If you have loved Bridgerton, Vanity Fair, Sanditon and the many other books and TV series to feature a twirl around Vauxhall Gardens you will welcome this new volume of essays by David E. Coke, a leading expert in London’s pleasure gardens of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
The book follows on from Coke’s immersive and monumental work Vauxhall Gardens: A History, which was published by Yale University Press in 2011, covering topics that were not included for lack of space or which have come to light in later research.
So, what’s inside? The essay subjects include:
- The surprising career of C.H. Simpson, Master of Ceremonies 1797-1835
How Simpson created his personal brand, which became a recognisable symbol of Vauxhall Gardens
- Vauxhall Gardens in contemporary children’s board game
Surprisingly, given Vauxhall Gardens’ reputation for low morals, the venue was included in a number of board games for children.
- Evanion – the ‘Royal Conjuror’, supplier of refreshments to Vauxhall, and obsessive collector of entertainment ephemera
Find out about the connection between the discarded posters and flyers for Vauxhall Gardens and Harry Houdini.
- The Coach Entrance: Evidence of the popular nostalgia for Vauxhall after it closed
Why is a watercolour of part of Vauxhall Gardens portray so inaccurate?
- The record-breaking flight of the Royal Vauxhall Balloon in 1836
The extraordinary flight from south London to Germany under the captaincy of Robert Green.
- Tracking the fate of Vauxhall’s outdoor bandstand
The search for the whereabouts of an iconic building of Vauxhall Gardens.
Six Essays on Vauxhall Gardens is available from bookshops through Ingram Global Distribution, from Amazon, and as a Kindle book (it is available to pre-order).
Six Essays on Vauxhall Gardens
David E. Coke
Paperback 118 pages, over 50 colour illustrations, £14.99 (Kindle version available from 1 March 2022)
Disclosure: Caret Press is my publishing imprint. I am co-editor of Vauxhall History, an arm of The Vauxhall Society, the associate publisher of this volume.