Sunday, September 25, 2011
Portrait of a mad cat woman
You never know the minute ... a sentence, a paragraph, a photo, a poem or a curious snippet stumbled upon in a blog can spark the idea for a picture. Well, that's how it works for me anyway. Just a small piece of information can set me off.
One of my favourite blogs is Georgian London - that's www. georgianlondon.com - where a recent post, a contemporary obit, caught my eye:
"An Eccentrical Lady"
Died, 16th January 1792, at her house, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, Mrs Griggs. Her executors found in her house eighty-six living and twenty-eight dead cats. A black servant has been left 150 pounds per annum, for the maintenance of herself and the surviving grimalkins.
The lady was single, and died worth 30,000 pounds. Mrs Griggs, on the death of her sister, a short time ago, had an addition to her fortune; she set up her coach, and went out almost every day airing, but suffered no male servants to sleep in her house. Her maids being tired frequently of their attendance on such a numerous household, she was induced at last to take a black woman to attend and feed them. The black woman had lived servant to Mrs Griggs many years, and had a handsome annuity given her to take care of the cats."
So here is my take on the eccentrical Mrs Griggs, a mad cat woman of the eighteenth century.
Hope her cats were indeed "maintained" after her demise.