Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rue de la Paix

Following our look at mourning fashions and our poster of the week selection, this simple collage of Rhett and Scarlett dancing at the Bazaar seemed like the fitting choice.

GONE WITH THE WIND by pixar on

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gone with the Wind: A Love Story Fit for Royalty

I'm not sure if you've heard anything about it or not, but rumor has it that there was a small wedding held in England today. I'm speaking, of course, about the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But even truly royal couples such as Wills and Kate can find inspiration in one of the greatest love stories of all time--Gone with the Wind

You see, many years before Prince William and his bride were getting married in front of an audience of two billion people, they were just two university sweethearts who enjoyed doing normal, everyday things together: like going to the local pub with friends, cooking dinners in their flat...and dressing up as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, as they did for a costume party during their senior year at the University of St. Andrews.

We briefly mentioned this charming tidbit about the royal duo on our Facebook page on the occasion of their engagement and, now just in time for their wedding day, we've got some new details on this cute story for you: 
"Now when someone suspicious showed up, [William and Kate's] friends nonchalantly ringed the couple to form a human shield... They used the same ruse at the May Ball and a couple of weeks later when they showed up at a costume party dressed as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. "Will wore a mustache and looked very dashing," a partygoer recalled, "and Kate was swanning about saying, 'Fiddle-dee-dee.' I was hoping he'd say, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn,' but I doubt if he really knew that much about Gone with the Wind to begin with."
--excerpted from William and Kate, by Christopher Anderson
Isn't it kind of fun to think about the future King and Queen of England dressing up as Rhett and Scarlett? We think so. Anyways, congrats to you William and Kate--not only did you look fabulous today, but you've got great taste in love stories!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Poster of the Week

Rhett and Scarlett scandalously prepare to lead the Virginia reel in this poster from GWTW's 1968 re-release. 

Image from

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Ease Out of Victorian Mourning in Fashion

"A widow had to wear hideous black dresses without even a touch of braid to enliven them, no flower or ribbon or lace or even jewelry, except onyx mourning brooches or necklaces made from the deceased's hair.  And the black crepe veil on her bonnet had to reach to her knees, and only after three years of widowhood could it be shortened to shoulder length."
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter VII 

It's fair to say that "dutiful widow" was not an epithet long attached to Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton (or Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy for that matter, but I digress). Thanks to the irresistible allure of a green bonnet, we of course know that Scarlett opted for a scandalously short period in widow's weeds. But what was the conventional path she should have followed to ease out of mourning? Today we're exploring the answer to that question with a look at mourning fashion from the early 1860s.

But before we look at the fashion plates (always the best part!), we'll first get acquainted with the three stages of Victorian mourning dress. There's just one important caveat before we jump in, though: it's important to note that customs for mourning dress tended to vary from region to region throughout the United States. In fact, as late as 1886, Harper's Bazar observed that nothing was "more undecided in the public mind than the etiquette of mourning." This point bears mentioning because the general guidelines for mourning, as described below, are somewhat more lenient that what Margaret Mitchell alludes to Gone with the Wind. So it likely would have taken Scarlett longer to progress through the full stages of mourning dress, which we now bring you without further ado.  

Stages of Victorian Mourning Dress for Widows

Full or deep mourning: Full or deep mourning generally lasted for one year and one day following a husband's death. During this period widows wore all dull black clothing, along with a widow's cap and a knee-length weeping veil of black crepe. Crepe also served as the most common fabric for mourning dresses, thanks to its lusterless appearance. No jewelry was allowed, except for jet. In winter, however, it was permissible for widows to wear dark furs.   

Second mourning: Following a period of deep mourning, widows then progressed into second mourning, which typically lasted for a period of nine months and gradually eased the restrictions of full mourning. Weeping veils could be exchanged for shorter ones and the widow's cap could be dispensed with altogether. A widow could implement fabric trim and mourning jewelry back into her wardrobe. Silk fabric could once again be worn. And while a widow's dresses were still expected to be dull and lusterless, she was allowed to slowly incorporate color, moving away from all black into the acceptable shades of gray, mauve, lavender, and white. No bright colors were yet permitted.  

