The London Season

(Important in The Counterfeit Guest)

At least from the 1730s and 40s, wealthy Englishmen and women spent part of each year in London and part in the country or travelling abroad. Their movements reflected the weather, the activities of the Court, and the dates of parliamentary sessions. As all three of these were changeable, so were the movements of ‘fashionable world’. In general, however, a short London ‘Season’ occurred between late January and the Easter parliamentary recess, the highlights of which would be the opening of the opera and the first royal levee. When Parliament reassembled after Easter and the first royal drawing-room was held, the true Season would begin. This would last until Parliament was prorogued in June, after which many people would drift away. Some would return for the autumn parliamentary session, but others would remain in the country until after Christmas.