“So agreeable and suitable a place”: a late eighteenth-century suburban villa

Jon Stobart

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

Abstract

The suburban villa rose to prominence in the eighteenth century. Burlington, Pope and others built large houses on the outskirts of London as expressions of their wealth and taste, using them to showcase collections, entertain friends or escape from the gaze of the city. Many others acquired rather more modest houses which they used as a convenient and comfortable base for engaging in London life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these smaller villas have attracted relatively little attention: overshadowed by the grandeur of their rural, and the showiness of their metropolitan, counterparts they contained few artistic treasures or architectural innovations. Yet they were an important element of elite life and material culture. This paper explores one such house in detail: Grove House in Kensington Gore, the property of the Honourable Mary Leigh. Drawing on a large collection of bills, I examine the processes of decorating, furnishing and supplying Grove House around the turn of the nineteenth century. This provides insights into the operation of the suburban villa and the ways in which its material culture and habitation were linked to its country equivalent.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2014
EventBritish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 43rd Annual Conference - St Hugh's College, University of Oxford
Duration: 9 Jan 2014 → …

Conference

ConferenceBritish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 43rd Annual Conference
Period9/01/14 → …

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