Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain

  • 8 November 2013 – 11 March 2014

Exploring the changing lives of the middle classes, from homes and gardens to entertainment and celebrity, Georgians Revealed will explore the myriad ways in which the Georgians influenced modern Britain between 1714 and 1830 and marks 300 years since the period began.

Through over 200 fascinating and rare Georgian artefacts from the Library’s rich collections and other UK cultural institutions, the exhibition will reveal the roots of today’s popular culture as we know it, from theatre-going and a fascination with fashion, to celebrity scandals and gambling.

Curated by specialists from the History and Classics team at the British Library, the exhibition will feature iconic artworks and artefacts from the Georgian period, such as Jeremy Bentham’s violin and Joseph van Aken’s ‘An English Family at Tea’, alongside never before seen rare books, magazines and everyday objects, from the first fashion magazines to exquisite illustrations and designs of British landmarks and buildings still standing today, including the Brighton Pavilion and Sir John Soane’s house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Moira Goff, lead curator of the exhibition, says: “We’re excited to uncover these objects that shed light on daily life in such an exciting time for cultural development. The parallels we can draw between Georgian Britain and today are astonishing and we’re delighted to be able to share these with a wider audience.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by an eclectic range of events celebrating the legacy of the Georgian period, including talks by celebrated chef Heston Blumenthal and historian and author Lucy Inglis.

The 300th anniversary of the accession of George I will be celebrated throughout the UK during 2014 with displays at Kensington Palace, the Handel House Museum and the Foundling Museum among other cultural institutions.


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Notes to Editors

Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain runs from 8 November 2013 to 11 March 2014.

Prices: Gift Aid £10, Standard Adult £9, Over 60s £7, Other concessions £5, Under 18s Free, Friends of the British Library Free

All galleries are accessible by wheelchair. Information can be requested from Visitor Services staff on: T +44 (0)20 7412 7332.

Georgians Revealed events

Historic Heston Blumenthal
Friday 8 November, 18.30-20.00, £10/£8 concessions
Heston Blumenthal, whose name is synonymous with cutting-edge cuisine, nonetheless finds one of his greatest sources of inspiration from the original and creative recipes from Britain’s rich culinary past. Join Heston for an evening exploring the lasting impact made during the Georgian era on the culinary history of Britain and to discover their influence on some of his creations.

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: The Romantics
Tuesday 12 November, 18.30-20.00, £7.50/£5 concessions
Josephine Hart’s passion for poetry and commitment to having it read live electrified the evenings she hosted at the British Library. The events continue on an occasional basis, with no less capacity to move and inspire. Tonight’s programme will be devoted to the great Romantic Poets: Keats, Byron and Shelley.

Georgian Londoners: Into the Streets
Sunday 17 November, 14.00 - 15.15, £7.50/ £5 concessions
In 2009 historian Lucy Inglis began her award-winning blog on the lesser-known aspects of London during the Eighteenth Century. Monarchs, politicians and aristocrats grab the historical limelight, but Lucy's Georgian Londoners are the men and women who rode the dawn coach to work, opened shops bleary-eyed and hung-over, fell in love, had risky sex in side streets, realized the children had head lice again, paid parking fines, cashed in winning lottery tickets, fought for good causes and committed terrible crimes. In this talk based on her new book, Lucy takes a journey back to a time that through fantastic highs and desperate lows, changed expectations of what life could be.

LATE at the Library: Vice and Virtue
Friday 6 December, 19.30 – 23.00, £12.50
An evening of decadent pleasure and entertainment awaits. Celebrate the legacy of the Georgian era with guest DJ sets, live performance, circus, installations, bar and food and a late night opening of the exhibition. Join the rogues and gents, vamps and ladies for a night of splendour and spectacle.
In association with Georgian Townhouse Parties and Circus Space

For more information:

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

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