Saturday, 2 August 2014

Tee Bylo Makes Plans for Lord Byron's 'Other' Abode...

It is no secret that I am a passionate devotee of the history of Lord Byron as well as an artisan who creates 'Small Worlds' in 12th scale and it was perhaps only a matter of time before I would create another 'Small World' inspired by Newstead Abbey, Byron's splendid ancestral abode that is nestled with Sherwood Forest in the county of Nottinghamshire.

Now, to be fair, I did try to talk myself out of this challenge as my diary for last September demonstrates...

"Good Morning! I find myself in a quandary as I muse over the possible purchase of a Gothic Castle to add to my property empire..."

However, I was to meet with fierce resistance on a certain social networking site that will remain nameless...

"Don't muse, do it!"
"Love castles, just do it and share"
"Yes, buy it"
"What quandary? Buy, buy!"

So with the 'Mission Accomplished' and the said purchase made, I am sharing my grand plan for the creation of Newstead Abbey in Miniature which after a spot of preliminary research could well turn out to be 'Mission Impossible'...

However, in my head at least, Newstead Abbey in Miniature will be a 12th scale stone Castle complete with the romantic turrets and lashings of the Gothic that will reflect the architecture, interior design and furniture of the contemporary Newstead Abbey that greets the visitor today.

 However unlike a visit to Newstead Abbey, my Newstead Abbey in Miniature will be not be subject to the savage cuts imposed by Nottingham City Council that have resulted in limited guided tours, staff redundancies and the theft of the priceless lead piping!

Sunday April 19 2015 will see the unveiling of the exterior of Newstead Abbey in Miniature on the 191st year of Byron's death.

However, which room I reveal first will be the decision of you, the reader!

To choose the room that you would like me to make first, simply cast your vote in my unique poll which you can find on my blog below:

The 'Small' Tales of Newstead Abbey!
The Creation of Lord Byron's Abbey in Miniature...

Although my plans for the creation of Newstead Abbey in Miniature have only begun this month in earnest, I have been rather busy with research and the 'stockpiling' of materials, fabrics, pictures and (the fun bit!) the choosing of the Newstead Abbey inspired miniatures!

And so as my Newstead Abbey in Miniature develops, I shall share with you the unfolding tale, the triumphs and the tears!

Bye for now!

As I am planning a "fact finding" visit to Newstead Abbey later this summer, I intend to make a careful study of the rooms and in the process am likely to exhaust my small camera and may yet find my sanity under question as to the undertaking of this project!

However, if pessimism should set in at least I know that the Newstead Abbey Shop sells a rather delicious chocolate bar!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Death in a Deplorable Room. Lord Byron is No More...

Monday April 19 1824...
Missolonghi, Greece

His habitation was weather-tight but that was nearly all the comfort his deplorable room afforded him.
He was my protector and benefactor, and I could not see him, whom I knew to have been so differently brought up, thus perishing, far from his home, far from all the comforts due to his rank and situation...

The pestilent sirocco was blowing a hurricane, and the rain was falling with almost tropical violence...

On the 16th he was alarmingly ill, and almost constantly delirious.

I earnestly implored the doctors not to physic and bleed him, and to keep his extremities warm, for in them was already the coldness of coming death...

On the 17th he appeared much worse than the day before; notwithstanding this, he was again bled twice, and both times fainted.
His debility was excessive.

This was Easter Day...
I saw him a short time indeed, in the morning, and then he was very delirious, and alarmingly ill.

Dr. Treiber, a German, had warmly condemned the mode in which Lord Byron had been treated. It was by his recommendation and advice, I believe, that it was now resolved to administer bark, and I was sent for to persuade Lord Byron to take it.

He was able to swallow only a very small quantity, about four mouthfuls I think.
With the assistance of Tita, I endeavoured gently to create a little warmth in them; and I also loosened the bandages which were tied around his head.
Till this was done he seemed in great pain...

He bore the loosening of the band passively; and after it was loosened, he shed tears...
His eyes continued open only a short time, and then, about six o'clock in the evening of the 18th, he sank into a slumber, or rather I should say a stupor, and woke and knew no more.

On Monday, April 19th, at six o'clock in the evening Lord Byron was dead.

"Give Greece arms and independence, and then learning; I am here to serve her, but I will serve her first with my steel, and afterwards with her pen"

Lord Byron
(1788 - 1824)

"The Death of Byron April 19 1824"
(Displayed April 19 2012)
8 x 10 x 8

"Theatre of Insolence"
10 x 9 x 11

Sources Used:
The Last Days of Lord Byron William Parry (BiblioBazaar 2011)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Happiest when Alone! Lord B Yearns for Some Peaceful Confusion...

As we have now left Lady Byron to enjoy a peaceful repast in the Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace, it's now time to pay a fugitive visit to His Lordship's Library which is situated on the Piano Nobile.

You may wonder at my use of the the word 'fugitive' but when you read on, all will hopefully be explained!

"I do not know that I am happiest when alone; but this I am sure of that I never am long in the society even of her I love, (God knows too well, and the Devil probably too,) without a yearning for the company of my lamp and my utterly confused and tumbled-over library.."
Lord Byron 
(April 1814)

Given what we have learnt about Byron's quick temper with his fondness for solitude and with a pistol within easy reach...

I shall bid you a fond adieu for now!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Leaving Lady B to Dine in Peace!

There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman, - some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them, - which I cannot at all account for, having no very opinion of the sex.

But yet, - I always feel in better humour with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken.
Lord Byron

And there is certainly a 'woman within ken' in the Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace for the walls that I have painted in a distemper inspired by the colour of 'Wedgewood Blue' are now adorned with several female likenesses that feature the like of Lady Melbourne and Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire.

For with this feminine presence dominating the Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace and with Byron's ambivalent attitude towards food well documented in that he would frequently go for days without eating a substantial meal preferring a diet of "hard biscuits and Soda water"; I have created this particular room to be as 'unByronic' as is possible and which may offer some explanation for the portrait of B's 'infernal fiend' that now hangs there.

Annabella Milbanke

For it was during the course of his brief residence within the martial home of 13 Piccadilly Terrace, he would on more than one occasion refuse to share the dining table with his bride.

... once when his dinner was accidentally served at the same table with mine, he desired his dish to be taken into another room (in my presence, & the servants attending) with an expression of rage...
Lady Byron

As the dietary strictures employed by Lord B were not shared by his wife for having made no secret of her enjoyment of food, my hope is that this wonderfully poignant image of this solemn yet graceful little girl can continue to adorn the walls of this dining room in peace!

Bye for now!

'The Lady and the Poet' The Story of Lady Byron

Sources Used:
'The Trouble of an Index' Byron's Letters and Journals Volume 13 Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1982)
Lord Byron's Wife Malcolm Elwin (London: John Murray 1962)
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