Esoteric London

No. 404: Bessborough Street, SW1

Posted in Clubs, Public Art by esotericlondon on September 15, 2011

Bessborough Street, London, SW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Great Metropolis – James Grant, 1837:


The room in which the balls take place is one of the most beautiful in London: perhaps I might say it is not to be surpassed anywhere else. When lighted up it has a most dazzling effect; and I need not say what the scene must be when crowded with all the beauty which the aristocracy can boast. The doors are thrown open at ten o’clock; betwixt that time and eleven, the bustle and animation in St. James’s Street exceeds anything which the mind can picture to itself. You hear far and near the cracking of the whip, the clattering of the horses’ hoofs, the rattling of the carriages, the hallooing of coachmen and footmen; and you see the most splendid equipages, bearing with them the choicest beauty and fashion of the land, flying past you every moment, all on their way to the scene of action for the night. Dancing commences at eleven. Either [John] Weippert or Collinet then strikes up his band. From that moment till four o’clock, there is no repose for the poor fiddlers: they, indeed, are the only mortals to be pitied there. And yet, I am not sure after all, whether that which would under other cir cumstances, be an intolerable labour, be not so much lightened by the “bright phalanx of beauty,” as Sir Samuel Whalley would say, before them, as to be scarcely any labour at all.

[ Almack’s Assembly Rooms was a club in London. Opening in 1765 it was one of the first to admit both men and women. For more of Eduardo Paolozzi’s work see posts Nos. 342 and 373R.D.]

One Response

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  1. Frank Schwarz said, on December 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Hey, friend , very nice post. I hope we can link up in the near future and talk about how life is going. Thanks for such great info…

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