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  • Dido Elizabeth Belle was the daughter of a Royal Naval officer

  • and an African woman, Maria Bell.

  • Her father, Sir John Lindsay, was the nephew of William Murray, First Earl of Mansfield,

  • and he brought her here to Kenwood

  • to be raised by her Great Uncle.

  • They enjoyed a really good relationship

  • and he was very fond of her.

  • It was relatively unusual for

  • a mixed race woman to enjoy this high social status in the 18th century

  • particularly as during this period, Britain was involved in the slave trade.

  • We've invited some English Heritage

  • members here to Kenwood to find out

  • what life was like for Dido Belle.

  • - Please.

  • Hello Miss Belle, I'm Ella.

  • My name is Leyla. - I'm Olivia.

  • Oh I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance.

  • You see, I do not

  • often have guests here.

  • We'd love to find out more about you and your life

  • as a lady at Kenwood House.

  • Where were you born?

  • I was born in the Caribbean.

  • - Dido was raised as a lady rather than a servant.

  • She was taught to read and write, and play music.

  • All skills that were expected

  • of an accomplished young lady of the 18th century.

  • She also worked as a sort of secretary

  • to her uncle Lord Mansfield.

  • She would help him with letter writing.

  • She also supervised the poultry yard

  • and dairy. This was a

  • fashionable pastime for young ladies

  • during the 18th century.

  • The Mansfields employed

  • a dairy maid to do the day-to-day chores

  • but Dido was probably involved in tasks like

  • churning the butter or making cream.

  • The dairy was a sort of family pastime.

  • She was very much part of the family.

  • However, she was sometimes treated differently.

  • When Lord Mansfield had guests,

  • Dido wouldn't dine with the family.

  • Instead, she would join the ladies after

  • dinner, for coffee or to walk in the grounds.

  • Dido was raised with her cousin,

  • Lady Elizabeth Murray. They were very close in age

  • and they enjoyed a really close relationship.

  • How did you feel when you were painted next

  • to your cousin as an equal?

  • It was a real honour.

  • My cousin is like a sister to me.

  • - This painting is really

  • unique in 18th century British

  • art, in that it shows Dido

  • as a near equal to her

  • white companion, Lady Elizabeth.

  • They're both dressed in

  • fashionable silk dresses

  • and are wearing beautiful pearl jewellery.

  • However, there are still references to Dido's origins.

  • She's wearing a silk turban

  • with an ostrich feather plume

  • and carrying exotic fruits, which are in sharp contrast

  • to the more traditional English roses worn by her cousin.

  • Lord Mansfield died in 1793.

  • In his will, he left her a generous financial gift

  • He also made sure to state that she was a free woman

  • and not a slave.

  • Dido married and left Kenwood.

  • She lived in London with her husband and three sons

  • until 1804, when she died at the age of only 43.

  • Dido Belle was a really remarkable woman for her time.

  • One of the lovely things about working here at Kenwood

  • is knowing that we are walking in her

  • footsteps, and one of my favourite things is sharing

  • her story with visitors.

  • Thank you Miss Belle. - You're most welcome.

Dido Elizabeth Belle was the daughter of a Royal Naval officer


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第9話「人生とはどんなものだったのか?第9話「ジョージアンズI ディドベルの物語 (What Was Life Like? Episode 9: Georgians I The Story of Dido Belle)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日