These are two of my favorite people from the American Revolution- Peggy Shippen, the glamorous and fun-loving Tory socialite that fell in love with Benedict Arnold, and Major John André, artist, soldier and spy for His Majesty, King George. Here are the two of them in happier days, when the British occupied Philadelphia through 1777-1778. They're in the garden of the City Tavern, with Peggy exclaiming over her fashionable new 'do and André sketching her.
I was inspired to do this painting, sort of, by remembering what a hatchet job both Peggy and André got in Ann Rinaldi's lousy YA novel, "Finishing Becca." In that book, Peggy- portrayed as a cross between Hitler and Paris Hilton- was forever breaking expensive doodads and pitching screaming hissy fits, and was described as "evil" by the Patriot heroine of the book. André, meanwhile, was like a cousin to the wicked Marquis St. Evrémonde in "Tale of Two Cities," the guy who kept running over peasant kids in his coach; he fiddles while Rome burns, so to speak, by planning parties and balls, and he tries to rape our heroine once or twice. Someday, I'm going to do my own book (illustrated, of course!) about Peggy and André... they deserve better!