Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Cinq-a-Sept in the Belle Epoque
'Lover's World' by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (Bristol Museum)
No one knows whether the beautiful Jennie Churchill and the Prince
of Wales had an affair. Someone wrote that they met in a darkened, perfumed room, which was filled with flowers, late in the afternoon. This seems pretty suspicious to me!
The cinq-a-sept was popular amongst the Edwardian upper-classes. This was the French name for the hours between five and seven in the early evening when lovers used to meet. According to The Bolter, this time was practical because women used to change from their afternoon gowns into their evening dresses. Women wore corsets, chemises and underskirts, which required much unlacing and unbuttoning!