The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in English Landscape Gardening – Designers & the Country House

In gardening, the early landscape garden was a phenomenon of the English country house which depended on classical literature and imagery for its poetic and pictorial approach. Garden designers in Britain looking to underline what Pope termed the true “genius of the place”[1] by turning to the ‘idyllic images of the Roman campagna’[2] as evoked … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in English Landscape Gardening – Designers & the Country House

Dadaism & Surrealism: An Introduction

Dada (1916-1924) and Surrealism (1924-1966) stand as two movements from markedly different time periods and cultural contexts. Both of these span artistic, literary and intellectual activity of the early 20th century, involving circles of writers, poets and visual artists who feed into a larger group output. Dada launched in 1916 in Zurich as a direct … Continue reading Dadaism & Surrealism: An Introduction

Notes on The Architect in Georgian Britain

The remit of the architect in the 18th century became all-encompassing. It was in this period that the role flourished in such a way that had been unrealised in preceding centuries. Indeed, considering the great names in architecture of the era, one would associate a fame: These men were not merely builders, but gentlemen of … Continue reading Notes on The Architect in Georgian Britain

Romanticism: Women and Realism in the poetry of William Wordsworth

The exotic, oriental, mystic and ‘Other’ qualities of Romanticism allow for the erotic and sexualised undertones of women in an escapist vein. When we invert this model, grounded in realist concerns, the naturalistic poetry of William Wordsworth appears sympathetic to the cause of women in their adversity. Critics such as Katharine Merrill have agreed that … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Realism in the poetry of William Wordsworth

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) frames Christabel (1816) within Gothicism, extending on the occult forces of the “Other” embodied by women. Coleridge had written on the presentation of female characters in Gothic literature stating that they were either models of ‘trembling innocence’ or of ‘shameless harlotry’[1]. This statement correlates with a view within the sphere of … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Christabel’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Yellow Wallpaper: Hysteria, Rest Cures & Gender Theory

Throughout Victorian culture, ‘The angel in the house’ works as a one-dimensional character identity, however, in ‘The Yellow Paper’ Charlotte Perkins Gilman chooses to write about a 19th century woman who overtly experiences a crisis of the self and case of conflicted identity. This becomes evident at first through the division of the ‘rational’ which … Continue reading The Yellow Wallpaper: Hysteria, Rest Cures & Gender Theory

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, organisation 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