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33 People in sitter grouping:

Bluestocking circle

From the early 1750s, the rich socialite Elizabeth Montagu began to play host, along with others, to a new kind of cultural society. The Blue Stockings, or Blues as they where first called were a group of privileged women, determined to discuss matters such as Art, Language and Literature, topics which had previously been a male only domain. It is thought the term Blue Stocking came from one of the society's invited male guests, Benjamin Stillingfleet, who wore the less formal blue leg attire to attend a meeting, instead of the highly fashionable and expensive black style. In this way the name came to stand for substance over style, and female intellectuals were proud to associate themselves with the group and its values. However their pride in opening the field of education to women was not widely shared, and by the 19th century, the label of Blue Stocking had become one of a dowdy, unmarriable woman, ridiculed in society and the press.

Ada Lovelace

Mathematician and computer pioneer
Sitter associated with 5 portraits

Sir George Fulke Lyttelton, 2nd Bt

Politician; MP for several constituencies
Sitter in 1 portrait

Catharine Macaulay (née Sawbridge)

Historian and political polemicist
Sitter in 17 portraits

Elizabeth Montagu (née Robinson)

Writer and leader of society
Sitter in 11 portraits

Hannah More

Religious writer
Sitter in 11 portraits

Hester Lynch Piozzi (née Salusbury, later Mrs Thrale)

Writer and friend of Dr Johnson
Sitter in 14 portraits

Anna Seward

Writer and poet
Sitter associated with 4 portraits

Elizabeth Ann Sheridan (née Linley)

Singer and writer
Sitter in 14 portraits

Benjamin Stillingfleet

Naturalist and writer
Sitter in 4 portraits

Elizabeth Vesey

Blue-stocking and hostess
Sitter in 1 portrait

Anna Williams

Poet and companion of Samuel Johnson
Sitter in 2 portraits

Helen Maria Williams

Sitter in 1 portrait

Ann Yearsley

Sitter in 4 portraits