Around midnight last night, I noticed that this website had indeed reached over one million views. This calls for a celebration, no? I think it also calls for a look back on some of the most popular articles and events that have shaped The Seventeenth Century Lady since the site re-launched in 2012.
Handsome 17th-century Men from November 2012 proved to be very popular, especially amongst the ladies who read this site. I can’t say I blame them, for a bit of historical eye-candy is never amiss. Being that I think things should be fair to both sexes, I promise to make a Beautiful 17th-century Ladies post as soon as time permits.
The Not-so-hygienic Personal Hygiene of the 17th-century is unquestionably one of the most popular posts on the site. With over 16,000 views, the public’s fascination with the smelly side of 17th-century life is rather apparent. I’m thinking about expanding it, because it is a short piece, and frankly, there is so much information I could add to it. In the same vein, I wrote The Flea: One’s Constant Companion, in which I referred to an accidental experiment in which I lived with fleas and learned how irritating life must have been in the past. The things we do for our art and for research!
17th-Century Rake – John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester is one that I made into a podcast as well due to its popularity. This ill-fated young man was a notorious libertine, gifted poet, and his bad boy image is still attracting attention to this day.
A new biography was released on him just this year, not to mention the fact that Johnny Depp portrayed him in the 2004 film based on his life, The Libertine.
Next, we have the posts relating to my research on the Duke of Monmouth and his last and greatest affair with Lady Henrietta Wentworth. These figures proved very, very important to me and were the inspiration behind my first published work, published in 2013, His Last Mistress. The most popular article is Dashing but Doomed: The Duke of Monmouth and also Henrietta Wentworth: The Woman Who Stole a Duke’s Heart. The Duke of Monmouth has a special place in my heart, as does William III and Mary.
Speaking of whom, I’ve found some more information which I am keen to incorporate into my novel so I am glad that things have worked out the way they have and that I haven’t published that yet. 2014 also saw me move from North West England down to Windsor and I have been happier than I’ve been in three years, and the proximity to archives such as the British Library and the National Archives means I can do my work all the better. It was very, very hard to get down to London from where I used to live, and so this has improved considerably as well.
This summer, I was privileged to have been asked to be part of a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about Queen Anne (since 2014 is the 300th anniversary of her death, and therefore the end of the Stuart dynasty). It was an amazing experience.
I have no idea what the future holds for The Seventeenth Century Lady, but I am so very grateful for those who have supported this site, and me, throughout the past few years. Without the strong support from my readers, family, fans, and friends, I am certain I would not be where I am today. Thank you.
Here’s to YOU!
With many thanks and much love,
Andrea, The Seventeenth Century Lady xx