scepter and orb and crown and the fancy white stockings. Look instead at the blank-eyed, grumpy expression on his face, and the way he’s kind of slouching down in his throne, almost sprawling like an impatient teenager. Charles was notoriously fidgety, a man who didn’t like sitting still, and I imagine (and I’m only imagining here, without any scholarship to back up my opinion) he’s heartily wishing he were anywhere else than posing for his portrait. Kings are supposed to be grand and regal, not disgruntled, but disgruntled is what this portrait says to me.
    Quick, Nell, come cheer this poor fellow up! *g*

    Reply
  80. Susan here again:
    Both Barbara M. and Mary Jo commented on the portrait of Charles II. I have to admit that of all the zillions of portraits of him, this one amuses me the most.
    Look at it again, and ignore the scepter and orb and crown and the fancy white stockings. Look instead at the blank-eyed, grumpy expression on his face, and the way he’s kind of slouching down in his throne, almost sprawling like an impatient teenager. Charles was notoriously fidgety, a man who didn’t like sitting still, and I imagine (and I’m only imagining here, without any scholarship to back up my opinion) he’s heartily wishing he were anywhere else than posing for his portrait. Kings are supposed to be grand and regal, not disgruntled, but disgruntled is what this portrait says to me.
    Quick, Nell, come cheer this poor fellow up! *g*

    Reply
  81. Not really sure of the specifics, but I would love to be painted a la Gustav Klimt, but with open eyes and neither entirely au naturel nor cloaked in what looks like a blanket and a half, as many of his subjects have been. Definitely would NOT enjoy being a Picasso or Dali muse!

    Reply
  82. Not really sure of the specifics, but I would love to be painted a la Gustav Klimt, but with open eyes and neither entirely au naturel nor cloaked in what looks like a blanket and a half, as many of his subjects have been. Definitely would NOT enjoy being a Picasso or Dali muse!

    Reply
  83. Not really sure of the specifics, but I would love to be painted a la Gustav Klimt, but with open eyes and neither entirely au naturel nor cloaked in what looks like a blanket and a half, as many of his subjects have been. Definitely would NOT enjoy being a Picasso or Dali muse!

    Reply
  84. Not really sure of the specifics, but I would love to be painted a la Gustav Klimt, but with open eyes and neither entirely au naturel nor cloaked in what looks like a blanket and a half, as many of his subjects have been. Definitely would NOT enjoy being a Picasso or Dali muse!

    Reply
  85. Not really sure of the specifics, but I would love to be painted a la Gustav Klimt, but with open eyes and neither entirely au naturel nor cloaked in what looks like a blanket and a half, as many of his subjects have been. Definitely would NOT enjoy being a Picasso or Dali muse!

    Reply
  86. I finished ‘The King’s Favorite’ last night, and what a wonderful read! You’ve made Nell Gwyn funny, yes, but you also made her unbelievably poignant. I’ll admit: I cried in parts, but I laughed out loud in others, too. Don’t know how much was real life and how much was your gift becasue I’m not that familiar with this era, but she came to LIFE as a real woman to me. Kudos to you! I’m off to find ‘Royal Harlot’ now, and I can’t wait to see what you do with Louise. Love these ‘Bad Girls’!

    Reply
  87. I finished ‘The King’s Favorite’ last night, and what a wonderful read! You’ve made Nell Gwyn funny, yes, but you also made her unbelievably poignant. I’ll admit: I cried in parts, but I laughed out loud in others, too. Don’t know how much was real life and how much was your gift becasue I’m not that familiar with this era, but she came to LIFE as a real woman to me. Kudos to you! I’m off to find ‘Royal Harlot’ now, and I can’t wait to see what you do with Louise. Love these ‘Bad Girls’!

    Reply
  88. I finished ‘The King’s Favorite’ last night, and what a wonderful read! You’ve made Nell Gwyn funny, yes, but you also made her unbelievably poignant. I’ll admit: I cried in parts, but I laughed out loud in others, too. Don’t know how much was real life and how much was your gift becasue I’m not that familiar with this era, but she came to LIFE as a real woman to me. Kudos to you! I’m off to find ‘Royal Harlot’ now, and I can’t wait to see what you do with Louise. Love these ‘Bad Girls’!

    Reply
  89. I finished ‘The King’s Favorite’ last night, and what a wonderful read! You’ve made Nell Gwyn funny, yes, but you also made her unbelievably poignant. I’ll admit: I cried in parts, but I laughed out loud in others, too. Don’t know how much was real life and how much was your gift becasue I’m not that familiar with this era, but she came to LIFE as a real woman to me. Kudos to you! I’m off to find ‘Royal Harlot’ now, and I can’t wait to see what you do with Louise. Love these ‘Bad Girls’!

    Reply
  90. I finished ‘The King’s Favorite’ last night, and what a wonderful read! You’ve made Nell Gwyn funny, yes, but you also made her unbelievably poignant. I’ll admit: I cried in parts, but I laughed out loud in others, too. Don’t know how much was real life and how much was your gift becasue I’m not that familiar with this era, but she came to LIFE as a real woman to me. Kudos to you! I’m off to find ‘Royal Harlot’ now, and I can’t wait to see what you do with Louise. Love these ‘Bad Girls’!

