Thursday, April 12, 2018

The American Woman: A 1911 Women's Magazine

  I went vintage shopping with my mother today, after a disappointment of not passing my permit test, and I found this amazing package.
  Inside, folded every so gently, was a women's magazine, dated December 1911!
  As many of you know, I have recently been diving deep into the era in which King Edward VII reigned, known as the Edwardian Era. And this find is the second authentic item that I now own for my Edwardian collection.
  So, I thought that it would be fun, to type up an article from this magazine, for each week, for all of you ladies to enjoy.

The Royal Line
By Grace MacGowan Cooke
Author of "Return" "The Flight of Robert Sevier," etc.


  Chapter I
    A Queen

  The long room was nobly proportioned, as magnificently adorned as any you would find at St. James or Versailles. Indeed, architects and artists from the countries of both these palaces had contributed to its beauty. Through the wide windows the air came with a scent of tree-blossoms on its wings; for it was a delicious spring morning, spring in the mountains. Men and women lounging about the walls of the room, bored, expectant, clad in the latest folly from Paris, began to glance uneasily at the great door through which relief would come. They broke into little groups at one window or another, and indulged in low-toned conversations.
"If it is a trying thing to be mistress of the robes," murmured a fat, elderly man, with painfully small patent-leather boots to a woman's face like a horse, but the most beautiful gown in the room, "how much harder is it to be queen herself?" 
"Is that a riddle?" asked Madam Bovard, rasply (?). "Because if it is (?), I know  the-----never." (?)
"(If it is a?) riddle, by all (means), then--it is to me," returned the chamberlain, suavely.
" And the answer is," supplied she of the gown, shrugging a perfectly fitted shoulder, "that when it is spring in Waldavia and one is young, it is no trouble whatsoever to be queen. We can always pretend we are a shepherdess, you know, and go strolling with--with whom we choose--while the audience cools its heels and waits."
  Herr Scharff raised his brows, pursed his lips and played with the ribbon of his eyeglass.
"You will see," the mistress of the robes persisted, "Look. Listen."
  The great valves in the archway at the farther end of the room swung apart. Everybody came to his feet.
  But instead of revealing the figure of Elfrida, maiden queen of Waldavia, the opening showed a slender woman in black, a tall functionary behind her.
  Great, sombre eyes, with the passion and pathos of vassalage, looked out at the world from under a brow whose delicate modeling should have been madonna-like, yet whose lines somehow carried out a hint of jealous twisting in the overslender contours of the lower face. A touching aspect to the thoughtful, yet a countenance of great, if hidden, power.
"Her Majesty begs your indulgence this morning," said the newcomer in a soft voice, "The queen is indisposed for audience. The north garden and the wood are reserved exclusively for royal use."
  She bowed humbly, this woman born a slave, bought in the markets of Constantinople. Countess Lenkoran they had made of the Greek child Kassandra. She had no high official statues, but her position about the person of the queen more than one in Waldavia envied.
  The doors closed. The mistress of the robes turned with sparkling eyes to her companion.
"What did I tell you? We are not to intrude on the north garden because--well, Adam and Eve met in a garden, by the way."
"And there was a serpent, if I remember rightly. Let me lead you down."
  The two joined the stream that was hurrying from the room, released for the day, each now intent upon his or her own pleasure.  

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