Naughty behavior and sordid happenings in the Gilded Age


Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
35
243
South Florida
The fiction could have easily been inspired by Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire, who gave the Duke three daughters before giving birth to the desired son and heir--after many devastating miscarriages which were blamed on the Duchess by the Duke's family. She too was subject to enormous gambling debts and then had the audacity to fall in love with Earl Grey.

On the other hand, her famous dinner parties affected English politics and even inspired America's own Alice Roosevelt Longworth to serve the Republican party in much the same fashion--if you'll excuse the pun!

Both women were the Paris Hiltons of their heyday. Now that Paris Hilton herself has been drawn into politics by John McCain's ridiculous comparison of her with Obama, who knows what this child of the 21st century will accomplish?

(Said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
I think Thackeray had a few other ladies in mind along with the said Duchess. Keira Knightly is in a new picture about Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.

Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire. Now there's a Lady sans peer. I read a recent biography that states she bore a daughter Eliza Courtney nee Grey out of wedlock to a Lord Grey or Mr. Grey. The child seems to have been raised as Grey's younger sister.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliza_Courtney


Hortense Bonaparte also bore a love child to Charles Joseph, Comte de Flahaut,. Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, Duc de Morny. Lillie Langtry also had a love Child. As long as a respectable appearance was put on a Woman could have a love Child, but they had to have help in concealing a pregnancy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Auguste_Louis_Joseph,_duc_de_Morny

The medieval Catherine Of Valois the Widow of Henry V had a dozen children and might of been secretly married to Owen Tudor a Welshman who was her master of the Wardrobe. Seems the fashion of the day helped her conceal her pregnancies. The Tudor line of Kings sprung from this union. I have several cases of Woman making marriages or having affairs out of wedlock or single with out getting caught or punished or unfortunately punished.

If I made any mistakes on spelling or names I beg indulgence because I got this off the top of my head.
 

Kris Muhvic

Member
Jul 3, 2001
295
1
183
Hello-
Regarding the male passenger and his friend; this might be referring to Mr. Finney in 2nd class. I forgot the lad's name, not much is known from what I recall. Did they have a relationship? Not sure. Discretion on these matters were paramount, so much detail is lost.
 

Tim Brandsoy

Member
Feb 19, 2002
165
2
183
----------------
QUOTE:
Yes indeed although I too forgot the gentleman's name he was brought aboard Titanic in a stretcher although I remember reading researchers weren't for sure if they were lovers or not? As you probably know Chad, things of that nature were hush, hush in the Gilded Age.

Although there is a slim change that we are discussing two different couples?
-----------------------
That would be John Hugo Ross.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,594
983
388
65
Titanic survivor Daniel Buckley claimed in his accounts that it was quite common to find many young women in the part of steerage reserved for single men only. Whether that particular observation was true or not, transatlantic "naughty behaviour" was quite common during those days. The voyage often gave young people, especially girls, sudden unaccustomed freedom that would only last a few days and particularly in Third Class where there was little else to do to pass the time, they must have made full use of the opportunities available.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
880
563
Easley South Carolina
>>they must have made full use of the opportunities available.<<

If they did, I suspect that they would have had to be very creative about finding a place to "Do the deed" if they wanted to remain unmolested and unremarked on. Privacy in the third class was virtually non-existant.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,594
983
388
65
>>>>> Privacy in the third class was virtually non-existant.<<<<<

True, but in some...ah... circles, they seem to be prepared to take a few risks. Nevil Shute, while writing about the construction of the R101 (admittedly it was almost 15 years later), noted that it was common to find illicit couples among the working crew "doing the deed" in convenient corners of the hanger. In addition to the men doing the usual heavy work, quite a few women were hired to help in making the gas bags themselves and so there was a well mixed population.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
On those ships which still offered steerage passage (the Titanic did not) unescorted young women were almost always subjected to a continuous barrage of unwelcome attention from male passengers and crew alike. The great majority regarded this prospect as a hazard, not an opportunity.
 
Jun 11, 2000
2,524
26
313
Frankly, I'm with Kyrila on this one, some posts back. You might as well try to push water up a hill as prevent girls and boys getting together if they fancy each other - even if, as I'm sure was often the case, it was probablyly less scandalous than you seem to be discussing - consequences. What else do you expect people in their late teens / early twenties to be thinking about? Especially if they've got a glimpse of freedom, and are away from the relatives' gimlet eyes for the first time. Wasn't young Olas put in charge of a 16-year old girl on the Titanic? How awful!