Half mourning: The last stage of Victorian mourning was half mourning, which generally lasted from three to six months. Richer fabrics could be incorporated as dress trim and all forms of jewelry worn. Following the process started in second mourning, a widow could continue to ease more and more color back into her wardrobe--until she was at last free to resume wearing normal attire and fully reenter society. 

Thus ends our overview of Victorian mourning dress. So knowing this, what dresses should Scarlett have worn to ease her way out of mourning? After the jump, we've collected two second mourning and two half mourning styles from Godey's Lady's Book to give you an idea of the appropriate sartorial path Mrs. Hamilton should have followed. Check them out and let us know what you think. Can you envision Scarlett wearing any of them--or are they simply too dull for Scarlett to entertain? 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rue de la Paix

Continuing our Spring theme here on the blog, this week's collage offers a very bright and sunny look at Scarlett O'Hara at Tara.

Grow Your Garden with Scarlett and Rhett

Today we bring you a post fit for the season, i.e choke-full of pretty flowers. Inspired by this particular finding, the Scarlett and Rhett winterberry hollies, blogger iso combed the internet for more plants who were named after our favorite heroes. And sure enough, she found plenty, from cacti to pretty lilies. Most of these names play upon the Scarlet/Scarlett theme, so unless you're really fond of the color red in all of its variations, think twice before deciding upon a GWTW-inspired garden (or go with some of the plants featured in our Scenery & Greenery posts, always a safe bet!). Also, knowing our heroes, does it surprise anyone that some of their botanical namesakes are poisonous or have thorns?

But enough caveats. If you still want the perfect windie garden, or are simply curious as to what these plants look like, here's a selection of the flowers that are named after Scarlett (and there are plenty): 

Echinopsis Hybrid 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Paeonia 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Scarlett O'Hara Morning Glory

Yazoo 'Scarlet O'Hara' Daylily

Sinningia 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Pieris Japonica 'Scarlett O'Hara'
And these are their more masculine counterparts (for, after all, how do you turn a lily into a really manly flower? Why, you name it Rhett, of course): 

Savanna's Rhett Butler Cape Primrose

Hemerocallis 'Rhett Butler' Daylily

Louisiana Iris 'Rhett'

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poster of the Week

With Easter right around the corner, this week we have a very pastel and Spring-like poster from France, showing Rhett and Scarlett against the background of Tara, along with Scarlett with the Tarleton twins for good measure. 

Image from

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rue de la Paix

This week's collage features either "Atlanta's most beloved citizen" or a "pompous goat," depending on your estimation of Dr. Meade.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poster of the Week

This Spanish poster (11x17) which features a lovely montage of scenes from Gone with the Wind, but, curiously, omits the actual movie title from the advertisement. Not that folks would be likely to be confused about the movie in question anyway, thanks to GWTW's iconic status. 

Image from

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Elaborate Breakfast Feast

It's been a while since we've done a Southern Cookin' post, and so today we've got a delicious meal prepared for you--this time with a twist. Up to this point, we've largely focused on the recipes behind classic Southern cooking. But dining in the Gone with the Wind era was truly an event unto itself, one that included not only the intricate preparation of multiple-course meals but also the exacting presentation of food and elaborate rules for how to dine in style. 

And so today we are taking a look at the table set-up and serving instructions for a breakfast party for 10 guests (tip #1: always be sure to set to two extra plates just in case there are any last minute drop-ins). Arguably the least complicated meal of the day, even breakfast came with precise rules about how to lay out the table and, of course, the proper way to serve the six-course feast that would follow. The table diagram and corresponding instructions come to you courtesy of The Dixie cook-book, published in Atlanta in 1883. Check it out and behold the dizzying array of cutlery, china, waiter instructions, and dining etiquette the Southern hostess was expected to master.

