Category Archives: Entertainments

Aspects of Entertainments Enjoyed During the Regency

Regency Bicentennial:   "An Ass of the Eighteenth Century"

Two hundred years ago, Jemmy, who called himself "An Ass of the Eighteenth Century" made his debut in the children’s book, The Adventures of a Donkey. Jemmy’s "autobiography" predated that of Black Beauty by more than sixty years. In fact, … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball

This coming Monday will be the two-hundredth anniversary of perhaps the most famous social event in history, the ball hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Richmond in Brussels on the same day news came of the French army’s advance … Continue reading

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The Harp-Lute:   The Regency Lady’s Instrument

Though few people today have ever even heard of a harp-lute, let alone seen one, these lovely musical instruments were extremely popular during the Regency. However, their popularity was mainly restricted to one select group of musicians, the amateur musicians … Continue reading

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From Colosseum to Pocket:   Toy Panoramas

The largest panorama about which I have written in my series on panoramas is certainly the enormous London Panorama drawn by Thomas Horner, which encompassed 46,000 square feet of canvas and was displayed in the great Colosseum north of Regent’s … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Publication of Mansfield Park

Though the exact date of publication is not known for certain, two hundred years ago, probably sometime in the month of May, Jane Austen’s third novel, Mansfield Park, was published. Though it was her third novel to go to press, … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   The First English Edition of The Swiss Family Robinson

Though the exact date is not known, an English translation of one version of the book which would eventually come to be known as The Swiss Family Robinson, was first published in London in 1814. And thus, came full circle … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   Edmund Kean Makes His Debut in London

Two hundred years ago this Sunday, the legendary actor, Edmund Kean, made his debut on the London stage in his first adult role. Though he was a great success and his performance made him an instant celebrity, as well as … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   Wellington’s Victory

This particular "victory" was not actually a military exercise, nor was it led by General the Marquess of Wellington, though it was inspired by his actions. This "Wellington’s Victory," also known as "The Battle Symphony," was written by Ludwig von … Continue reading

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The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast

Many of you may be familiar with this title from a children’s picture book of a similar title published in 1973, or as the title of a rock concept album which was released in 1974. But did you know that … Continue reading

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Defying Death:   The Genesis of a Panorama

Last month, I posted an article here on how panoramas were painted. Every single one of those panoramas was painted on an enormous canvas after a drawing of the scene had been transferred to it. Without those drawings, there would … Continue reading

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The Painting of a Panorama

In previous articles in my series on the history of the panorama, I have discussed its invention by Robert Barker, the purpose-built rotundas in which these paintings were displayed and the technology employed to make the viewing experience as realistic … Continue reading

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A Regency Bicentennial:   Pride and Prejudice Published

This coming Monday, 28 January 2013, marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of one of the best-loved novels of all time, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Most scholars believe that the original version of Pride and Prejudice was … Continue reading

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The Keys to the Panorama

These "keys" were made of paper, and would certainly not open the door to the panorama rotunda. However, they would unlock the secrets of what you were viewing within the panorama, once you had gotten through the door. Last month, … Continue reading

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Robert Barker’s Leicester Square Panorama:   The Regency Schedule

Last week, we took a walk through Robert Barker’s purpose-built panorama rotunda in Leicester Square, examining the technology which he had employed there to make the viewing experience as real as possible for his spectators. It was so real, in … Continue reading

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Robert Barker’s Leicester Square Panorama:   The Technology

Last week, we traced the evolution of Robert Barker’s panorama display space from a rented room at the Haymarket to a hastily-constructed wooden building in his back garden on Castle Street to the splendid dual-circle rotunda situated just northeast of … Continue reading

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Robert Barker’s Leicester Square Panorama:   The Rotunda

When Thomas Girtin exhibited his London panorama, Eidometropolis, in 1802, he had to rent the Great Room in Spring Gardens in order to display it to the public. Such was the case for most other panorama artists, from the early … Continue reading

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The Bastard Title:   To Bind or Not to Bind?

Those of you, who, from the title above, are expecting an article on bondage involving some ennobled aristocrat born on the wrong side of the blanket, click away now, as you are doomed to disappointment if you continue reading. However, … Continue reading

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