|Swans on the Serpentine|
|by Sir Thomas Lawrence|
In the 170-years since his death, the Duke’s reputation as a great military strategist and statesman has tended to overshadow his reputation during his lifetime, which was that he was something of a ‘ladies’ man’.The house and exhibit were delightful and it was obvious that his marriage was unhappy because his wife did not share any of his interests or enjoy society and witty conversation. It was entertaining to learn about the women he chose to spend time with instead. Just as I was wondering if Wellington, the military hero, and Lord Nelson, the naval hero, had crossed paths, a curator had anticipated my question and a notice explained they had met just once in 1805. Nelson initially appeared arrogant to Wellington but apparently, there was soon a meeting of the minds.
Through letters, portraits and much more, on loan from public and private collections, Wellington, Women and Friendship will present an intimate picture of a very public life; revealing Wellington’s social circle, his marriage and how his friendships with women could sometimes provoke rumour and gossip.
Wellington, Women and Friendship presents twenty works including paintings, miniatures, drawings and previously unseen or published letters, plus contemporary cartoons which present a window onto the world of society gossip during the 19TH-century. Many of these portraits of the woman he corresponded with hung in his own home during his lifetime.
|This room was sometimes used for the annual Waterloo Anniversary Dinner|
|Hyde Park Corner|
|Dr. Steele and Amanda thinking hard|
Books donated to the Marylebone Library: 2