And the Chutzpah Award Goes to …

In my collection of old books and documents I have several copies of The Sporting Magazine from the years 1797 and 1798. The Sporting Magazine was a monthly publication for gentlemen. Most of the articles chronicled racing events and reports on stag and fox hunting; but they also contain some excellent feature articles, too.

The features cover diverse topics. I’ve read articles on the history of boxing, the proper equipment for anglers, some poetry, and even reviews of new plays being performed at London theaters at the time.

But my favorite elements of the magazine are the little news items that the editors fit in between the larger articles. Here’s a sample:

From the January 1798 edition of The Sporting Magazine

From the January 1798 edition of The Sporting Magazine

The motto “Honi foit qui mal y pense” is the motto of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and translates as “Shame on him who thinks evil of it.”

Princess Elizabeth (center) with her sisters Princess Augusta Sophia (left) and Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal (seated). by Arthur N. Sanders, published by Henry Graves, after Thomas Gainsborough (1784) NPG D15000 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Princess Elizabeth (center) with her sisters Princess Augusta Sophia (left) and Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal (seated); by Arthur N. Sanders, published by Henry Graves, after Thomas Gainsborough (1784)
NPG D15000
© National Portrait Gallery, London

This story really tickled me—first because it’s just plain funny; and, second, in an era of strict etiquette and court manners, Princess Elizabeth sounds like she would have been a very interesting young woman to know.

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2 thoughts on “And the Chutzpah Award Goes to …

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