Austen, Heyer, and Pugs featured at A Covent Garden Gilflurt's Guide to Life!

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My article Austen, Heyer, and the Prince of Orange: Pugs in Literature and History is featured today on A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.  It is one of my most popular articles as well as one of my own personal favorites.  I hope you will stop by and leave a comment!  While you are there, have a look around at some of the other fascinating and well-researched articles on Georgian history.  From art, music, and literature to personal profiles, politics, and the military, Catherine Curzon and her distinguished salon guests have the Georgian era completely covered!

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Sarah Waldock
Guest
Sarah Waldock

It’s a blog I enjoy too!

monicadescalzi
Guest
monicadescalzi

Ever since I first read your post on the subject I’ve been wanting to ask: Why doesn’t Lady Bertram’s dog have a name? Do they call him Pug just as they would call their servants “Cook” or “Nurse”, or is his owner too lazy even to think of a proper name? I would have commented on Catherine Curzon’s blog but it seems I don’t quite master the complexities …

Mimi Matthews
Guest
Mimi Matthews

Good question, Monica! Yes, the pug in Mansfield Park is just called “Pug.” Interestingly enough, so is the Pug in Friday’s Child and a Pug that is mentioned in Heyer’s The Corinthian. I can only speculate as to why, but it seems like a sort of general trend in historical novels to simply call a Pug dog “Pug.” Perhaps because it’s such a cute name to begin with? Or maybe, as you say, simply out of laziness. But in Heyer all the other dogs featured have names, so I can only think that Pugs were looked on a bit differently… Read more »

Sarah Waldock
Guest
Sarah Waldock

Oh, I’m not the only person to have a fight with the complexities then! glad to know I’m not just being a dork. I think it reflects the laziness both of the owner, and of the writer using a pug to indicate the character of the owner… but as Mimi says, it is a cute sounding word, and pet owners are not always the most original, or there would not be so many orange cats known as Ginger, black cats as Lucky, Tabitha for a tabby [and those of us who know our Bible and call a stray tabby ‘Dorcas’… Read more »

Mimi Matthews
Guest
Mimi Matthews

I agree, Sarah. Pugs are used a great deal as literary shorthand for spoiled, lazy, self-indulged women. However, during the Regency era itself and into Heyer’s era, too, Pugs were primarily owned by older or elderly women. Perhaps because of that they were seen almost more as an appendage rather than a dog in their own right? As in “Grandmama and Pug” rather than “Felix and Lufra” or “Mr. Beaumaris and Ulysses.” Just a thought!

Sarah Waldock
Guest
Sarah Waldock

Good point…

monicadescalzi
Guest
monicadescalzi

Thank you so much, Sarah, for enlightening me as to pet names, as I’m almost ashamed to confess I’m not really a cat or a dog person :( Fantastic comment :)

Sarah Waldock
Guest
Sarah Waldock

heh, not everyone is, and better to be honest about it! if you need to use cats or dogs in any writing, Mimi and I are both quite well up on the same.
Names and their development is one of my speciality fields

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