Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chatsworth: The Library

Now every grand home needs a library. Chatsworth has a few. This stunning display of books is off-limits to visiting guests and can only be peeked at through the entrance. This Gallery was a ballroom in Georgiana's time but by 1815 her son needed more room for his vast collection of books so he transformed an oddly-lighted ballroom into his new library. The shutters to the windows stay closed now which isn't to make the library cozy-looking but to actually shield the contents from fading. Comfy couches saved from Devonshire House and dim lighting make for an inviting setting for cookies, tea, and a good read. The library holds some impressive volumes like that of Henry Cavendish's scientific research. Hints as to the room's previous life as a room of entertaining is revealed in the ceiling. Among the white and gold molding in roundels are depictions by Antonio Verrio of Apollo, Athena, and Hermes (gods associated with spreading knowledge) with the muses.

At Christmas figures are added to the libary to give the impression of a holiday party. The sight sends you back in time to the exciting parties that Chatsworth once held. One can only imagine the fun had within the gallery walls, the extravagant food, and the scandelous gossip exchanged.


  1. Great pictures. The Christmas tree is wrong for Georgiana's time, though...

  2. Yes of course, but so is the library, which wasn't built until after Georgiana's time so it's only fitting that they gave it a Victorian Holiday theme. Chatsworth does a lovely job of decorating for Christmas but I wouldn't expect them to only decorate for a certain time period in the house's long history.

  3. I wish I had taken a closer look at the furniture of this room, but you are right the entry way was narrow. I am not sure how much I liked the figures they added for their Christmas decor, for me it would be just as easy to day dream up my own Christmas party in a cozy decorated room. In fact one of the main things I remember about this room was the figure hanging from the wall...was he re-shelving books or lighting a candle??
    This is a great post,I have to get back to Chatsworth!!!!