Affairs! You say. Well yes, why not? They never used to ruin marriages until the perception changed in how Affairs were viewed. So why did the perception change? What is so wrong with people having an affair or Mistresses now compared to Regency times?
Regency England – where affairs and mistresses were part of life, well as long as you were discrete about it nobody seemed to care. The wife couldn’t do anything about it though I’m sure their were ways to get her own back, like having a lover of her own.
Of course this is seen more in the lifestyle of the Ton aka the Wealthy. Many marriages were arranged to bring money and estates together and weren’t love matches like we have today. A woman was the property of her father until her marriage and then she was the property of her husband who could do anything he wished with her and anything that came with her, money, land and body.
There was a lot of money in being a Mistress. A wealthy man would set them up in a house, furnishing it, gifting diamonds, clothing even paying for the servants, food and entertainment – after all she had to look good, Their dress standards were generally lower, showing more breast than was really necessary, dampening down their dresses, showing their shocking curves and ankles.
Not like in recent times where it is big news, especially if you’re famous.
So why did it change. Was it because women unchained themselves with independence and the rights to vote, or doing so called men’s jobs while their own husbands, brothers and sons were away at war. Perhaps it was the feminism movement or was it a combination of all these and more. I’m not sure we’ll ever really know.
Marriage was meant to be a sacrament, a promise before god and witness to be faithful. It obviously wasn’t like this though. Mistresses, The Demimonde, Prostitutes, Whore Houses. Sex is one of the oldest professions in the world. The first Prostitute I found in my research is Hagar, who had an affair with Abraham – Abraham in the bible and here was me only knowing about Mary Magdalene.
Why did women prostitute themselves – was it and was it a ‘necessary evil’ ….I will look into this in another article.
What about the present. I still remember the upset over Tiger Woods and his affairs. I’m not sure, though I thought they were all prostitutes and sex is what they did for money. How can it then be called an affair? Why did they tell on him? More money offered from the media? In my opinion an affair is like having a girlfriend or a bigamous marriage, not paying someone to have sex – if that is what he did. Yeah I feel for his wife and kids, mainly due to the media and how they handled it. It wasn’t anyone’s business but his own and his wife or should I say ex-wife.
Camille Parker Bowles is was another Mistress. However was she really? The young Prince Charles was in love with Camille and had wanted to marry her. Camille was considered unsuitable because she was Catholic and he was told no. He was sent overseas. By the time he came back she was married to Mr Parker Bowles. Did anyone ever notice how similar all Prince Charles’s girlfriends were to Camille, it is quite startling.
Was the Princes marriage to Diana doomed from the start? Possible, who really knows. Princess Diana was a wonderful mother and gave a lot to the future of the royal family. Would she have looked the other way if it had been 150 years earlier when it was more acceptable for a Prince to have a Mistress?
It certainly shows how society had changed over the last few centuries.