Miss Nancy

Definition

Theater

  • A popular name for the beautiful but narcissistic actress MrsAnne Oldfield (1683 - 1730). After her death the namecame to be used of any person, who was unusually fastidious about his or her dress.

    In his Moral Essays (1731 - 35) Alexander Popereferred to Mrs Oldfield under the name of Narcissa. Therewas at the time of the actress's death a law, enacted for the benefitof the wool trade, that required all shrouds to be made of wool. Onher deathbed, however, Mrs Oldfield insisted that she be buried in"a very fine Brussels lace head-dress, a Holland shift witha tucker and double ruffles of the same lace, a pair of new kid gloves,etc." Her instructions were lampooned by Pope:

    Odious! In woollen! T'would a saint provoke
    (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke).
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