Grand Salon Madame

27 Aug

On this rainy afternoon, I’m occupied with reading about the great intellectual women of the 17th and 18th centuries; women with socially progressive ideals, hosting in their homes, gatherings of men who would come to share knowledge and the manners of society with each other.

As I read, for some reason I imagine everyone in their knickers. The garments of the day were so full of bustles, intricate corsets and cages, petticoats and undershirts, garters and stockings. I keep picturing a bordello-salon of sorts, one where the women lounge about in exotic robes and stockings, and the men are down to their trousers and socks (and perhaps suspenders brushed from shoulders in great haste, only to hang loose from their hips). Conversations branch from the science of the day to progressing rights for women, medical advances, human theory, and musical enlightenment. Women serve the wit, men serve the banter. Champagne may be involved! Perhaps a bit of light flirting! A nuzzle of teeth on ears behind some secretive curtain. “Oo la la, mon cherie!”

Salon Days
Salon Days by mlleremi 

The Women of the French Salons is captivating, and can be read for free on Gutenberg. This exceprt in particular was particularly inspiring:

“Imagine a society composed of a leisure class with more or less intellectual tastes; men eminent in science and letters; men less eminent, whose success depended largely upon their social gifts, and clever women supremely versed in the art of pleasing, who were the intelligent complements of these men; add a universal talent for conversation, a genius for the amenities of social life, habits of daily intercourse, and manners formed upon an ideal of generosity, amiability, loyalty, and urbanity; consider, also, the fact that the journals and the magazines, which are so conspicuous a feature of modern life, were practically unknown; that the salons were centers in which the affairs of the world were discussed, its passing events noted—and the power of these salons may be to some extent comprehended.”

~ Amelia Gere Mason, ‘The Women of the French Salons’,Chapter VII. Salons in the Eighteenth Century

I’m off to do my own brand of lounging about, with a side of intellectual banter to stimulate my brain! Oh, champagne may be involved, and there will definitely be some flirting! Mrrow!

Mlle. Remi


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