Friday, July 30, 2010

Duchess, Duchess

Miss Matilda's comment about the last Madame Yevonde photo being of the "infamous duchess" piqued my curiousity, as I must admit I had not heard about Margaret Cameron, the Duchess of Argyll or the scandals surrounding her, especially when certain polaroids of her and a man rumoured to be the Minister of Defense and then Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. surfaced during her divorce trial vs. the Duke of Argyll.  What a beautiful woman in her youth.  What a debauched Duchess in her later years.  Here's what one biographer had to say about her: "She had known everybody, been everywhere, had every material advantage, been bestowed with legendary good looks. Never had so much fortune been used to achieve so little." 





Drawing by Cecil Beaton







9 comments:

Amanda said...

Gorgeous!

Trixie said...

"Never had so much fortune been used to achieve so little." Ouch! Brutal! Going to read up on her! Sounds interesting!

Diva said...

But it kind of shows doesn´t it? For her all prettiness (is that a word?:) she just look blazĂ© and ... bored. Why was she debauched?

garofit said...

to say that a poodle and a strand of pearls were the absolute essential things in life - what a height of frivolity may have seemed to some, and perhaps upsetting, offensive too, as highly decadent, narcissistic lives often seem to be; yet, rather a sad story overall.

BaronessVonVintage said...

Diva, you're right! Her outer appearance did seem very blase. The polite version of the biography that led to my debauchery label: apparently, after surviving a near fatal fall down an elevator shaft, the Duchess became "a sex addict."

garofit: indeed! I think many did see her as the embodiment and symbol of the uselessness and decadence of the upper realms of the old class system...Interestingly, I read a bit of the wikipedia bio to my hubby after reading that the Duchess's first husband was a golfer. My hubs's reply: "she was like an early Paris Hilton?" A pretty astute connection to the modern culture of "celebutantes" famous for being famous and infamous (such as via Paris's sex video scandal)....

Blau von T said...

just discovered your blog, love it!

Lulu and the Locket said...

she was a beauty though wasn't she, I would like to read more about her! xx

Darlene said...

Wow, Marie Antoinette would be jealous... :) Hello, baroness!

The Dreamstress said...

Poor thing - she was given everything but common sense and a purpose in life. You can see how hard and unhappy she looks in later photographs.