Marrying Well for Fun and Profit: Pleasing Garden Statuary

Advice for the upwardly-mobile Miss from Persuasion’s resident social expert, Sir Walter Elliot.

Photo Credit: Xlibber (Creative Commons Flickr)

Why not immortalize yourself in the garden? Photo Credit: Xlibber (Creative Commons Flickr)

My Dear Vulgarian Miss,

With the approach of spring come thoughts of gardens and weddings—yours, I trust. Just after the honeymoon is the best time for making permanent additions to an estate, for it is then that a new husband’s heart is the most malleable. I suggest that you plan to add pleasing garden statuary. Naturally, the one immortalized will be your lovely self.

Yes, you will have your portrait painted for the gallery, but it could be delayed to include your children. Plainly stated, you will appear matronly. Garden statuary, on the other hand, will immortalize you at your youthful and most beautiful best.

Here are my thoughts:

Not too modern!  Photo Credit: Paul Stevenson (Creative Commons Flickr)

But not too modern! Photo Credit: Paul Stevenson (Creative Commons Flickr)

A classic figure, fully clothed, is preferred. Remember, your grandchildren (who will know you only as an old lady) will see it. Unless you wish to invite their snickers, do not expose inappropriate flesh.

Choose heroic or romantic over angelic. To sport wings invites comparison, and no one comes off well when compared to an angel. Winged Nike is therefore out. Venus, Aphrodite, Hermes, even Themis or Minerva are better choices.

Not too whimsical Photo Credit: David Catchpole (Creative Commons Flickr)

Not too whimsical either! Photo Credit: David Catchpole (Creative Commons Flickr)

Beware of your new husband’s desire to join you in a tableau. Greek gods are usually shown unclothed, a most unwise choice. Again, think of the grandchildren—and guests who will no doubt speculate as to how accurate the sculptural representation is. If you cannot talk your husband out of it, choose wisely: Triton, not Hercules. One of the Caesars instead of Bacchus. And please, no Cupid or frolicking cherubs, especially if a fountain is involved.

I must stress the importance of getting this project underway at once. Otherwise you risk being portrayed as you truly are: a warrior Valkyrie or worse, Medusa.

Cordially yours in the upward climb,

Sir Walter Elliot, Bart.


“I want to make something of myself. I believe it’s called a statue.”
~ Jarod Kintz

“The statue that advertises its modesty with a fig leaf really brings its modesty under suspicion.”
~ Mark Twain

~ For more advice from Sir Walter,
click on his image ~

Copyright (c) Laura Hile, 2015

2 thoughts on “Marrying Well for Fun and Profit: Pleasing Garden Statuary

  1. Robin Helm

    Well, this brought back an amusing memory. The first year my husband and I were married, we went to the Winston-Salem library together. Just above a stairway which we had to descend was a statute of a nude female body, sans head. My husband remarked that she looked like me. I had to agree.

    I’m also in total agreement with your post, Laura. I wouldn’t want that statue in my garden, or even in my state.

    And NO, I have never posed for any artist, other than a portrait photographer.


    1. Laura Hile

      No, no, no posing for a sculpture! Faculty photos are bad enough, and those are taken with clothes on!

      Besides, I’m betting that those personalized garden statues featured the old school version of Photoshop. That is, a toned, youthful body with the customer’s face.



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