Summer Breakfast for Ten. (Two Reserved Plates)

First Course, Melon — When table is laid (see diagram) guests enter and take seats. Waiters place tea and coffee urns and bring melon. The gentleman serving asks each guest if he will be helped to melon. If the answer be yes, waiter receives plate from server and hands to guest, exchanging plate and returning empty plate to server, who places melon on it for another guest and so on. As soon as all are served, or have refused a second helping, the waiter removes the remains of the melon, and replaces it with dish for second course. The lady at the head of the table asks each guest to partake of tea, coffee, or chocolate. If any accept, waiter receives it and hands to guest. Asking guests to take tea etc., in first course, is a mere matter of form, as it is seldom taken until second course. Still the question must be asked, and waiter ready to serve it.

Second Course — In the place of melon, a dish of fish — fried perch, smelts, trout, or whatever is selected. Sauce Tartare is a proper accompaniment. Decorate dish of fish with shrimps or olives cut in half, or with little bunches of parsley with shrimp placed on it. Waiters also remove first set of dessert plates used for melon, and replace with a size larger, medium breakfast plates. The waiter then receives a supply of fish from the person who serves it, hand to the guests, receiving empty plates, and helping guests to what accompaniments they desire. Another waiter asks if guest will take coffee or tea, and supplies it from party serving it. Potatoes are handed round (with either meat or fish.) If two kinds, present one in each hand for guest to help himself.

Third Course — Young chicken sauced with cream gravy, surrounded with potatoes a la neige. Waiter removes fish of second course, and replaces with young chicken, then attends to wants of guests as in second course, remembering to ask each if he will take tea or coffee; also asking each if he will take his tea or coffee warmer. Clean plates same size as for second course, must be applied to each guest. 

Fourth Course — Poached eggs on toast, or anchovy toast. Waiter removes chicken and replaces it with dish of poached eggs, and tarnishes clean plates. Party serving asks each guest if he can help him, and waiters serve so in the other cases. Lady dispensing tea or coffee asks guests if they will be helped to warmer tea or coffee. If any one accepts, waiter hands clean cups and saucers from the sideboard to lady serving and then hands it to the guest. If milk is asked for he procures from sideboard and hands to the guest. Waiter also watches the guests and supplies them with hot cakes, receiving a dish of hot ones for that purpose every five minutes, handing dish of cakes to guest who helps himself.

Fifth Course Little fillets of porter house steak with tomatoes a la mayonnaise. Waiter puts on steak in place of plate of poached eggs, and caters to wants of guests as before. While guests are eating this course, the waiters or an extra waiter, as quietly as possible relieve the table of the castor, pickles, sauces, dressing and butter. But not till the last moment must this be done, at the same time asking the guests if they require more. The dessert or rather fruit, sixth course, is then brought in and placed where steak was; arrange as quickly as possible, the service remaining on the table in neat order, remove each guest's plate, and again furnish dessert plates. At a signal from lady at head of table, waiter hands around fruit to guests, each guest supplying himself, unless the person before serving the other dishes serves this, in which case waiter supplies each as before. Waiter also supplies each guest with tea or coffee, and hands around cake, biscuit, etc. At this course a finger glass should be supplied to each guest.

Sixth Course — Peaches quartered, sweetened or half frozen or any fruit decided upon. Carry out the instructions given in the fifth course. In some breakfasts order is reversed, and fruit is served in first course only. In this case various fruits are placed on table, and allowed to remain till end of breakfast so that guests may partake at any time. In first class breakfasts fruit forms the first and last course, but waiters should be instructed beforehand, which plan is to be followed. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Reading: Gone with the Wind or Tobacco Road? How Do Northerners View the South

We've got a fun bit of Sunday reading for you today: a 1957 newspaper article from the St. Petersburg Times that reports the results of a survey on how Northerners perceived the South. Did Yankees view the South through the lens of Gone with the Wind (the refined, aristocratic ideal of the Old South) or Tobacco Road (a grittier and poorer existence)? 

The results as set forth in the article are as amusing as they are enlightening. My favorite tidbits? Southern women "more feminine and better dressed" than their Northern counterparts, while Southern men "drink too much." Here's the link for you to check it out:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rue de la Paix

This week's collage features baby Bonnie Blue Butler and proud father Rhett. Isn't little Bonnie adorable?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Poster of the Week

This week we have a striking set of black and white posters that serve as a nice before-and-after snapshot of the famous jail scene. 

