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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

At the exhibition

Saturday, July 3rd., Victoria Grove, Chelsea.

At Earl's Court Exhibition. It is good to bear in mind that all these vast vulgarised crowds of people are being subjected to the same influences which one feels oneself - the influences of bright colour and music, al fresco gaiety, and sex; that all the men enjoy more or less the close presence of these thousands of girls in their summer attire and white shoes, the smiles and light laughter coming from behind veils of spotted muslin; that this assemblage has not got itself together simply to provide a pleasurable humanising sensation for you, but that each unit of it revels in just that same sensation and will go away the better and the happier for it.

The Victorian Era Exhibition 1897; was held to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, and the overall Victorian Era of Queen Victoria, celebrating her 60th year on the Throne. (1837–1897), the exhibition was held at Earls Court, and was opened by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, May 24, 1897. Unlike the later, "Earls Court (1) and current Earls Court (2)," this venue was mainly an outdoor arena, housing the Great Wheel, largest Ferris wheel in the world, from which you could see Windsor Castle on a clear day, the largest Water Chute in the world, and also including exhibitions of the equestrian Cowboy and Indian marvels of the entire Buffalo Bills Wild West show, a favourite of Queen Victoria. The indoor exhibition; was housed in a building approximately 360 foot long x 70 foot wide. The West-wing housed the Historical and Commemorative Section, consisting of the Historical Room, the Dickens and Thackeray Room opposite the Royal Room, and the Military and Naval Room, the East-wing housing the Fine Art Section.

Additionally for July 3rd., see 'Bibliophiles delight'

I have bought the hundred books which Bells allows you to select from the six hundred volumes of Bohn's Libraries. They stand in a long beautiful row, houseless on the top of my shelves. Arriving late last night from Witley, eager to view them - they had been delivered in my absence - I cut several of them and looked through Juvenal, Suetonius, and da Vinci.

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