I have wanted to see this several times but I had sworn to see it with my trusty London adventurer friend @alicemartha so I waited. First up I should mention that the exhibition at the British Library is slightly better than half price with an Art Fund card.
I should point out that before entering the exhibition I thought my understanding of the period was Bath’s buildings, Pride & Prejudice and poor Farmer George III. Turns out I knew quite a bit about Georgians and didn’t actually realise it.
Upon walking into the exhibition we were greeted by an amazing array of printed Georgian papers and pictures hanging from the ceiling. I really like that touch. The portraits of the 4 Georges were on show and you could definitely see the family noise!
I quite liked the fact that the exhibition was a good balance of the library’s treasures and objects on loan. The clothes were one my favourite items. I found the Peach satin number a bit over the top for my taste however the simple muslin ladies outfit with a regency under bust line was not only flattering but very pretty.
The shoes scattered around the exhibition were exquisite made with amazing materials (no wonder they fainted a lot it was so that people could carry them to save their shoes) I am a big fan of show buckles (quite frankly I think they need a renaissance in the fashion world).
I had never really thought about life before zips before or if I am honest men’s flies during the regency period. Well I found the trouser/breaches/pantaloons on show fascinating with its flappy front my first thought was that would be handy for a mobile phone.
The star of the exhibition was in my opinion Jane Austin’s glasses, writing slope and handwriting. The glasses were tiny in comparison to today’s but then the people were also smaller. Glasses and handwriting somehow bring a person from history alive as they are such personal objects she is no longer a name on a book but a lady who needed glasses just like me.
I came to realise that I may have actually been a Georgian in a previous life, they read for pleasure, they travelled, they had amazing shoes, they loved shopping, and then there was GIN. Really all these years I have been a Georgian in disguise.
The gift shop small but nothing took my fancy. The exhibition itself was small and perfectly formed and a good way to spend 45 minutes. It does clearly show that the life styles and modern past times really did emerge from this time. However I think I will leave it you to decide if it is worth £10 (non concession price). The exhibition is on until 11th March 2014.