Characters in high life

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Characters in high life. A tall handsome lady walks diagonally forwards from left to right, her left hand on the arm of a much shorter companion with a larger head, perhaps a young girl. The latter, though her dress is simple, has a grotesquely high bunch of erect feathers in her turban, and holds a large fan. The tall lady is wearing a fashionable turbine with tall feathers at the front, a high-waisted dress, with voluminous petticoats and a flowing train. Drapery is twisted round her waist and festooned about her skirts. In the background, ladies with erect feathers in their hair are freely sketched. An officer in back view leads a lady by the hand, an enormous cocked hat in his left hand. Beneath: 'Characters in High Life. Sketch'd at the New Rooms, Opera House. "Delightful Task! to teach the young Idea how to shoot!"' They are identified as the Duchess of Rutland and her unmarried sister, Lady Gertrude Manners. She had no unmarried sister-in-law. (Her unmarried sister was Lady Elizabeth Fitzroy.) More probably one of her two young daughters, Lady Elizabeth, m. 1798, or Lady Katherine (BM). Artist: Gillray, James, 1756-1815. Date: June 20, 1795. Sourced from Digital Commonwealth website.

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