    Reply
  91. Having watched a few Jane Austen movies lately, I would have to opt for the Regency period. A willowy light dress and a bit of the soft focus look might make a real transformation!

    Reply
  92. Having watched a few Jane Austen movies lately, I would have to opt for the Regency period. A willowy light dress and a bit of the soft focus look might make a real transformation!

    Reply
  93. Having watched a few Jane Austen movies lately, I would have to opt for the Regency period. A willowy light dress and a bit of the soft focus look might make a real transformation!

    Reply
  94. Having watched a few Jane Austen movies lately, I would have to opt for the Regency period. A willowy light dress and a bit of the soft focus look might make a real transformation!

    Reply
  95. Having watched a few Jane Austen movies lately, I would have to opt for the Regency period. A willowy light dress and a bit of the soft focus look might make a real transformation!

    Reply
  96. I might be a subject only Rubens could relish. 🙂 I’d fit right in with his dimply bottomed women! LOL!
    If I were choosing, though, I think I’d have to go with the elegant gown, upswept hair, lush background thing.
    Fun post!

    Reply
  97. I might be a subject only Rubens could relish. 🙂 I’d fit right in with his dimply bottomed women! LOL!
    If I were choosing, though, I think I’d have to go with the elegant gown, upswept hair, lush background thing.
    Fun post!

    Reply
  98. I might be a subject only Rubens could relish. 🙂 I’d fit right in with his dimply bottomed women! LOL!
    If I were choosing, though, I think I’d have to go with the elegant gown, upswept hair, lush background thing.
    Fun post!

    Reply
  99. I might be a subject only Rubens could relish. 🙂 I’d fit right in with his dimply bottomed women! LOL!
    If I were choosing, though, I think I’d have to go with the elegant gown, upswept hair, lush background thing.
    Fun post!

    Reply
  100. I might be a subject only Rubens could relish. 🙂 I’d fit right in with his dimply bottomed women! LOL!
    If I were choosing, though, I think I’d have to go with the elegant gown, upswept hair, lush background thing.
    Fun post!

    Reply
  101. It would have to be the grand Georgian or late Victorian eras for me – both of those appreciated the ’roundness’ of women like me! (Actually, I always wanted to be painted as Sargent’s “Madam X” or by Tamara de Lempicka as one her somewhat muscular 1930’s ‘modern’ women.) Actually, the thing I find most interesting here is the number of women who stated that while they were in their 20’s they didn’t realize how beautiful they were. SAME HERE! I recently pulled out photos for my nieces to use at my sister’s 25th anniversary party and, oh my, we were all so much prettier than we gave ourselves credit for.

    Reply
  102. It would have to be the grand Georgian or late Victorian eras for me – both of those appreciated the ’roundness’ of women like me! (Actually, I always wanted to be painted as Sargent’s “Madam X” or by Tamara de Lempicka as one her somewhat muscular 1930’s ‘modern’ women.) Actually, the thing I find most interesting here is the number of women who stated that while they were in their 20’s they didn’t realize how beautiful they were. SAME HERE! I recently pulled out photos for my nieces to use at my sister’s 25th anniversary party and, oh my, we were all so much prettier than we gave ourselves credit for.

    Reply
  103. It would have to be the grand Georgian or late Victorian eras for me – both of those appreciated the ’roundness’ of women like me! (Actually, I always wanted to be painted as Sargent’s “Madam X” or by Tamara de Lempicka as one her somewhat muscular 1930’s ‘modern’ women.) Actually, the thing I find most interesting here is the number of women who stated that while they were in their 20’s they didn’t realize how beautiful they were. SAME HERE! I recently pulled out photos for my nieces to use at my sister’s 25th anniversary party and, oh my, we were all so much prettier than we gave ourselves credit for.

    Reply
  104. It would have to be the grand Georgian or late Victorian eras for me – both of those appreciated the ’roundness’ of women like me! (Actually, I always wanted to be painted as Sargent’s “Madam X” or by Tamara de Lempicka as one her somewhat muscular 1930’s ‘modern’ women.) Actually, the thing I find most interesting here is the number of women who stated that while they were in their 20’s they didn’t realize how beautiful they were. SAME HERE! I recently pulled out photos for my nieces to use at my sister’s 25th anniversary party and, oh my, we were all so much prettier than we gave ourselves credit for.

    Reply
  105. It would have to be the grand Georgian or late Victorian eras for me – both of those appreciated the ’roundness’ of women like me! (Actually, I always wanted to be painted as Sargent’s “Madam X” or by Tamara de Lempicka as one her somewhat muscular 1930’s ‘modern’ women.) Actually, the thing I find most interesting here is the number of women who stated that while they were in their 20’s they didn’t realize how beautiful they were. SAME HERE! I recently pulled out photos for my nieces to use at my sister’s 25th anniversary party and, oh my, we were all so much prettier than we gave ourselves credit for.

    Reply

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