Hearts Through History Romance Writers

On the Duchess of Gordon’s Reel Dancing

Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon and son


“She kiltit up her kirtle weel tucked/To show her bonie cutes sae sma’
And walloped about the reel/The lightest louper o’ them a’!

While some, like slav’ring, doited stots/Stoit’ring out thro’ the midden dub,                                                   Fankit their heels amang their coats/And gart the floor their backsides rub.

Gordon, the great, the gay, the gallant/Skip’t like a maukin owre a dike,                                                               Deil tak me, since I was a callant/Gif e’er my een beheld the like!”

On the Duchess of Gordon’s Reel Dancing                                                                                                                   (published March 27, 1789 – London’s Star newspaper, Peter Stuart, ed.)

Much has been written on Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon (1749?-1812).  I shall not attempt to review it all in this post, but suffice it to say she was born in Scotland, either in Edinburgh or her family estate at Myrton, and made a brilliant marriage to the Duke of Gordon.  She was alleged to have been desperately in love with a Fraser lad who she thought had died.  Sadly, she was already ensconced in the Bog-of-Gight stronghold of Gordon Castle when her lover resurrected–too late for her to accept his proposal of marriage.