Sunday, 1 April 2012
Antique Rogues Show
I met ceramics dealer and Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp on Friday. We chose a fine alehouse in one of the prettier bits of Northamptonshire, and traded bawdy stories of Georgian rogues and misbehaviour over beer and victuals. Lars is a huge Hogarth fan, and lectures widely on the great man's work. He developed this enthusiasm while scrutinising the crockery which appears in many of Hogarth's great interior scenes, and it was a pleasure to chew the fat with someone who loves the 1700s as much as I. He is very enthusiastic about my little project, and has kindly agreed to help spread the word.
I am writing the book in earnest, now. I have delivered the 1750s for editing, and I'm about a third of the way through the 1760s. Each section of the book - and indeed each story - can stand alone, although many themes and historical characters will crop up throughout. The nice thing about 18th-century high society is that everybody knew everybody else, so you can always find connexions which link seemingly disparate personalities. I shall begin illustrating the 1750s as soon as that part is edited and signed off.
Funding hit 40% this very morning, which is excellent, but we need to keep the momentum going, so - at the risk of repeating myself - do please continue to bully, blackmail, coerce and cajole everybody you know into pledging at their soonest convenience. I thank you.