I'm currently reading a book on dueling, which has had basically proved to be one-stop shopping for all my anecdotal needs. So before I go on a long posting spree about duels, I'm going to spend a few days getting all my other odds and ends out of the way. Here's a story about some late-17th century aristocrats, Colonel John Churchill and Sarah Jennings, later the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.
They "had met, first, at court; and when Sarah, then in her sixteenth year, saw the hero figure in a dance, her fancy was captivated . . . [she said of his dancing], 'Every step he took carried death in it'".
Guys. How is that hot? What the hell kind of dancing was he doing? Unless she meant that every step he took carried la petite mort in it. THAT would at least make sense. Somehow, though, I don't think so. She was a really intense lady. OBVIOUSLY.
On a side note, the Marlborough family has produced some truly eyebrow-raising stories, so you will definitely hear more about their descendents later. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Sunny and Consuelo, 9th Duke and Duchess.
Today's excerpt was found in Grace and Philip Wharton's The Queens of Society, 2nd. ed., page 6 (this is a really rare volume with no date on it. If anyone knows when the 2nd edition was published, I would be hugely grateful).