History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

09 February 2015

A Visit to Houghton Hall

Over the holidays, my daughter Mélanie and I made two delightful visits to Houghton Hall, an English country estate built by Robert Walpole. But we did it without leaving the San Francisco Bay Area. The Legion of Honor Museum had a wonderful exhibit (currently touring the United States) which brought Houghton here. The exhibit included furniture as well as art treasures from the estate. And by projecting photographs on the walls, they actually recreated rooms so that one had the experience of walking through the estate (or castle, as Mélanie called it).

We arrived and had the experience of strolling up the house.

We explored the marble hall.

And strolled into the library.

Mélanie was delighted by a child's bed in the bedchamber.

And by coronation robes.

It was wonderful writing inspiration - like walking into one of my books. Watch for the exhibit to come to a city near you.

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Blogger Helena said...

What an excellent idea, to take the stately home on tour! Seriously, it's a marvellous way of enabling people who could never travel to the original to see the treasures.

Melanie is going to grow up with history as second nature. Just as it should be!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

It was really wonderful, Helena. I hope they do it with more houses. Great for those who can't travel across the ocean and also a wonderful teaser to inspire travel. Mélanie loved it - it really brought the history to life.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

I had a similar, but also very different, experience at the cinema yesterday. I went to a live streaming of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Love's Labour's Lost. This was terrific and I'd urge anyone to go to any repeats and to the streaming of Love's Labour's Won (aka Much Ado About Nothing) on 4 March. Like most streamings, the plays are available around the world. The reason I mention them is because the director Christopher Luscombe and designer Simon Higlett based them in a real historic house, Charlcote Park, near Stratford-on-Avon. Shakespeare may have known the house in his youth. The recreation of the house on stage was terrific, and even though I was in a cinema, not even in the theatre, I did get a sense of the real house. Here are links about the house (http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/warwickshires-charlecote-park-becomes-setting-7909252) and the plays (http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/loves-labours-lost/article-a-labour-of-love.aspx) if anyone would like to read more. 

1:41 AM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

How wonderful, Grace! The productions sound amazing. I saw a live stream of Lear a few years ago that was fabulous (though not based on an historic house).

5:35 PM  

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