Friday, May 20, 2011

Moving House

The problem with moving house - well, two of them actually - is the realisation that you can't find anything and that everything is taking far longer to get straight than you ever imagined.

Having moved a month ago we're still chasing both things and time, so instead of the quite long and detailed post I was planning for today I am just going to share a couple of Regency prints which amused me and which focus on housing problems of some kind.

The couple on the pavement surrounded by their possessions are part of a series published by Ackermann featuring "boring" social situations. This one is all about what a bore it is when your landlady discovers that the young woman sharing your rooms is not married to you - "you have not pass'd thro the inconvenience of the matrimonial ceremony" - and evicts you without ceremony - along with lapdog, parrot and potplant. The young gentleman in his highly fashionable pantaloons and wasp-waisted coat looks as though he is about to take off and leave his weeping ladyfriend to deal with the situation!

The lodgings shown above look very respectable and the street is clean. Even the family begging seem unthreatening, if pathetic.




The other print shows lodgings that are far less respectable. It is from the famous "Tom and Jerry" series and shows Jerry returning to London and calling on his old friend Bob at his lodgings. His post chaise is standing in the road behind and the postillion is knocking on the door but there is no sign of Bob, only the annoyed landlady hanging out of the window and the nightwatchman snoring down below. The ricketty house is propped up on the pawnbroker's shop opposite, a pair of cats are squaring up for a fight on the roof and the dome of St Paul's Cathedral looms over the scene.

I doubt whether this landlady would turn a hair if her gentlemen lodgers brought home a woman who who was not their wife!


Louise Allen

1 comment:

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