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.