Specious one bedroom available

April 18, 2013 § 2 Comments


‘Oh!’ cried Mrs. Skewton, with a faded little scream of rapture, ‘the Castle is charming!—associations of the Middle Ages—and all that—which is so truly exquisite… Such charming times!… So full of faith! So vigorous and forcible! So picturesque! So perfectly removed from commonplace! Oh dear! If they would only leave us a little more of the poetry of existence in these terrible days!’… ‘Those darling byegone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture, and their romantic vengeances, and their picturesque assaults and sieges, and everything that makes life truly charming! How dreadfully we have degenerated!’

While Dicken’s Dombey and Son is not one of the books included in Castles: an Anthology, Mrs’ Skewton’s medievalist rhapsody may well have been the guiding principle behind the selection of the 160 items included in this online collection from the British Library, which includes archaeological treatises, antiquarian histories, images, Gothic romances and pseudo-histories featuring picturesque dungeons, sieges, knights and fair maidens. With three exceptions from the 18th-century and one from the 17th-century (Dryden’s King Arthur, 1691), all of the items in the Castles Anthology are digitized 19th-century primary sources.  The reader is therefore introduced not only to histories, images and fiction associated with medieval castles, but experiences these sources through the lens of Victorian culture and taste.  Hence the result is a fascinating glimpse of Victorian medievalisms, viewed through a 21st century interface.  read more

PHOTOGRAPH: Angela Strassheim

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