In which I bid a fond farewell to the Georgians

Today, for me, marked if not the ‘beginning of the end’, then the ‘end of the beginning’ for the Georgian tercentenary.

The three-hundredth anniversary of the start of the Georgian age in 1714/2014 was something we started thinking about five years ago or more.

In fact, when I started researching and writing my book about the Georgian court, Courtiers, it seemed unimaginably far away.  But now, in April 2014, there is a smorgasbord of Georgian exhibitions, programmes and events from which to choose.

blue coatToday was the very last day of filming on our series ‘The First Georgians’, so I’m hanging up my powder-blue coat (or at least, wearing it for normal occasions rather than keeping it specially as a costume for filming) and many of the Georgian exhibitions celebrating the anniversary are either open, or are poised to open.

This evening I’m listening on a loop (as so often in the last few months) to Magdalena Kožená singing ‘Ombra mai fu’ from Handel’s Serse, and reflecting upon what I’ve learnt about the eighteenth century.  And here are my highlights from ALL THE THINGS you should go and see or experience this summer, if you’re at all interested in the period.

First, of course, our trio of exhibitions, ‘The Glorious Georges’, at Historic Royal Palaces, which open next week.  You can learn about the story of George I at Hampton Court Palace, George II at Kensington Palace, and George III at Kew Palace, and you can watch the exhibition trailers here.

Then, do visit ‘The First Georgians’ at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, open now, which has been curated by my colleague (and I’m proud to say my friend) Desmond Shawe-Taylor.

Next, if you’re in Germany, from May onwards, there are the many exhibitions being staged in Hanover.

Of course do not miss the BBC’s eighteenth century season, including Suzy Klein’s excellent series on music (how I envy her her castrating scissors!) which has already started, and Amanda Vickery and Tom Service’s re-staging of Handel’s Messiah at Foundling Hospital.  I’m very excited about that, as I am about the Foundling Museum’s own Handel exhibition.

My own series, ‘The First Georgians’, is rumoured to be beginning on 1st May…

And don’t miss what’s happening in the Georgian city of Bath either.

A very happy Georgian tercentenary to you!



5 thoughts on “In which I bid a fond farewell to the Georgians

  1. Alan Coutts

    Just keep up your good work on tv as you’re going up till now

    So refreshing to see a really intelligent person on telly with genuine character. Go Lucy!

  2. Frederick Thompson

    I am really looking forward to your new series on The First Georgians.

  3. Karen Winyard

    It all sounds amazing but I must heave a weary sigh because the Georgian Tercentenary bodes ill for me. I’ve realised you have an uncanny tendency to promote the context for my writing projects. It started with the novel I’m working on right now, (my first – so you won’t have heard of me) where I turned to Cavalier for period detail & continued with your Very British Murder which inspired the Murder mystery storywalk I’ve devised for NT The Workhouse – clearly I’m doomed to write about the Georgians next – already taken with the nuns habits and red petticoat found in the royal wardrobe! Where are you likely to take me next I wonder.

  4. Chris Hough

    The Georgian period saw the growth of so much in al fields both scientific and cultural that in some ways it is far more important than the Victorian age in the way it has left its mark on the present day . The first two Georges laid the foundation for the present day governance of Britain than they are ever given credit for with much that is recognisable today having a basis in those times PS i thought coutrtiers a most illumi nating book on the Georgian scene and enjoyed it immensely

  5. Anne Wiklinson

    I have really been enjoying the Georgian season of programmes over the past few weeks on the BBC and have a very firm date in my diary for your new series on the First Georgians. I myself however will not be “bidding a fond farewell” once the Tercentenary celebrations are over and will continue to read, research and enjoy this really remarkable period of our history. Keep up the great work Lucy!


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