Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fairmount Park

So sorry to have gone so long without posting here! It wasn't my intention to start up a blog and then need to go on a hiatus both from posting here and working on my stories, but I just got too bogged down over the holidays. I'm back now, though, and hopefully should be on to semi-regular postings.

I had the chance to go up to Philadelphia before the holidays, and visit some of the Georgian-era homes in Fairmount park there. I had not realized until I went on one of the house tours that Philadelphia was the second-largest city in the British empire behind London, which helps explain the large number of Georgian houses and still a fairly strong British influence on the city. The homes in Fairmount Park would have been summer homes for those in the city; strange to think about when it was only a short bus ride from downtown!

A selection of photos below:

 Everything was quite festively decorated.
 
This room was set up as a tavern.

Until I saw one last year, I had always thought screens by the fire were the same as dressing screens. They're not; they're small like the one in this picture, and the purpose of them was primarily to keep Georgians' makeup from melting, so they were at face height when one was sitting.

They had a concert going at Laurel Hill, which was lovely. The sound of a pianoforte is quite different from our modern pianos, and hearing this one was a reminder of that. You can listen to a sample of chamber music from the mansion here.

A very colonial Georgian exterior at Mount Pleasant.

And an equally Georgian interior.

Woodwork detail.

This food setup included a quite ridiculous boar's head tureen.

I'm not able to get to Britain as often as I would like (which would pretty much be all the time!), so it's nice to be able to immerse myself in this era not too far away from home. I find the more places I visit, the easier it is to write, because I can envision my characters in their proper setting, although I think Pemberley would have been much grander than any of these houses.

The side project

Just what is this special side project I've been working on? I'll give you a hint...