research request: the Great Exhibition

Does anybody know of a good book about the Great Exhibition of 1851, and/or the Crystal Palace? (That’s almost twenty years before this novel will take place, but I think I’d like to make use of it in the backstory.)

0 Responses to “research request: the Great Exhibition”

  1. unforth

    I don’t know a book, but I know the V&A has an entire room devoted to it, so they may have published a book about it…

  2. dyrecorn

    If you’re a visual person, the Japanese manga series “Emma” has several issues that prominently feature depictions of the Crystal Palace, and to a lesser extent, the Great Exhibition, and talk about what’s contained in both, the prices to get in, and the social implications thereof.

    Plus they’re an amusing read for a mundane (no aliens, magic, or mecha) Victorian love story.

  3. desperance

    Ah, if you were only here: I could take you to the Lit & Phil, where they have the original catalogues plus a collection of contemporary books. Absent that opportunity, there’s a brief booklist at the bottom of this page from the V&A…

    • Marie Brennan

      Oh jeez. If I let myself get into the original catalogues, I’ll never get out again. <g> The booklist is very handy, though; thanks.

  4. sacredchao23

    I’d recommend Jeffrey Auerbach’s The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display. I read it awhile ago, but as I recall it gives a nice overview of the workings of the exhibition as well as examining its cultural significance.

  5. Anonymous

    A bit of entirely relevant trivia:

    Crystal Palace FC is a professional football (soccer) team formed in 1905 (for the moment, as the club is in administration — the UK equivalent of bankruptcy reorganization) from the amateur Crystal Palace FC, which was in turn founded half a century earlier by groundskeepers from the Great Exhibition.

    The point behind this is that the club’s official history almost certainly has both illustrations and other material that will prove unique.

    — Jaws

  6. Anonymous

    Crystal Palace book

    J R Piggott, Palace of the People: The Crystal Palace at Sydenham, 1854-1936 (London: Hurst, 2004)–a bit dry, but lots of info and pix, and it does in fact go back to the original building in 1851
    Ian Leith, Delamotte’s Crystal Palace: A Victorian Pleasure Dome Revealed (English Heritage, 2005)–great photos
    Hermoine Hobhouse, The Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition: Art, Science and Productive Industry (Continuum, 2002)–on the 1851 exhibition and subsequent development of the museums in South Kensington

    • Marie Brennan

      Re: Crystal Palace book

      Thanks, O anonymous commenter! I appreciate not just the titles, but the notes on each one; it helps to know what the different books offer.

  7. scifiguyx

    You might want to compare notes with author Liz Maverick whose recent urban fantasy Crimson and Steam strongly featured the Crustal Palace and 1851 in the novel. She seemed to have done a lot of research on the subject.

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