Thursday, 7 May 2015

Get Well Soon!

This post is for a most beloved friend who is currently undergoing a hillock in her health landscape.  In times of trial and trouble, it's good to know that the Victorians are on hand to show how to handle things in a dignified manner...

A Convalescent (1876) James Tissot
You can always rely on Tissot.  This is what you need to do - snooze in a wicker chaise by a huge pond in St John's Wood.  Look there is even cake and tea!  That's doing it proper. And a rug!  An outdoor rug: that's being ill with a bit of poshness.

A Convalescent John Kenworthy
Look, I'm not saying anything but I don't believe Kenworthy's young lady is even ill.
*Cough Cough* Yes, I'm terribly ill and that is in no way linked to how good my book is. Can I have a medicinal ice cream?

Convalescent (Emma) (1872) Ford Madox Brown
Blimey, Emma does look rather rough here.  Clutching a small posey of flowers is a particularly nice touch, being both smothered in pathos and rather aesthetically pleasing.  Come on Emma, we all know why you are convalescing.  Have a fried breakfast and a couple of asprins.  That's not ill, that's hungover, love.  Next!

The Convalescent (1884) Francis Tattegrain
I hope my lovely friend is convalescing next to some rather medicinal Dutch tiles.  It looks a bit gloomy in her room but the pot plant looks jolly and positive and at least she is getting some fresh air. I love the tiles on the windowsill, what a lovely idea, they completely detract from the rather lacklustre creeper up the wall. Also nothing says 'get well soon' like a miniature rose in a bucket.

The Convalescent (1898) Philip Wilson Steer
I do hope you are recovering in a massive hat.  I believe massive hats to have otherwise unrecognised health benefits, and it's also somewhere to hide your laudenum.  It looks like this young lady is convalescing in a carriage, which is definitely a rather elegant way of handling matters.  What is the point of being ill if you can't do it in public in a massive hat? Add a rug and a cake to that and you have the answer to all healthcare needs.

Getting Better (1876) J E Millais
The Victorians loved a good convalescing picture, for obvious reasons that the threat of sudden illness was perceptively more commonplace.  There are scores of poorly children pictures like this one by Millais.  I always thought that the little girl doesn't look that pleased to see her friends.  Maybe this is because the girl with her back to us is saying 'Oh, yeah, while you've been in bed I've scoffed all your sweets and nicked your boyfriend. Soz.' Soon as the little girl has got over the consumption, she'll be visiting her friend with 'a punch up the bracket' as my Nan used to say.
The Convalescent (1879) Helen Allingham
If you were poorly, you rarely got to be left alone, with scores of helpful relatives to stay by your side and read to you.  It all looks very pleasant and peaceful in Helen Allingham's picture, with lovely bright daffodils signifying the renewed health of the little girl and the happy slumbering of both patient and companion.
The Nurse Lawrence Alma Tadema
I guess that on some occasions you got read to whether you liked it or not.  Alma Tadema's patient looks a little like she wants to keep pulling that curtain. Maybe it's what the nurse is reading? 'Hi, I'm your reader for today, I've brough It by Stephen King or Fifty Shades of Grey, your choice...'
The Physician's Visit Ignacio y Escosura
Look, I don't mean to cast aspertions on this doctor's abilities but how exactly does the massive lute help anyone? I take it that is what the young man is holding, not some medical instrument - 'Open up and say Ah....' - doesn't bare thinking about, although we've all been there.  Now this young lady has a foot pillow and a tiger skin rug.  A snarling rug does lend a whole 'I'm ill but don't mess with me!' air to procedings.
Always Welcome Laura Alma Tadema
If only my beloved friend lived nearer then I could nip by and see her and sit on her bed like a tiny whimsical child (although with reference to my ability to do anything in a 'tiny and whimsical' manner, that ship has sailed many years ago). I love her little shoes, they are so nifty. I hope the little girl isn't looking after her mother - when my daughter does that it is brutal.  She does ensure we get better really quickly at the hands of Tiny Nurse Ratched.
The Convalescent (1874) Jules Saintin
So here is wishing my darling one a good book, a comfy chair and a speedy recovery.  If possible a nice outdoor rug and wicker chaise would not go a miss, but mainly I send all my love and healing thoughts. Get better soon!


  1. Dear Kirsty
    Tea and cake is always the way to go and can help to improve any situation, in my book. These convalescents look far too glamorous for my liking, although I do like the hat!
    Best wishes

  2. I love your sense of humor. I hope it lifts your friend's spirits as it did mine.


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx