There were no takers for the 2nd Walking the Berkshires Family Archive Caption Contest. Either my readers are too well brought up to make light of other people's relatives - no matter how ridiculously attired - or the ensemble modeled by my Great, great grandmother Mary Athalia Stearns left them speechless with astonishment. Possibly the laced bodice and penciled caption "B Rough" were too rich a dish for family fare. If fact, there is a much more innocent explanation which as promised I shall now reveal.
The photograph was taken in November, 1886, when she was near 44 years old. As I have previously posted here, this family loved amateur theatricals and took great pleasure in dressing up in fanciful attire for the camera. They also took part in masquerades and dances in the traditional garb of various European cultures. This get up is identified on the reverse of the photograph as "the dress of a Normandy peasant", though the idea that a peasant would sport a wig of Marie Antoinette proportions is beyond my comprehension. One assumes from this black and white photograph that the stripes on the dress may have been red and the bodice blue. I cannot account for the caption "B Rough."
Since this edition of the contest did not elicit any responses from my esteemed readers, I am unsure whether it should continue as a regular feature here at Walking the Berkshires. Rest assured I would not offer up my ancestors for the clever commentary and educated insolence of the blogosphere if I (or they) were thin skinned and without a healthy sense of humor. We shall give it one last try and see whether a fresh photograph will prompt a more robust response.
I'm pulling out all the stops, here. Caption this: