Georgians Revealed : Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain
For over a hundred years (1714 - 1830) a King George sat on the British throne. It was a time of transformation, as cities grew, industry thrived and trade expanded round the world. New prosperity was celebrated in great country houses and beautifully landscaped gardens, while taste and elegance drove social etiquette and fostered a new consumer boom.
Travel became easier, from Grand Tours for the rich to journeys by stagecoach or private carriage for others, encouraging the spread of fashions and ideas. An explosion in print culture also brought new horizons, as an increasingly literate society devoured newspapers, satirical pamphlets, magazines and the newly emerging novel form. Yet what do we really know about the people of this Augustan age, whose beliefs and preoccupations have so influenced our own? Georgians Revealed explores the realities of their daily lives through a fascinating variety of objects, from playbills to porcelain, architects' plans to fashion plates.
The compelling selection traces the Georgians' famous love of shopping and celebrity, gambling and domestic design, and navigates the rules that governed behaviour from ballrooms to the sporting world. It shows how a passion for entertainment created innovations such as the circus, pantomime and modern ballet, as well as the pleasure gardens and masquerades that brought the spice of intrigue and danger to their clientele. Spanning high culture and business, consumerism and crime, Georgians Revealed unravels the contradictions and concerns that link the Georgian era so closely to our own.
Accompanies a major exhibition at the British Library in November 2013.