NATURAL HISTORY

With Swedish botanist Linnaeus revolutionising taxonomy in his book Systema Naturae published in 1735, there was much enthusiasm to classify the natural world.

Grand Tour travellers who collected fossils, shells, illustrations and elaborate taxidermy displayed their exotic ‘curiosities’ and collections in formal settings, the viewing of which became standard after dinner entertainment.

British Museum

In 1753 the British Museum opened its doors. It was the first national public museum in the world. Made up of almost entirely one man’s bequest collection, Sir Hans Sloane, many of the 71,000 objects were natural specimens and ‘curiosities’.

The wealthy London middle classes, many too poor to attend the Grand Tour, now had access to great arts collections on their doorstep. Gilbert White’s famous Natural History of Selborne was published in 1789 (and hasn’t been out of print since).

Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle sailed towards the close of the Georgian era in 1831.

natural-history
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PARISIAN GARRETT

From Dover to Calais and all the roads lead to Paris

NATURAL HISTORY

Darwin’s inspiration comes with a luxurious design

THE ORIENT

Orientalism with the highest detail in every way.

THE CHINA ROOM

China and the Georgian age of manufacturing.

AFRICA ROOM

Dr Livingstone (I presume!) StatesGordon Bennett

DAYS OF THE RAJ

The East India Trading Company, founded in 1600.

THE PRINT ROOM

The stunning collection of prints and engravings

ITALIAN PALACE

Italy became the epitome of any Grand Tour itinerary