28 November 2009

Quail In Aspic

After all that turkey and dressing, I thought you might like some Quail In Aspic. The legendary Cecil Beaton was given rare access to Count Charles Korsetz. After much prodding, Count Korsetz allowed Beaton to tape record the story of his life. According to Beaton, the Count had never written anything, "beyond his signature on checks."

The Count discusses his life at university:

Bedecked for Oxford
"My father sent one of his rare communications, a tophole piece of advice. I must admit. :"The big nobs won't pay you much attention at first, but it's no use throwing your money around too soon. Just wait until they come to you.""

The manly equestrian arts:

The Count apre polo
"An assiduous rider was count Larisch. His presence could not have been to display his powers of horsemanship for, unlike most Austrians, he was one of the worst damn exponents of the art I ever saw... The only time I saw him hunting with the Beaufort he fell off at the very first fence and appeared no more at day."

His later years:

An older Count
"...many of our old friends had developed what they call 'a social conscience.'... Apart from addressing a few polite words to gardeners, trainers, jockeys, gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and peasants this was my first contact with the 'lower-orders'."
The Count's honesty was unsettling to some. Some however, realized that they had never actually hobnobbed with Count Korsetz. And some thought he bore a striking resemblance to Cecil Beaton's friend, Elsa Maxwell.

Ah, that Cecil Beaton, what a cut-up! Enjoy.


  1. got to be Elsa! I have this book but have not read it-Guess I should. la

  2. Elsa - what a card! I had only seen one image of her 'en homme' so thank you for these. Brilliant.

  3. Oh, may I call you Mdm. Lucinda...?
    Just stumbled in all humbleness upon your delightful writings, counld't stop here!
    Still grinning!



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