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How the Upper Class Lived: Lady Astor's underpants

Rosina Harrison, maid to Lady Nancy Astor (1879 — 1964) explained her underwear ritual:

"She was particularly fastidious about her underwear. It was kept in sets in silk pouches which I had to make and decorate in his Lordship's racing colours, blue and pink. Every evening I would leave one pouch in her stool and she would fold her underwear into it and tie the ribbon and so it would be sent to be laundered.

Her ladyship's underwear was handmade in France, at some school for crippled girls, from a silk and wool mixture for winter, with knickers fitting above the knee, and of triple ninon for the summer, beautifully appliqued and sewn."

by Anonymousreply 2006/23/2013

I wonder if her ladyship ever laid down some serious skid marks.


by Anonymousreply 106/21/2013

Was Brooke Astor related to this Lady Astor?

Anyhow, Brooke Astor's son just got sent off to jail today for looting her fortune.

by Anonymousreply 206/21/2013

There is a fascinating review of Adrian Fort's new biography of her at the London Review of Books. (Link below.)

"Her bossiness, her manic energy and her determination to win every argument all helped her take Plymouth. For her family and friends, Nancy’s insensitivity could be galling. She had no compunction in announcing to a roomful of strangers that one of her guests was wearing an ‘awful hat’ or reducing a pregnant daughter-in-law to tears by asking: ‘Where have you come from? The gutter?’ On the political trail, however, her rhinoceros skin was a virtue. She seemed to relish hecklers. ‘Now, you Bolsheviks at the back,’ she would say, ‘just you listen to me.’ When someone criticised her in a crowded meeting for being American, she threatened to have them turned out. ‘The likes of you,’ she said, ‘ought to be only too glad you have an American who will stand up and fight for what is right.’"

by Anonymousreply 306/21/2013

More from the maid:

"Her ladyship had her mean streak. There was a trick that she would play on me. "Would you like a chocolate, Rose?" she'd say."

"Thank you my lady, I would."

"Then she'd take one out of the box, bite into it, hand it to me and say "You can have this one, it's a kind I don't like."

by Anonymousreply 406/21/2013

Thanks for the link, R3. Will seek out that book. Very entertained by the maid's book.

by Anonymousreply 506/21/2013

No wonder her shit didn't stink.

by Anonymousreply 606/21/2013

"However, by far the most famous quotations attributed to her are taken from alleged exchanges between her and Winston Churchill, though, like the statements above, these are not well documented and may be inaccurate. Examples include an instance in which Churchill is supposed to have told Lady Astor that having a woman in Parliament was like having one intrude on him in the bathroom, to which she retorted, "You’re not handsome enough to have such fears." Lady Astor is also said to have responded to a question from Churchill about what disguise he should wear to a masquerade ball by saying, "Why don't you come sober, Prime Minister?" Possibly the most famous of all such anecdotes reports that Lady Astor said to Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea," to which he responded, "Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it!" "

by Anonymousreply 706/21/2013

""She was particularly fastidious about her underwear."

The touch, the feel, of cotton, and the manic in our lives.

by Anonymousreply 806/21/2013

"...she would fold her underwear into it and tie the ribbon and so it would be sent to be laundered."

The day after asparagus night, Madame would always 'tie a yellow ribbon 'round the ones in soaked pee'.

by Anonymousreply 906/21/2013

[quote]Every evening I would leave one pouch in her stool and she would fold her underwear into it

EWWWWWW!!! She folded her underwear into her stools? Nasty!

by Anonymousreply 1006/22/2013

I think I need to faint. Now I've seen it all on Datalouge.

by Anonymousreply 1106/22/2013

Apparently she had some lavish parties with A-List celebrities from OP's URL..

... a Palladian mansion in 375 acres on the banks of the Thames. Waldorf and Nancy hosted epic house parties there, welcoming, among others, Shaw, Amy Johnson, Roosevelt (F.D.), Henry Ford, Cheryl, Julie, MadBot, Franklin Asquith, JanBot, RuPaul, Charlie Chaplin, J.M. Barrie, Churchill, Henry James, Edith Wharton, kings and queens and Mahatma Gandhi.

by Anonymousreply 1206/22/2013

She'd feel very much at home on DL.

by Anonymousreply 1306/22/2013

By her "stool," I don't think that means what some DLers might think. It was probably literally a stool of some sort, a piece of furniture. Not..the other thing.

by Anonymousreply 1406/22/2013

In 1931, Lady Astor's son Bobbie Shaw, a champion steeplechaser, was arrested for a "homosexual act."

by Anonymousreply 1506/22/2013

A "Stool" in this sense was a padded and tufted vanity chair with a lid that lifted up for storage. Typically there were no arms.

Think of it this way: cut a barrel in half, put it on rollers, and cover it with a nice feminine chintz fabric. Hinge the top so it may reveal a storage space.

Usually had a full skirt that barely touched the ground.

by Anonymousreply 1606/22/2013

That's the way I read it R14

by Anonymousreply 1706/22/2013

Sometimes I would intentionally shit in my underpants to be mean.

by Anonymousreply 1806/22/2013

Talk about upper class, anyone read about this Chilean decorator's shocking email? He looks totally gay and is suppose to be a famous decorator/Baron!

The Chilean socialite accused of holding his Upper East Side nanny hostage and paying her peanuts unloaded a string of obnoxious, classist insults on a photographer who dared try to collect on an outstanding bill, The Post has learned.

“DON’T COME THREAT- ENING ME YOU WORTHLESS LITTLE S--T. NEVER,” Manhattan-based aristocrat Micky Hurley blasted in an all-caps e-mail rant to Chilean lensman Roque Rodriguez after the photographer asked Hurley to pay the $240 he owed from a 2009 shoot.

“Remember, you are ALWAYS going to be from a different class, you were born where you were born.”, whom he dismissed as “a great-grandson of a seamstress.”

COUPLE UNDER FIRE: Malu Edwards, Micky Hurley. His e-mail tantrum emerged on the Chilean news Web site The Clinic after The Post exclusively reported that Hurley, an erstwhile interior designer, and his wife, Malu Custer Edwards, 29, allegedly kept nanny Felicitas del Carmen Villanueva Garnica in slave-like conditions in their Upper East Side apartment.

The jet-setting couple let their three bratty kids “slap and hit” their nanny “on a daily basis,” routinely locked her in rooms and paid her about $2 an hour for her long, 12-hour days, Garnica claimed.

She has sued the couple, claiming they “trafficked” her to the United States from Chile, subjected her to “forced labor” and refused to let her return to her homeland, telling her she had signed a contract and had no rights.

Hurley could not be reached for comment yesterday.

by Anonymousreply 1906/22/2013

[quote]"Her ladyship had her mean streak. There was a trick that she would play on me. "Would you like a chocolate, Rose?" she'd say."

"Not from the stool pouch m'lady" I'd answer back.

by Anonymousreply 2006/23/2013
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