Extracts from memoirs and diariesby Ian Irvine / July 17, 2014 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2014 issue of Prospect Magazine
On 29th June 1744, Horace Walpole writes to Henry Conway about the recently opened Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens in Chelsea:
“Every night constantly I go to Ranelagh; which has totally beat Vauxhall. Nobody goes anywhere else… My Lord Chesterfield is so fond of it that he says he has directed all his letters to be directed thither. If you had never seen it, I would make you a most pompous description of it, and tell you how the floor is all of beaten princes—that you can’t set your foot without treading on a Prince of Wales or a Duke of Cumberland. The company is universal; there is from his Grace of Grafton down to the children out of the Foundling Hospital.”
James Boswell discusses the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in 1791:
“Vauxhall Gardens is peculiarly adapted to the taste of the English nation; there being a mixture of curious shows—gay exhibition, musick, vocal and instrumental, not too refined for the general ear;—for all of which only a shilling is paid. And, though last, not least, good eating and drinking for those who wish to purchase that regale.”
Adolf Hitler, a lifelong admirer of Richard Wagner, recalls a visit to the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria in August 1925:
“What a bustle there was in Bayreuth for the Festival!….