Tag Archives: 19th Century

Poetry Readings: “I Am!” – By John Clare (1793 – 1864)

Read by John Davies

John Clare was an English poet who lived most of his life in abject poverty. His life was marred by bouts of mania and depression, and for the final 23 years of his life, Clare was locked in an insane asylum. It was here he began to write poetry; ‘I Am’ was Clare’s final elegy before his passing.

I Am!

BY JOHN CLARE

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

Scottish Baronial Estates: Abbotsford House – Built By Sir Walter Scott (1820’s)

Damian Barr explores Sir Walter Scott’s impressive home, Abbotsford, which is full of a fascinating mix of items owned by the famed Scottish novelist, poet, playwright, and historian.

Abbotsford House was built by Sir Walter Scott as his grand home in the Scottish Borders. The property, set on the banks of the River Tweed, was bought in 1811 and then modified to the tastes of Sir Walter Scott. The writer died here in 1832, and the house was opened to the public just five months after his death.

The rooms that you visit today have been left virtually untouched since his death and a visit to Abbotsford House gives you an intimate insight into the personality and interests of this great man. Some of the most interesting aspects of the house are the personal collections of Sir Walter Scott which include unusual items such as the weapons of Rob Roy, the case book of Napoleon, and even a bullet and piece of oatcake taken from the site of Culloden Battlefield.

Visitors can see Sir Walter Scott’s Study, Library, Drawing Room, Entrance Hall, small Armoury, and the Dining Room where he died on 21st September 1832. The dining room contains paintings of several generations of the Scott family. Unfortunately, the last of his bloodline died in 2004 and the care of the house has now been taken over by the Abbotsford Trust.

History: The Legendary ‘American Colony Hotel’ – Jerusalem (DW Video)

The elegant “American Colony Hotel” in Jerusalem is an island of tranquility in a troubled city. The grand hotel has lived through all of Jerusalem’s serious crises. Everyone is welcome here, no matter where they come from or what they believe. The name “American Colony Hotel” goes back to a group of 19th Century American pilgrims. In its early days, the grand hotel was located among olive groves outside Jerusalem’s city walls. For over a hundred years, many parties to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have shaken hands, eaten and drunk here together. People mingle here in a way they would never do elsewhere. Behind it all is the fascinating story of Anna and Horatio Spafford, who, after several tragic events, moved from the US to the Holy Land with a community of devout Christians. With diligence, skill, and an insistence on neutrality and tolerance despite political difficulties, they created a hotel in a truly special location. Its atmosphere continues to attract illustrious guests from the worlds of politics, diplomacy, literature, art and entertainment.

English Gardens: 19th-Century Brodsworth Hall In South Yorkshire

The mid-19th-century Gardens of Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire are striking. House and grounds are a perfect complement of Italianate green architecture and are linked by formal terraces with three staircases decorated by marble urns and recumbent — probably Italian — greyhounds acquired by the Italian sculptor Chevalier G. M. Casentini.

Tiffany Daneff, August 14, 2021

If this all feels rather unlikely in Yorkshire, that is because it reflects the taste of one man, Charles Sabine Augustus Thellusson, who came into an extraordinary inheritance in 1858 and devoted much of it to creating the hall and its gardens in his own personal style.

‘Today, he would be an oligarch,’ says Michael Klemperer, senior gardens advisor for the North and Midlands regions at English Heritage (EH), which now looks after house and gardens. ‘The money he received from the will was £700,000, which, with interest, equates to £140 million today.’ With the cash came the estate that had belonged to his great-grandfather Peter Thellusson, a Swiss financier, who had moved to London in 1760 and built up a fortune as a merchant and banker.

Charles Thellusson was an avid traveller, sailor and photographer. ‘He was a big, robust Victorian gentleman, a patrician walrus,’ notes Dr Klemperer, who sees Brodsworth as representing a transition between Continental styles and the Victorian era. ‘It is a garden that is interesting on a number of levels,’ he adds, citing influences as varied as Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840) and Blackpool pier.

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Art: ‘Hokusai. Thirty-Six Views Of Mount Fuji’

Mount Fuji has long been a centerpiece of Japanese cultural imagination, and nothing captures this with more virtuosity than the landmark woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849).

The renowned printmaker documents 19th-century Japan with exceptional artistry and adoration, celebrating its countryside, cities, people, and serene natural beauty. Produced at the peak of Hokusai’s artistic ambition, the series is a quintessential work of ukiyo-e that earned the artist world-wide recognition as a leading master of his craft.

The prints illustrate Hokusai’s own obsession with Mount Fuji as well as the flourishing domestic tourism of the late Edo period. Just as the mountain was a cherished view for travelers heading to the capital Edo (now Tokyo) along the Tōkaidō road, Mount Fuji is the infallible backdrop to each of the series’ unique scenes. Hokusai captures the distinctive landscape and provincial charm of each setting with a vivid palette and exquisite detail. Including the iconic Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa (also The Great Wave), this widely celebrated series is a treasure of international art history.

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History: Bicentenary Of Napoleon Bonaparte Debated In France (Video)

This week, you find us outside #Paris​’ military museum, the #Invalides​. It is the final resting place of one of France’s most famous and most controversial figures, #Napoleon#Bonaparte​. As 2021 marks the bicentenary of the emperor’s death, his military, social and political legacy have sparked a heated debate, both here and abroad… proving a pickle for the government’s commemorative plans. We take a look back at this multi-faceted leader.

Paris Exhibitions: ‘Signac – The Colored Harmonies’ Musée Jacquemart-André

Signac, Colored Harmonies – From March 26 to July 19, 2021

In 2021, discover the work of Paul Signac (1863 – 1935), master of landscape and main theorist of neo-impressionism, through nearly 70 works from the finest collection of neo-impressionist works in private hands. Alongside 25 of his paintings such as Avant du Tub (1888), Saint-Briac. Les Balises (1890), Saint-Tropez. After the storm (1895), Avignon. Matin (1909) or Juan-les-Pins, Soir (1914) and around twenty watercolors, the exhibition will present more than twenty works by Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Maximilen Luce, Théo Van Rysselberghe, Henri-Edmond Cross , Louis Hayet, Achille Laugé, Georges Lacombe and Georges Lemmen.

The entire exhibition will follow a chronological route, from the first impressionist paintings painted by Signac under the influence of Claude Monet to the brightly colored works produced by the artist in the 20th century, including his meeting with Georges Seurat in 1884. The exhibition, which will retrace the life of Signac and his work to liberate color, will also evoke the history of neo-impressionism.

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Poetry: ‘When I Have Fears’ – John Keats (1795-1821)

Read by James Smillie – John Keats was a revered English poet who devoted his short life to the perfection of poetry.

John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his works having been in publication for only four years before his death from tuberculosis at the age of 25.