Lewis Walpole Library

I went to tea at the Lewis Walpole library to celebrate the 300th. anniversary of Horace’s birth.   I have been to Farmington before, but had forgotten the scale of the house which Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis bought on graduating from Yale and made the centre of his passionate, if not pathological, reconstruction of all aspects of the life and letters of Horace Walpole.  Lewis added a grand Delano and Aldrich library at the back in 1930 and Yale added a much larger research library in 2007:-

We were allowed especially to see the elaborate cabinet which Walpole had made to house drawings by Lady Diana Beauclerk (acquired by Lewis in 1939):-


9 thoughts on “Lewis Walpole Library

  1. Jean Walker says:

    I came across your website by sheer accident when looking for something about unusual places to visit in London and just wanted to say how wonderful your photos are. I am not at all knowledgable about art but enjoy visiting galleries. I live in Tasmania and wonder if you know about MONA – the museum of old and new art here in Hobart? It is gaining world recognition and bringing us many international visitors. Thank you for something beautiful to look at each day in a sadly depressing world.

    • Dear Jean, Thank you for your lovely comment ! I do indeed know about MONA and would love to visit one day. I had the best possible week in Tasmania about fifteen years ago, travelling from Hobart to Launceston, before the days of the blog. Charles

      • François-Marc Chaballier says:

        If interpose…
        I am another (I am sure there are many more) overseas daily follower of your blog, though from much closer, since my wife and I live in Paris. We have been Friends of the RA for some years now (Since 2010?).We also enjoy our urban flâneries, without, alas, the depth and breadth of knowledge you possess which I, for one, find a constant source of enlightenment. .
        I shall buy your book when we next visit London, at the end of the month. We also, thanks to your blog, realize how much we miss by sticking to the West End (museums…) and not venturing further East. We must remedy that.

  2. A wonderful comment by Jean Walker.

    At the risk of labouring the point I do hope that Thames and Hudson, and Sophy Thompson, realise the huge quality and potential of what you are doing. There’s an international readership out there, for more London, for European cities, for New York and other American cities etc etc.

    Penguin sold 30,000 copies of my Britain’s Best Museums and Galleries at (then) 30 pounds in 1995, and that lacked your wonderful photography, Harry Pearce’s design and your unerring eye .. .. ..

  3. Chris Sumner says:

    Horace Walpole’s 300th birthday was also celebrated last weekend at his gothic castle at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, which has been beautifully restored over the last few years and which is being gradually refilled with objects and replicas of objects from Horace’s enormous and ecclectic collection, dispersed at the great sale of 1842. His romantic garden, also carefully recreated, is open free every day and the house is open to visitors on a frequent and regular basis.

    • Yes, I also saw the Eccardt portrait of Sir Robert and Lady Walpole in the putative Grinling Gibbons frame which has been so amazingly copied by Factum Arte and met Stephen Gee who oversaw Strawberry Hill’s restoration. Charles

  4. Jean Walker says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Tasmania. By the way, we live only minutes from MONA and can see it from our back garden. We watched it being built and now are watching more building going on. It’s owner is an interesting combination – a billionaire professional gambler who has Asperger’s Syndrome and is a fanatical collector of modern (and to some often offensive) art – but a great thing he did for this tiny state.

    For anyone who doesn’t know a bout it it’s here: https://mona.net.au/museum

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