London Life & the Great Exhibition 1851
Auteur : J.R.C Yglesias
Editeur : Longmans
Année de sortie : 1964
Langue : Anglais
The Great Exhibition of 1851 is a success story. 'The history of the world records no event comparable in its promotion of human industry, with that of the Great Exhibition.' The story of this giant trade fair highlights life in London in the reign of Queen Victoria. It also provides a picture of how all sorts of people lived in those days, from the Queen and her family to the lively street traders outside Hyde Park.
The Crystal Palace was built to display all the latest inventions in industry and art from all over the world. If all the exhibitions held at Earls Court and Olympia in London this year were placed together in one vast, glass building you would have some idea of that great enterprise of 1851. In that year it stood, a huge glass palace, opposite what is now the Knightsbridge Barracks on the south side of London's Hyde Park. Joseph Paxton designed it, and people came in their thousands from all over the world between 1 May and 11 October 1851 when it was open to the public.
The Queen's husband, Prince Albert, known as the Prince Consort, was the enthusiastic chief organiser who worked overtime to make a success of the whole scheme. Indeed, it turned out to be the most spectacular trade show ever seen.
As the story develops you will meet many people, some famous, some long since forgotten. You will be able to compare life in London in those days with life in a modern city today.
You will marvel at what those Victorians were able to do without the help of so many 'modern' inventions of transport and communication that we now take for granted.
The facts in this story come from records written at the time the book is describing or are taken from books written by men and women who were alive at that time. For example, the second sentence at the beginning of this chapter is a quotation from Henry Cole. You will read more about him later on. This is what historians mean when they say that they have taken their evidence from original sources. If you wish to consult some of these sources, to read other books, or to study in more detail the lives of some of these people, turn to the references given on page 106.
It is a great pity that in 1851 only stationary photographs could be taken—no process was fast enough then to take moving objects. So only 'stills' could be reproduced, and most of the evidence in the illustrations is taken from sketches done on the spot or from stills taken on Sundays when the Exhibition was closed. Illustrations made directly from photographs were not even possible before the 1880s.
I am particularly grateful to Mr C. H. Gibbs-Smith of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, because without his generous help and expert research work this book could never have been written. You will find the meanings of words printed in italics in the glossary at the back of this book.