Thursday, January 21, 2016

Panorama of the Thames

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Loretta reports:

“In 1829 a very unusual book was published, containing just two pages. One opened out into a panorama sixty feet (eighteen metres) in length, the other to just six feet (two metres). The work was called Panorama of the Thames from London to Richmond, and was published by Samuel Leigh, a well-respected London bookseller with premises in the Strand.”
—John R. Inglis & Jill Sanders, Panorama of the Thames: A Riverside View of Georgian London

I’ve used Mr. Leigh’s London guides as resources for many of my books. In their advertisements I’d come upon mouth-watering descriptions of publications I was unable to find online. Or anywhere.

Imagine my Nerdy History Girl excitement in November when I learned that the Panorama had recently been painstakingly scanned and cleaned up and made into a book!

Sadly, even the UK edition came out too late (U.S. edition will be out in February) for Dukes Prefer Blondes research, because I would have loved to have had such beautiful details of, for instance, Richmond, and in particular “Mr. Palmer’s” house—now known as Asgill House—the inspiration for Ithaca House in my story. However, I know it will be useful in future books, along with being simply a feast for Nerdy History Girl eyes.

You can read about the making of the new book as well as the entire Thames Panorama project here and you can see a lovely video here.

For more images and details, please see the London Historians’ Blog here.

Note: I bought this book with my own money, so no disclaimers are necessary.

Please click on images to enlarge.


Marjan said...

Oo how exciting. I have something very similar to this. 18 foot long but not in colour. Mine is called a Grand panorama of London from the Thames extending from the new houses of parliament to Greenwich hospital.

Maureen said...

I just read the blog earlier this week...and logged in to amazon and ordered the book. I am sucker for maps and stuff. I love to consult them as I study history or read historical novels. Well, this book is fabulous. We stayed in Twickenham for a week last year right next to Marble Hill House (just off the map). We could see Richmond Hill and went to Kew Gardens...saw the old bridges round Richmond. And of course London proper with St Paul's Cathedral still towering over the city. Wow! Hours of fun. Thank you for telling me about it. Maureen

LorettaChase said...

I had to share a lovely message, with some interesting additional information, which we received yesterday from the editor of this wonderful project:
Dear girls, we’re so pleased that our Riverside View of Georgian London is helpful to you. We are online too:
The river was not, of course, all about Dukes. If you check out Chiswick you will find an impoverished settlement between the church wall and the river which was, for many years, known as Sluts’ Hole. If you look up Sir Richard Phillips walk from London to Kew you see he talks to poor workmen who cannot even feed their families (some of the children had died). Richmond was certainly the spot for noblemen and the wealthy, but Chelsea was interesting too and there was Zoffany at Strand on the Green, where the royal hangers-on built or bought houses just across the river from Kew Palace. What a fascinating time it was! No space on the banks of the river now for meadows or market gardens….
Best wishes
Project editor
Panorama of the Thames

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