REVIEW: “Only A Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen”, by Jane Aiken Hodge

Today Agora Books are re-publishing Jane Aiken Hodge’s study of Jane Austen, and I was lucky enough to have been gifted an advance copy to review, so thank you Agora! As anyone who knows me might have guessed, I jumped at the chance to review a book about not only my favourite author but also…

Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757)

A Muse, Rosalba Carriera, mid-1720s, pastel on laid blue paper (Getty Museum, 2003.17) Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program. On Monday 12th June 1741, Henrietta Fermor, Countess of Pomfret, was exploring Venice with her travel companions. She had been on a Grand Tour with her husband and two of her daughters since…

Magical and Marvellous Museo Cerralbo

A few weeks ago I went to visit my beautiful treasured friend who lives in Madrid and she took us to this absolutely incredible museum that I had never heard of before - Museo Cerralbo. Located close to the Temple de Debod, you would probably walk past it without realising the treasures inside. The museum…

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing

2019 marks five hundred years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Royal Collection are commemorating this with the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. I say “the” exhibition but actually, it consists of twelve simultaneous exhibitions in art galleries across the UK, containing 144 drawings from the Royal Collection. It’ll…

A Wander round Eighteenth-Century Rome with a Georgian Lady

Ever wondered what Rome was like in the eighteenth century, in the age of Grand Tourists, endless art shopping and constant archaeological excavation? Well here are the adventures of Henrietta Femor, the Countess of Pomfret, who took to the continent with her husband and two eldest daughters from 1738 to 1741. Henrietta detailed all of…

A Visit to the Pompidou: The Day I Fell in Love with Matisse

Last week I got to banish the January blues and Wednesday “hump day” in one fell swoop with a day trip to Paris with my sister. We got a nice and early Eurostar from London, ate croissants on the way there (to get us in the right mood of course!) and had a whirlwind day…