Wednesday, 19 December 2018 Contact us

“YOUNG LADIES DO NOT EAT CHEESE AT DINNER PARTIES…”

Adrian Tinniswood, Blenheim Literary Festival, Oxford

********* What a wonderful quote with which to open this particular blog?
And it perfectly sums up just how quirky, fun and original Adrian Tinniswood’s talk on ‘The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars’ proved to be.
Translated by me (and me alone) as: “If you loved ‘Downton Abbey’ you’d have loved this talk” it had ‘original’ stamped all over it.
Now whilst I wasn’t a fan of the hugely successful series - ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ with Hudson, Mrs Bridges and Rose is my kind of period pin-up - I have to say I adored this talk. Tinniswood as a speaker was as delightfully whimsical as his subject matter, revolving as it did around how the lives of the ‘other half’ lived, loved and entertained betwixt Fridays and Mondays (the term ‘weekend’ was, at that time, apparently considered vulgar).
Country house parties for the well-heeled boomed because of three reasons -
1. The burgeoning rail network
2. The affection for etiquette
3. And the relaxation of certain reproduction-linked taboos.
Clearly, if you were old and had money, young and had looks, and were only too happy to embrace and acknowledge the first two, life could be a ball.
As was this talk…

 

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music 2018 partners & sponsors

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock