27 October 2011

don't shoot!


The Duke and his Duchess. Poor Wallis, bored to tears captured in what I dare say is a very unladylike pose-legs straddled- &  is that fur? I can't think Aunt Bessie approved.
However, a great shot (& study), the Duke is smashing. The pants really win the day. Doing anything with Style is better than NOT.

Lucindaville a favorite read of mine, shared Lady Troubridge's preferred etiquette for a grouse shooting party in Scotland after 1930:

The ladies at a shooting party are expected to amuse themselves during the morning after the men have gone off shooting. ... As a general rule, however, the hostess and the ladies of the party join the shooters for a picnic luncheon out of doors. If a lady cares to go out with the men in the morning and watch the shooting it is permissible for her to do so if she is sure that she will be welcome. Some ladies walk with guns after luncheon. If a lady goes out with the guns she must not talk during the shooting or wear brightly colored clothes.(quote from the book & linked to Lucindaville.)

Wallis might have be saved by John Galiano's vision of the Duchess in his Pre-Fall 2011 Collection. Menswear-inspired separates & maybe just a touch of fur.

I just finished the book The Shooting Party by Isabel Colgate.

Lady Troubridge's etiquette certainly reflects the tenor of this book as the Ladies are concerned. Colgate's book captures the fading perfect English landscape yet shattered by war and politics and social upheaval. The book is pretty brilliant, with Colgate's not copious- but deeply drawn story just before the Great War. The Shooting Party convenes in autumn on Sir Randolph Nettleby' shoot famed Oxfordshire country estate. The novel balances in depth character studies with foreboding-young Osbert & his ethereal sister of 19, Cicely, reflect the innocence of the era- and its loss in the trenches of World War I. I saw the movie years ago and should watch again, however with James Mason playing Sir Randolph Nettleby how can I criticize. His on screen grappling with privilege of rank and the decay of  that privilege brings the subtlety of the novel's handling to life.

After a careless death brought about at the shoot, Cicely her flirt Count Rakassyi are leaving the field  and returning to the house. One of the beaters of the shoot, villager Tom Harker is dead.

She continued to walk rather fast in silence. It appeared that she was angry, rather than shocked or distressed as he had anticipated.
‘Come, Cicely,’ he said in expiation. ‘He was only a peasant.’
There was another silence. She gave a long trembling sigh. 
Then she said softly, ‘Yes, he was only a peasant. But we all knew him, you see." IC from The Shooting Party

 & about guns
Chicks with Guns by Lindsay Crum is  a new book that reveals the portraits & stories of women & the guns in their lives. 

I was only 7 or 8 months old when I received my first gun, a gift from a longtime friend of my parents ... For my seventh birthday, my father gave me my first BB gun ... I studied hard with my dad’s help and completed the hunter’s safety course at the California Department of Fish and Game so I could receive a lifetime hunting license. I was so proud when the certificate arrived in the mail three weeks before my 10th birthday!-Greta from Chicks with Guns

 Greta , on the cover of Chicks with Guns, with her English Forsyth system scent bottle pistol, ca. 1820

A more apt name for the book might be Chic with Guns-these women simply put-are as good looking as any models in a fashion glossy-even the Chicks that don't dress well. Well- as in Lynn International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame Wyatt. In the book- she's just Lynn from Houston.

I think my philosophy of hunting has always been about the adventure itself. During the years we’ve been married, my husband Oscar and I have been on some amazing hunts. At the North Pole we stayed in an ice house built by our guides, ice brick by ice brick, before our very eyes. ... We’ve hunted from our log cabins in Colorado and Utah, and we’ve also hunted in Georgia and of course Texas. Once in 1982 on an African safari I tracked a lion for 10 and a half hours. It was exhilarating! I love the juxtaposition of stalking game one day and then dressing for a glamorous evening the next. Lynn from Chicks with Guns

Lynn from Houston with her Texas Sako .308 bolt-action rifle with scope

 She said ‘Supposing there are some other people somewhere, people we don’t know?’
He had looked at her seriously. ‘What sort of people?’
‘Perfectly charming people. Really delightful, intelligent, amusing, civilised… and we don’t know them, and nobody we know knows them. And they don’t know us and they don’t know anybody we know.’

