I’ve been collecting old E. Beresford Chancellor books for years. He first came to my attention when I learned of his 6-volume Lives of the Rakes series, first published in 1925. I mean, what’s not to like, with a title like that? I’ll cover the Rakes in a later post. Actually, it might take several. There are more rakes than there are volumes.
Being the unapologetic backlist-glommer that I am, I of course tracked down everything else Chancellor wrote, including the book that is the topic of this post, The XVIIIth Century in London, published in 1925. In the years since then, many of his books have been scanned into online digital libraries. If you’re interested in reading further, the XVIIIth Century is available at UPenn and at the Internet Archive, as well as a few other sites.
To give you an idea of the topics covered in the book, here is the table of contents:
- The Social Life of the Period
- Street Topography
- Pleasure Resorts
- Clubs, Coffee-Houses, and Taverns
- Great Houses and Public Buildings
- The Churches
- The Arts in the XVIIIth Century
- Architectural Relics of the Period
The image scans I’ve seen thus far online are a bit more blurry than the ones from my copy, so I thought I’d post a few of them. I’ve done a little cleanup thus far and may continue to enhance them when I have a moment. There are probably prints in a museum somewhere that put these scans totally in the shade, but they’re fun to mess with for coloring and to get an idea of the vibe of a place. (That’s why I initially scanned them — to have something fun to color!)
So, I’ve collected a few images I thought might lend themselves well to coloring. There’ll almost certainly be more, once I’ve had a chance to review the other images in the book. And when I’m done with this book, I’ll move on to Chancellor’s The Pleasure Haunts of London and then to Memorials of St. James Street / Annals of Almack’s. Fun times!
I’ve placed the scans below the cut to avoid slowing down the home page.