It is my pleasure to welcome Alicia Rasley to the salon to discuss the fascinating matter of masquerades, one of my favourite topics...
- A party or ball. In London, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, these were often held in the open air, at public gardens like Ranelagh.
- Partygoers. It was more glamorous, of course, if these were naughty aristocrats, but in truth, in the public gardens this could be anyone with a domino and mask.
- A mask. This hid the partier's identity, and increased the surreptitious atmosphere. The mask let the masked person commit indiscretions among others also being indiscreet. It was quite "what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas," but it was very close to that.
- Costumes were generally expected, but in England, especially into the 19th Century, they became less than obligatory. This signified the trend away from public playfulness towards private use of the masquerade to commit indiscretions (and sometimes crimes). A nefarious harasser needed only to wear a "domino" (an anonymous cloak) and a face-concealing mask to engage in his abuse.
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