The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

Running a household in Victorian England had become a science – with tasks to be delegated and a system of categorised activity for those at every level of society. When Girouard writes of the eminent concern for ‘morality, domesticity, organization and hospitality’[1] in the country house the emphasis is on the rigid upholding of standards … Continue reading The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Formal to Informal

It was in the 18th century that criticism notes the dissent from the model of the ‘formal’ garden[1] and the emergence of an ‘informal’ garden[2] style seen across alternatives which included the proposition of the ‘English Landscape’ and ‘Picturesque’ garden[3]. Indeed, Sellers writes that ‘at the beginning of the eighteenth century […] the first voices … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Formal to Informal

Shakespearean Drama: Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act I Scene 2

Richard III stands as a historical play in the Shakespearean canon: Playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) worked this particular episode circa 1592 in a saga pertaining to the ‘Tudor Myth’[1]. Belonging to the First Folio, Richard III closes a tetralogy and charts the ambitions of historical figure King Richard III of England (1452-1485). As part of … Continue reading Shakespearean Drama: Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act I Scene 2

The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

From 1570 – 1620 one can chart the ‘Elizabethan building boom’[1]. Here, we see an unprecedented rise in the building of ‘proud, ambitious heaps’[2] and the beginnings of the ‘architect’ as an entity in the cultural, economic and social landscape. Architectural historian Sir John Summerson credits ‘the most daring of all English buildings’[3] as the … Continue reading The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction

The ‘Picturesque’ figures predominantly in 18th century British landscape debate. In terms of gardening and design theory, the ‘Picturesque’ evolves from the transition in the formal gardens of earlier Renaissance and Baroque landscapes[1] to greater informality and natural characteristics, evidenced in the British countryside and merited for its own distinctively rugged beauty. Christopher Hussey defined … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction

Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – Museums and Education in Victorian England

Albert’s German background, educational pursuits and patronage efforts accumulated in his aims for permanent museums as places of learning and leisure. Albert had a desire to reform deign and art education via a Kultuforum[1] in South Kensington, given the progressive, intellectual and reformative climate of the nineteenth century. Socially, the government had passed the Reform … Continue reading Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – Museums and Education in Victorian England

The Impressionists – Putting Women in the Picture

A note on the text: I've been writing on Impressionism in 19th century Paris through a mini-series. If you haven't already, it might be beneficial to read the first two introductory parts before delving into this article. To contextualise The Impressionists, please read here... To discover Le Flâneur, please read here... In relation to men, … Continue reading The Impressionists – Putting Women in the Picture

Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (2)

'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman overturns the reader's expectations of a 19th century wife and mother. The narrator's 'descent' into madness is an evocative commentary on the powers that be - a troubling psychosis which reads as an early psychological horror story. In the first part of this series, we referred to Virginia Woolf … Continue reading Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (2)

Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) writes Kubla Khan (1816) in a mode of escapism which was compatible with the Romantic attitude in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Kubla Khan is composed with allusions to the exotic, foreign and erotic, all which are elements of the poem’s pervading Orientalism. Drawing on connotations of “Otherness”, the … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge