The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age

The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age The colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden the creative heart of Georgian London from Wolfson Prize winning author Vic GatrellIn the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half mile centred on London s Covent Garden something extraordinary evolved in the eighteenth century It was the world s first creative Bohemia The nation s most significant artists, actors, poets, novelists, and dramatists lived here From Soho and Leicester Square across Covent Garden s Piazza to Drury Lane, and down from Long Acre to the Strand, they rubbed shoulders with rakes, prostitutes, market people, craftsmen, and shopkeepers It was an often brutal world full of criminality, poverty and feuds, but also of high spirits, and an intimacy that was as culturally creative as any other in history Virtually everything that we associate with Georgian culture was produced here


10 thoughts on “The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age

  1. Peter Peter says:

    One of the best history books I ever came across The author did some brilliant research of the Covent Garden area in London and its artists, writers, etchers, printsellers, shopkeepers and brothels You meet all the major characters and find superb illustrations you ll never forget My personal highlight w


  2. Eleanor Eleanor says:

    A totally great, full to overflowing study of the Covent Garden art world in the eighteenth century Hogarth, Rowlandson, Blake, Gillray, and other incredible satirists, landscape painters and engravers burst from the pages If you re into this sort of thing, you ll really like it Gatrell uses the word whore a lot


  3. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    A charming portrait of 18th century Covent Garden and the people there the highs and lows, the famous, the infamous and the less known As is said, somewhere in the book and I m paraphrasing , the ordinary people are the ones that are hardest to come close to, for the simple reason that they leave so few traces in the re


  4. Emg Emg says:

    I can t remember having read a book that so informatively and intelligently places art in the context of both time and geography Unfortunately, the reproductions in the edition I read were not clear enough or large enough to see the details guess that s a good enough reason to go to London and see some of the original.


  5. Mervyn S Whyte Mervyn S Whyte says:

    Gatrell s rip roaring read draws the highs and lows of life, art and personality in Covent Garden in the Eighteenth Century with all the exuberance and fun of a Thomas Rowlandson sketch The last four chapters in particular are great fun And reconfirm the author s reputation as the punk rocker of art history.


  6. Adam Stevenson Adam Stevenson says:

    An enjoyable and well written look at the lively world of the Covent Garden area in the 18th Century.I very much enjoyed City of Laughter and I enjoyed this also the focus is a little wider, starting off with the environment of Covent Garden, the sort of houses, shops and spaces that were there and how they were depicted before going into a te


  7. Adrian Adrian says:

    Covent Garden, London in the eighteenth century is the setting and its population of writers and artists are the characters Johnson, Hogarth, Reynolds, Goldsmith, Turner, Burney, Rowlandson and others are all here But the book is mostly social history The sights, sounds and smells usually bad that effected what the above wrote and painted are fully de


  8. Thomas DeLair Thomas DeLair says:

    This book focuses the London neighborhood of Covent Garden in the 18th century where some early Bohemian artists lived The first chapters focus on urban and social history while it moves toward art history and biography While in my own mind, I tend to think of 18th century England as a world of gentlemen in wigs and neoclassical art, this book focuses on the


  9. Jeff Howells Jeff Howells says:

    Much better than the last history of 18th Century London I read In the main because it has a much tighter focus the bohemians who lived in and around Covent GardenThere are pen pictures of some notable figures like Hogarth and lots of illustrations Good overview of the coffee house scene.


  10. Kodiaksm Kodiaksm says:

    Not pleasant and I did not like the author s writing style.


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