Craft(ing) narratives: Specimens, souvenirs, and “morsels” in A la Ronde’s specimen table
AffiliationUniversity of Edinburgh
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AbstractThis article explores the relationship between souvenir acquisition and the construction of narrative in the interior decoration of A la Ronde in Devon, home to cousins Jane and Mary Parminter. During their 1796–1811 period of homosocial cohabitation, the Parminters ornamented the property with handcrafted objects and spaces, often fabricated from souvenirs, found objects, and pieces from their family collection. While the secondary literature on A la Ronde emphasizes the appropriateness of so-called feminine crafts such as shell-work and paperwork for the decoration of a female space, this article reveals how the cousins used material objects to create complex domestic, familial, and touristic narratives. Focusing on a specimen table made around 1790, the article situates its production in relation to the histories of the Parminter family, their residence in Devon, and their extensive Continental tour. Utilizing frameworks from period travel writing, it demonstrates how the collection and creation of such objects was indivisible from the construction of narrative.
CitationGowrley, F. (2018). 'Craft(ing) narratives: Specimens, souvenirs, and “morsels” in A la Ronde’s specimen table'. Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 31(1), pp. 77-97. DOI: 10.3138/ecf.31.1.77
PublisherUniversity of Toronto Press
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- Creative Commons