This essay about the decorating exploits of Leigh Hunt is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the…View More Leigh Hunt Avid Decorator
Tag: British poets
There was a particular time in history during which British poets flourished. Shelley, Lord Byron and their compatriots wrote some of the world’s best poetry to date.
Percy Bysshe Shelley remains one of my favorite British poets for his lyricism and depth so when I found out I was heading to Milan, I knew which two small books I would take with me so that I could sit in the same spot in the Duomo di Milano and read Dante, just as he did. He describes the experience in “one solitary spot among those aisles behind the altar, where the light of day is dim and yellow under the storied window.” The books I took and read in this same dim and yellow spot were Shelley’s Letters from Italy and Dante’s La Vita Nuova.
In his letters, Shelley described the cathedral as “a most astonishing work of art,” adding: “It is built of white marble, and cut into pinnacles of immense height, and the utmost delicacy of workmanship, and loaded with sculpture. The effect of it, piercing the solid blue with those groups of dazzling spires, relieved by the serene depth of this Italian heaven, or by moonlight when the stars seem gathered away among those clustered shapes, is beyond anything I had imagined architecture capable of producing.” I was reading the descriptions just four days shy of the date he had sat reading inside the Choice 197 years before!
A Decadently Yellow London
This essay channeling the Decadents and Aesthetes in London when it was decadently yellow is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34…View More A Decadently Yellow London
Ottoline Morrell Gets Lit
This essay exploring the literary world of Ottoline Morrell is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More Ottoline Morrell Gets Lit
Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
What do the Paris and New York City cafés that served as historical backdrops for some of the world’s most brilliant creatives say about the…View More Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
The Seat of Scottish Power
As the opening credits roll during the film Her Majesty, Mrs Brown, a Markino marble bust, which has been tossed over a castle’s ramparts, tumbles…View More The Seat of Scottish Power
Celebrating Shakespeare The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is April 23rd, the date he passed in 1616 at the age of 52 believed to…View More Celebrating Shakespeare
Reading Dante in Milan
“I’d like that sunny table near the windows under the beautiful mirror,” he says to the hostess at Le Vrai, pointing to the niche set…View More Reading Dante in Milan
I Met Virginia Woolf in This Room
Who else is relieved that Lady Edith Crawley, played by Laura Carmichael, is finally finding happiness on Downton Abbey? Having binged on all of the…View More I Met Virginia Woolf in This Room
Narratives That Illuminate Design
Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change…View More Narratives That Illuminate Design
One Special Summer with Jackie O
Hegel’s caveat “history teaches us nothing” may be relevant in cultural and philosophical realities but in the design world the statement is far from succinct.…View More One Special Summer with Jackie O