5 Extraordinary Eccentrics

One night in Mayfair Tyne O'Connell
A Night in Mayfair
January 13, 2016
The Guardian meets tyne O'Connell at the Wolselwy
The Guardian Meets Tyne O’Connell
December 8, 2016

Upon the Restoration of King CharlesII when London was really swinging our national identity was formed by 5 Extraordinary, Glamorous, witty, Subversive women of vision who created a shopping Mecca of glass fronted arcades & residential mansions on garden squares; where drawing rooms teamed with eccentrics, sipping on tea & champagne discussing subversive ideas, Art & fashion putting Mayfair on the map as the birthplace of the British Enlightenment in 1667.

Tyne O'Connell Dandizette Mayfair montage

1) The eccentric cross-dressing Queen Catherine of Braganza funded the building & introduced tea as the fashionable drink – setting the trend for Tea Salons in which women wrote & performed subversive plays, read poetry & discussed proto-feminism & philosophy. Catherine of Braganza also created shopping as a national pastime, as exotic goods poured into London from her port cities of Bombay & Tangiers.

2) Dame Mary Grosvenor – nee Davies, the young heiress who owned the land upon which Mayfair & St James’s was built.

3) Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham; the world’s first woman architects whom designed Mayfair & London’s most magnificent landmarks (attributing her work to her pet pupil Christopher Wren for her husbands reputation).

4) Spy & Playwright Aphra Behn (Agent 160) had saved the British Fleet & led a slave rebellion in Surinam before becoming the greatest playwright & wit of the age. Coining the phrase “she stoops to conquer” she inspired the women of the Restoration to dare.

5) the Proto-Feminist, Eccentric Fashionista, Style Maven & author, Margaret Cavendish – The Duchess of Newcastle – known as Mad-Madge added the glamour to Mayfair, ensuring that by 1678 Mayfair was the place to be.

I’ve spent most of my life – over 40years living in Mayfair on Mount St – raising 2 husbands & 3 children whilst writing 13 books- I’m part of the warp & woof of Mayfair St James’s. Discovering through my research Mayfair was created, built & funded by women as an enclave for eccentrics & fashion inspired this project