Live & Virtual - MARY “PERDITA” ROBINSON, The Prince’s Mistress
14 May 2021
The story of Mary Robinson (1756-1800) actress and fashion icon, who attracts the attention of the future King George 1V while playing “Perdita” in Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’s TALE. She becomes his mistress, only to find herself dumped after six months. Famed now for her liaisons with the young prince and with others, Mary is painted by Romney, Gainsborough, Reynolds and John Hoppner; she is also, naturally, the subject of caricatures. Later, after a crippling accident, she reinvents herself as a romantic poet, a friend of Coleridge - according to whom she possesses ”undoubted genius” - an enthusiastic follower of Mary Wollstonecraft and, understandably, a fierce critic of Royalty and the social order. She writes witty and perceptive novels, together with radical columns in the MORNING POST under a pseudonym borrowed from Tobias Smollett, TABITHA BRAMBLE.
This powerpoint lecture is illustrated with paintings, portraits and caricatures.