Bob had thought for a moment and then he had said, ‘It’s impossible. But if it were not impossible, then I don’t think I should want to know such people. I don’t think I should find anything in common with them." IC  from The Shooting Party

I can think back to an evening I was returning home very late in the autumn driving along a dark rural road passing those oddly high perched machines-trucks- pulled just off the road parked at odd angles- waiting.
Waiting for the deer.
I said a silent prayer for the deer. They populate the woods in mass in the fall and I am just as likely to encounter one mesmerized by the oncoming light. I could just as easily be its killer.

"The tears which momentarily filled her eyes were tears of tremendous rage. How dared they? What right had they? All those men with guns after one poor little duck. IC from The Shooting Party

That is something to grapple with on a lonely highway. Oncoming threats & chance.

"You were not shooting like a gentleman, Gilbert.” IC


  1. If you drive along the road away from the airport in Tasmania at gloaming, pademelons hurl themselves under your wheels in great numbers. It is almost impossible to miss and is a very traumatic drive that I shall never repeat at that time of day.

  2. I remember years ago on the television show, Northern Exposure, when the doc, Joel, went out hunting and was so charged with excitement when he shot a bird. But then he saw the bird had not been killed, just tragically injured, in a massive remorse, he took the bird back to his medical office and tried to save it. Guns are strangely exotic and shooting trap and skeet can be a lot of fun. But I'll always remember what Joel said when someone asked why he decided that he didn't like hunting, and he said, "it isn't the hunting I don't like, it's the dying." Animals, like people, are most beautiful when they are alive, and as stunning as a beautiful woman can be with a gun, ultimately, there's just no way past that one crucial fact.

  3. Rouge, PMB, beautifully expressed. It is suicidal, yes, I drive the rural roads often and after dusk it is always on my mind right now.

  4. Jennings and Gates. thank you for adding this-and "it isn't the hunting I don't like, it's the dying." aptly puts it. You have expressed some of what I could not rightly put into words today and thank you for that. pgt

  5. I know the Colegate novel & film adaptation well, and found this classic LA posting top-drawer. I agree completely with your view of Mason's performance but Fox should not have been there: too common in every way, albeit glamourous as 'the jackal' in "The Day of." Plainly the text owes buckets to Renoir's "Rules of the Game," but who doesn't, except Beaumarchais, whose inspiration it cites. But I respect Colegate's work and, reading it in relative youth when it appeared, rather cherish it; which means I'm very pleased to have encountered this posting.

  6. Laurent, I am glad you came by. I need to get caught up. I too have be off reading my preferred blogs. I grappled with writing this and don't think I did so well-but all the elements of books and movies and images were shooting me forward to give it a go. pgt

  7. Lynn Wyatt scares me . perfect for the cast of Dallas !

  8. I think you've done very well with this post. It's a topic I find very interesting. I grew up hunting waterfowl and always ate what I killed. The first goose I winged was a traumatic experience and it died, bleeding, on my boot. I became a much better shot after that and always carried a small gauge shotgun to deliver the coup de grâce in the event another of the party didn't make a clean shot. I haven't hunted in several years now, but last time did go with a dear friend. We didn't get anything, and that didn't matter one bit. The shared experience at sunrise over a partially frozen marsh, the paddle out in pitch black, the warming morning and the sounds as the forest behind us came awake were more than worth the discomfort and the super market rotisserie chicken for dinner.

  9. Lynn Wyatt is an amazing woman! So beautiful inside and out! The necklace she's wearing in that picture is by me www.azizeh.com

  10. EEL, I have heard similar traumatic stories of the first kill. The traditions and need are to be respected.



Related Posts with Thumbnails