Harriet Pye Esten
Oil on canvas
Lady Flutter : The Discovery
Height (canvas): 36.2cm
width (canvas): 28cm
height (frame): 48cm
width (frame): 38cm
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (98)
1974 Twickenham, Orleans House Gallery, "Garrick to Kean" (47)
William Leney for Bell's British Library 30 March 1793, line 11.1x8.2, published Bell's "British Theatre" (1797), vol 5
The scene is Act II, scene 1, Sir Henry Flutter's dressing room. He has called for his wife, and she enters "with Knetting in her hand." They quarrel and Sir Henry tells her to "retire with your trumpery work - I choose to be alone." But Lady Flutter decides to stay: "Then I'll stay to vex you" (quotation on the engraving). Lady Flutter wears a white dress trimmed with vertical lines, a blue sash, and a black hat with feathers and ribbons. In her right hand she holds her "knetting."
Mrs Sheridan's comedy was first performed at Drury Lane on 3 February 1763, with Jane Pope as Lady Flutter. Mrs Esten never played the role in London.