Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

Archive for July 2007

Notes on a Soiree

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Soiree Red Tuille

On stumbling across some good information online regarding Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada Byron Lovelace, from his short marriage to her mother, I read about her connection with Charles Babbage, the Victorian era father of the modern day computer. It’s worth reading the transcript shown on the link to Charles Babbage, because it shows an interesting shapshot of life in the mid 19th Century, when an explosion of ideas came forth. (It’s very long, and most of the parts can be skipped over according to interest.) The way these ideas were spread, prior to the days of television, radio, podcasts, and other modern communication methods, was the soiree.

Are soirees considered out of date? Ada Lovelace met Charles Babbage at one of his soirees, held to spread awareness of his scientific ideas. I suppose these days there are expos and field days and the like, but nothing as glamorous as swirling silks, elegant style, men in full evening dress, the romance of gaslight and chandeliers, and sumptuous furnishings and art.

I tried to imagine the excitement of conversations at these soirees, with so many great minds mingling with each other. It was interesting, then, to think about other soiree settings: J.S. Bach attended many soirees to showcase his music, Rossini must have discussed every opera and libretto with the minds that attended his famous musical soirees, and the celebrated painter, Lord Leighton, was well known for holding his lavish soirees. A soiree is literally “an evening party”, which could be specialised under a theme, such as a “musical soiree” which has the sole purpose of listening to music. These evening parties were usually held at a private residence.

Is the original soiree gone for good? The best we can have is a glimpse back in time, and imagine what it was like back there, when all was new, and people were excited by ideas. Though, there was some later backlash, where Babbage wasn’t always entirely happy with what happened to his inventions, but I can’t help imagining that nothing could have happened if rampant idealism hadn’t dominated those times.

The soiree is seems a dignified way of showcasing ideas, and sharing them in a relaxed setting. I wish the soiree wasn’t “dead”, but in a world of circles, perhaps the concept is only just sleeping…

(copyright Imogen Crest 2007.)

Written by imogen88

July 29, 2007 at 7:29 am

Posted in Hermitage Villa

Dream Seed Enchanteur

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Dream Seed Enchanteur

The Villa of Dreams is sometimes visited by Dream Seed Enchanteur from the Mouseion…

(copyright Heather Blakey 2007.)

Written by imogen88

July 29, 2007 at 5:06 am

Posted in Villa of Dreams