Though as Bob says, the predators always circled. I recall a steward on a flight to Malaga who backed me into a corner in the galley ... he'd be fired now, and probably put on the sex offenders list. However, I just stabbed him lightly with a handy fork (they were metal in those days). Wouldn't happen to me now, of course; he'd probably offer to cut up my meat for me. Sigh.

With authors like Elinor Glyn, Dave, I always wondered what on earth their poor parents thought ...
"I see your daughters are pursuing careers. One writing unmentionable fiction, and the other creating unsuitable gowns. Your invitation to dinner next week, Sir, is withdrawn!"
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
880
563
Easley South Carolina
>>True, but in some...ah... circles, they seem to be prepared to take a few risks.<<

Oh I have no illusions about that. I was once a young 'un too, and youth finds a way to be served. If a couple wants to...errrrrr...do the jitterbug, they tend to find a place and time to make it happen. They would have to be very creative about it in an environment where there was little real privacy, but if the will exists, it tends to find a way.
 
Jun 11, 2000
2,524
26
313
Enlighten me, Jim. I just thought Milton jumped with Jack Thayer and didn't survive. You're not telling me the boy was a predator? He seems rather young to have been a real threat, or venal, or something...
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
Okay...here goes.

Type "urban dictionary" and "chickenhawk" into your search engine. Read the definition. Then read Jack Thayer's entirely guileless account of his first meeting with Milton Long.

Adult male, nearing 30, approaches 18 year old in a room full of other adult males (and matches), the job of most of which (stewards) was to bring you matches, and says "gotta match?" Then, strikes up a conversation, which begins with "Guess how old I am?" and then goes on to reveal that, while living abroad, he had been passing himself off as a teenager to fool other young people.

If your 18 year old son introduced you to his new, 30-ish, friend who he met under those circumstances, your parental radar would go off.

Okay, now, it could have been nothing, but gay researchers have been laughing at that account for decades, since, in 1970s parlance, it reads as if Jack was being "cruised" by an older man.

Jacks response, "That would be a great opportunity to collect stamps," indicates, strongly, that he did not pick up on the hints. We always use Dr. Evil's quote from Austin Powers, "You...just...don't...get it, Scott" in conjunction with the stamp collecting conversational gambit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,594
983
388
65
This has me a bit confused. Are you saying that Milton Long was getting some sort of a homo-erotic attraction to Jack Thayer?
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
Yeah... he COULD just have been friendly. But the "Guess how old I am? I've been passing myself off as a teenager" gambit is downright creepy and, let's face it, "got a match?," when asked in a room full of matches, is not just an unoriginal flirt but also one so situationally stupid that you'd look at the guy as if he had turned green. If you REALLY needed a match you could simply go to any one of the 7000 unoccuppied tables and get one, or call one of the stewards. Even in 1912, "low comics" used that line as a motif to indicate an attempted pick-up.

Of COURSE, Milton could have been the first man in history to MEAN "got a match?" when he asked "got a match?" But, the odds of THAT and the worst liner disaster to date happening on the same night are astronomical.
happy.gif


One wonders A) if Milton has any morals charges cases waiting to be ferreted out, and B) if Judge Long found the creepy aspects of the letter from Jack Thayer all too familiar.

NOW, the one CONFIRMED chicken hawk aboard...Fynney... and his 16 year old *ahem* companion, indicate that times were not as different as often thought....
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,594
983
388
65
>>>>>> NOW, the one CONFIRMED chicken hawk aboard...Fynney... and his 16 year old *ahem* companion, indicate that times were not as different as often thought....<<<<<<<

Times probably have never been different in THAT respect but in those days people just turned a blind eye to certain things. Furthermore, certain... ahem... activities were not quite socially acceptable as they are now and so the protagonists took greater care, that's all.
 
> I would call it "getting some sort of homo-erotic attraction".

Should have been:

"I wouldn't call it 'getting some sort of homo-erotic attraction'."

It struck me as sounding like he was catching some sort of disease.

Now, Jim...let's get to the real (unanswerable) question. Was Thayer oblivious to this? Or did he catch on? Were Thayer's parents like "oh, dear...not again" (given Thayer's looks)? Or were they also unaware?

I myself would be dense enough to think that a match is just a match.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads