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Tempting Juliana

44 Berkeley Square, London

(Town house for the Chases)

The Chases' town house at 44 Berkeley Square has been described as the finest terrace house of London. It was designed in 1742 by William Kent for Lady Isabella Finch. Unfortunately, you cannot visit, because the building is currently being used as a private club. But if you go to Berkeley Square, you can see it from the outside—look for the blue door.

Spencer House

(Inspiration for Stafford House)

Stafford House, James's home in St. James's Place, is based on Spencer House, one of the great architectural landmarks of London. Built in the eighteenth century by John, 1st Earl Spencer (an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales), it was immediately recognized as a building of major importance. Should you ever find yourself in London, I highly recommend a visit. Its exquisite rooms have all been restored, and you will see many of the antiquities Amanda admired in Tempting Juliana. Spencer House is open to the public every Sunday except during January and August.

The Palm Room.

More pictures of Spencer House

Arundel Castle

(Inspiration for Cainewood Castle)
Aerial view of Arundel.

Cainewood Castle is loosely modeled on Arundel Castle in West Sussex. It has been home to the Dukes of Norfolk and their family, the Fitzalan Howards, since 1243, save for a short period during the Civil War. Although the family still resides there, portions of their magnificent home are open to visitors and more than worth a detour to gape at.

View of the quadrangle.

More pictures of Arundel Castle

The Foundling Hospital

Boys marching out of the hospital in 1926.

The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 by Captain Thomas Coram, a childless shipwright concerned about the plight of unwanted babies in London. In his time, more than seventy-four percent of the poor children born in London died before they turned five, and the death rate for children put in workhouses was more than ninety percent. In contrast, the Foundling Hospital's mortality rate was under thirty percent. If that sounds high, remember that smallpox, measles, tuberculosis (consumption), and other diseases were endemic during this period. Most people did not reach old age.

In 1740, artist William Hogarth, an early Governor of the Hospital, donated the first painting to the Hospital and encouraged other artists to follow his example—and thus England's first public art gallery was born. When the wealthy came to see the art or attend concerts given by another Governor, George Frideric Handel, they were encouraged to make charitable donations. Although there is no written record of anyone donating anything besides money, I like to think that the Governors would have been open to an idea like Juliana's.

The picture gallery.

By 1954, the year the Hospital closed, it had served more than 27,000 children. Today you can visit the Foundling Museum in London, which is on the site of the original Hospital and contains artifacts as well as the art collection, displayed in fully restored interiors.

The Egyptian Hall

The Egyptian Hall was owned by William Bullock and contained historical arms and armor, stuffed animals (real ones, not fuzzy friends), curiosities brought back from the South Seas by Captain Cook. Bullock, a collector of natural history and art items, founded his first museum in 1800 and moved it to London in 1810. The building Juliana and James visited was completed in 1812 and contained 15,000 items. Admission was l shilling or 1 guinea for an annual ticket.

The room where Aunt Frances sat.
This cartoon of the crush of people visiting Napoleon's carriage was printed in 1816, the year the carriage was first displayed at the Egyptian Hall. The exhibit was a tremendous success, earning William Bullock 35,000 pounds.

Vauxhall Gardens

Vauxhall Gardens existed for almost two centuries, from 1661 to 1859. Visitors regularly included the Prince of Wales, royal dukes, aristocrats and wealthy landowners and merchants. One of the great attractions of the gardens was that anybody who could afford the one shilling admission could mix with such people. Having bought a ticket, visitors entered the Grove, the central area of the gardens, surrounded by the supper boxes with the orchestra building in the middle. Between listening to music, visitors walked around the gardens, admiring everyone else in their fine costumes. There was a 300-yard Grand Walk and many side paths where lovers courted while viewing various entertainers, statues, buildings, and works of art.

Leicester Square Panorama

In the early 1800s, people flocked by the thousands to the new panoramas, anxious to see the latest spectacular representations of nature, battle scenes, and exotic locations in 360-degree painted representations. The Leicester Square Panorama was a large circular building built in 1792. It operated until 1865, when the building was converted to a French Catholic church and school. Besides the Battle of Waterloo exhibit that Juliana and James visited, the Panorama featured exhibits such as city views of New York and Jerusalem and sieges of Sevastopol and Lucknow.

A cross-section of the Panorama building gives a sense of its construction.

Chelsea Physic Garden

The second-oldest botanical garden in Britain, Chelsea Physic Garden in London is a center of education, beauty and relaxation. Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for training apprentices in identifying plants, today it boasts over 5000 species.

Engraving from Victorian times of a Demonstrator talking about medicinal plants. Note statue of Hans Sloane in the background.

In 1713, Dr. Hans Sloane, after whom the nearby locations of Sloane Square and Sloane Street were named, purchased the Manor of Chelsea and leased the four acres the garden occupied to the Society for £5 a year in perpetuity—the current people running it are still paying the same price. For most of its history, the gardens were open only to doctors, apothecaries, medical and pharmacy students, and their guests. In 1983 The Garden became a registered charity and is now open to the general public.

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