Images from

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Quotable Rhett Butler: The Really Pale Woman the Pharisees Took in Adultery

Okay, so we all know that I am not a Bible scholar, right? However, I did know a little about the reference we are featuring today, and probably so do you, because it is connected with a well known and frequently quoted phrase. The wording might be a bit deceiving, but here it is:
"'Wear that,' he said, tossing it on the bed and coming toward her. 'No modest, matronly dove grays and lilacs tonight. Your flag must be nailed to the mast, for obviously you'd run it down if it wasn't. And plenty of rouge. I'm sure the woman the Pharisees took in adultery didn't look half so pale. Turn around.'" 
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter LIII 
The woman the Pharisees took in adultery is actually the one that gives Jesus the occasion to say, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The story goes, according to  John 8: 11-21, something like this. Jesus was preaching at the temple and the Scribes and Pharisees thought to test him by bringing along a woman caught in adultery and asking him what they were to do with her. According to the old Law, she was to be stoned to death for her deed. But according to the Roman law, no executions could be ordered by anyone other than the Roman Empire through its officials. So they had put Jesus between a rock and a hard place, so to say. If he said that she should be stoned to death, they could report him to the Romans for disregarding their rule. If he said she should be spared, they could  compromise him in front of the crowds by pointing out that he's not upholding the law of Moses. Jesus being Jesus, though, he solved it elegantly with that catch-phrase that, interestingly enough, Rhett omits to mention in his speech: ""Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." 

Now, if Scarlett was more Bible-savvy, which she sadly wasn't, perhaps she could have saved her hide by pointing out the rest of this Biblical story to her husband. After all, if there was one thing he definitely wasn't, then that's sinless...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Honeymoon Shopping Spree, Part 3: "Satin Slippers... Three Inches High"

"And the darling little bonnets that were not really bonnets at all, but flat little affairs worn over one eye and laden with fruits and flowers, dancing plumes and fluttering ribbons!  (If only Rhett had not been so silly and burned the false curls she bought to augment her knot of Indian-straight hair that peeked from the rear of these little hats!)  And the delicate convent-made underwear!  How lovely it was and how many sets she had!  Chemises and nightgowns and petticoats of the finest linen trimmed with dainty embroidery and infinitesimal tucks.  And the satin slippers Rhett bought her!  They had heels three inches high and huge glittering paste buckles on them." 
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter XLVIII

Today brings the last post in our Honeymoon Shopping Spree series, where we take a look at the luxurious loot Scarlett received on her honeymoon, from bonnets to lingerie and now finally slippers. To help you envision what Scarlett's fancy footwear may have looked like, we have an 1868 full-color fashion plate comprised entirely with shoes, from dainty slippers to everyday boots. To my mind at least, the bottom right pair of slippers seems like a good match to MM's description of Scarlett's own satin slippers, albeit much shorter of course. What do you think? Are there any pairs of shoes that you especially like or could see Scarlett wearing?

Fashion plate of ladies' shoes. The Queen, January 25th 1868.

Description: "Seven shoes are displayed. The top left shoe is a white flat with a small heel, and a small cording bow on the front of the shoe. The top right is a gray flat slipper, trimmed with ruffles and a gold ornament in the front. The middle row left is a brown ankle boot with a low heel, with black ruffles around the top and down the front. The center shoe is a higher ankle boot with a short heel. It has buttons down the front and a patent leather toe. The middle row right is another ankle boot with a short heel. It has brown fur around the top and buttons down the front. The bottom row left is a dark pink backless slipper with a low heel. It is heavily decorated with gold trim, tassels, and cording. The bottom right is a light pink low-heeled slipper. It has a black and gold ornament on the front and black lace around the sides, and a darker pink heel."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rue de la Paix

Sigh, few things could possibly be more romantic than Rhett and Scarlett exchanging love letters. And that's the theme of this week's fanciful collage, which charmingly even features the duo's signatures. It makes us wonder if Rhett remained true to his promise to write Scarlett from England. Wouldn't you love to see what those letters (and Scarlett's own replies) contained? 

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