Brigid von Preussen

Brigid von Preussen is a junior research fellow at Christ Church, Oxford.

If anyone​ could spark a craze for dresses the colour of ingested blood, it was Marie Antoinette. In 1775, so the story goes, Louis XVI saw her in a purplish-brown dress and christened it couleur de puce – the colour of a flea. Soon dresses were being made in shades of ventre de puce (flea’s belly) and cuisse de puce (flea’s thigh), names that evoke the erotic intimacy of a...

Don’t tread on me: Into Wedgwood’s Mould

Brigid von Preussen, 15 December 2022

In​ 1768, Josiah Wedgwood’s accountant reported an extraordinary event in his regular letter to the firm’s London offices. Among the details of invoices and updates on recent orders, he wrote that ‘Mr Wedgwood has this day had his leg taken off and is as well as can be expected after such an execution.’ Wedgwood was 38 years old and had suffered decades of pain...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences