Monday, November 30, 2015

Brighton Revisited 2

Oddly enough, the Brighton Pavilion and Prinny's antics made little impression on my m-i-l.  The highlight of her youth were her friends, the beach and swimming in the sea.  She regularly swam from the Palace Pier (now the only remaining pier) to the West Pier. The swim between the two piers was 1500 meters or roughly a mile and there was an annual race, which was likely her impetus for swimming there and back.  Neither of these piers were in situ during the Regency. 

However, there was a pier (designed by Captain Samuel Brown, RN) built in 1823 in Brighton, during the reign of George IV.  This is John Constable's rendition of Brighton beach, with the Royal Suspension Chain pier in the background.

 I love this picture of the beach, the wind and waves, the people walking, the fisherman in the foreground.  It is easy to imagine what Brighton was like in the time we are interested in.



This is Stein Street (as against old Stein). A tricky corner if ever there was one. We can imagine a Regency Hero trying to navigate this in his curricle with all the widows and young ladies looking on.


And in case you are imagining golden sands, here is the beach.  It is in fact golden pebbles.




More to come.