Wardour Street: Final Project

Wardour Street briefly appears in Chapter 4 of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Henry Wotton quickly explains to Dorian that he was late because he was haggling for a brocade at Wardour Street, which is located in the East End of London.


Even though it is a brief mention, Henry’s presence at Wardour Street warrants some attention and analysis.

As a wealthy aristocrat, I do not believe that Henry would venture to Wardour Street merely for finances. Would the brocade that he purchased at Wardour Street actually be of better quality than the ones that he would normally have access to? Rather, I believe that he is like Neville St. Clair from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short story “The Man with the Twisted Lip.”

While Neville dressed as a poor man in order to showcase his skill and help finance his business, Henry views the poor man’s culture as fascinating, but their story as unimportant. Many times throughout the novel, he disparages anything that remotely connects to suffering or pain because, in his eyes, they are ugly.

Information from the Charles Booth Online Archive shows that Wardour Street is remarkably lower in class than where Henry lives. Most crimes committed around or near Wardour Street were thefts, but especially gruesome murders did take place. No one in that area is even above or equal to a socio-economic status indicative of the middle class. What Wardour Street lacks in finances, however, Henry believes that it makes up for in character.

Appearance, duality, and aestheticism are important themes throughout the novel. Henry indulges Dorian Gray simply because of the value that Henry places on Gray’s aesthetic appeal. Though the brocade is not described, given Henry’s character, it would be appropriate to assume that the fabric was aesthetically pleasing (but not necessarily well-made).Thus, Henry is attracted to the style of Wardour Street more so than he is the actual culture.



Works Cited:

Wardour Street Map: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=529539,180982,1,large,0

Wardour Street Crime Information: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/search.jsp?form=searchHomePage&_divs_fulltext=Wardour+Street&kwparse=and&_persNames_surname=&_persNames_given=&_persNames_alias=&_offences_offenceCategory_offenceSubcategory=&_verdicts_verdictCategory_verdictSubcategory=&_punishments_punishmentCategory_punishmentSubcategory=&_divs_div0Type_div1Type=&fromMonth=&fromYear=&toMonth=&toYear=&ref=&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Search



Corner of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street: Final Project

The Corner of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street appears in Chapter 12 of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here, Basil Hallward pursues Dorian for his portrait before Basil himself is taken back to Dorian’s house and shown the horrifying truth behind it.

Due to the fact that the location itself is a corner, I thought that it would be most appropriate to show the two other locations that it sits on.  Maps provided by The Charles Booth Online Archive show that North Audley Street and Grosvenor Square were considered very wealthy areas to live and frequent. Information from the Proceedings of Old Bailey show that most crimes committed here were thefts, some violent.

The corner could be looked at as a crossroads, possibly foreshadowing the events that are about to transpire. Across many different cultures, crossroads symbolize an important choice to be made, usually with a supernatural being. Interestingly, Dorian has already made a pact with Devil for eternal youth and beauty. Dorian’s choice to share his darkest secret and then murder Basil Basil’s murder could fulfill Dorian’s end of the bargain. Such as in the case of Faust, pacts with the Devil (or Mephistopheles) require something from both parties. Murdering a friend (and creator of the portrait) would definitely suffice.

Image result for crossroads

Upon learning the truth about his portrait, Dorian had the option to seek help about his portrait or revel in the gifts that he had been afforded (i.e. eternal youth and beauty).

Thus, The Picture of Dorian Gray could be understood as a novel of ‘extremes.’  Had none of the characters been as extreme as they were, most of the events in the novel would not have transpired. For example, Dorian’s naivete combined with Henry’s toxic influence and Basil’s unadulterated idolatry led Dorian down the dark path of hedonism and corruption.


Works Cited:

Grosvenor Square: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=528337,180732,1,large,0

South Audley Street: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=528346,180437,1,large,0

Crime in South Audley Street: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/search.jsp?foo=bar&form=searchHomePage&count=0&_divs_fulltext=south+audley+street&kwparse=and&start=0

Crime in Grosvenor Square: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/search.jsp?form=searchHomePage&_divs_fulltext=grosvenor+square&kwparse=and&_persNames_surname=&_persNames_given=&_persNames_alias=&_offences_offenceCategory_offenceSubcategory=&_verdicts_verdictCategory_verdictSubcategory=&_punishments_punishmentCategory_punishmentSubcategory=&_divs_div0Type_div1Type=&fromMonth=&fromYear=&toMonth=&toYear=&ref=&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Search


The Marble Arch, Final Project


The Marble Arch is a profound London landmark  designed by John Nash in 1827. It was originally designed to be the entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace. The arch was relocated however in 1851 by Thomas Cubitt to the North East corner of Hyde Park at Cumberland Gate.  The design of the arch was inspired by the Arch of Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris. (The fact that the design was inspired by other countries’ works,  reminds me of Dorian Grey’s fascination with beauty and his collection of beautiful items, all from other parts of the world, like the design of the Arch.) This regal arch marked one of six entrances into Hyde Park, a Park where many nobility and important people of the Victorian Era went for downtime. Our beauty obsessed characters, Dorian and Henry, both enjoyed the Park as a place to watch beauty alive in front of them, and the arch marked the entrance and exit of the place they adored.

The Marble Arch then


The Marble Arch today

We see the Marble Arch for the first time in the novel in Chapter 5. Sybil and James Vane had just gone to Hyde Park for a walk. (Both had had to change to be presentable enough to be in the park.) They finished their walk and by the Marble Arch “they hailed an omnibus” to take them back to their “shabby home” 2 miles away on Euston Road. Here the arch can be seen as a symbol of change. As one enters the Park through the Arch they are in a beautiful world, full of beautiful people and the elite. As one exits the Park through the Arch they are back to the real London where they must go back to their own homes (possibly one that is too “shabby” to be near the Park itself.

The Marble Arch is mentioned in chapter 19 by Lord Henry when he is talking to Dorian. Henry had been walking through Hyde Park on a Sunday and noticed by the Marble Arch “a little crowd of shabby-looking people listening to some vulgar street-preacher.” As seen earlier in the novel, seeing shabby people in the park was very unlikely, so this would strike Lord Henry. He hears the preacher say “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Henry is asking Dorian to answer the question at first he then goes on to say how it “struck him”. He heard the question and thought it to be dramatic. He says that “London is very rich in curious effects of that kind” Henry paints us a picture of the preacher in a rain coat surrounded by “sickly white faces.” The dramatic phrase is thrown into the air as the beautiful arch looms over them.

marble arch

If we saw this scene through the eyes of Henry, we would see lower class Londoners huddled around a shrill preacher against the beautiful arch inspired by foreign pieces of beauty. We would hear the question of the preacher, almost in shock that such a question could come out of someone not as beautiful as the question itself. Henry is tempted to tell the preacher that “art had a soul but that man had not.” This line is crucial in the novel being an absolute allusion to Dorian’s painting that now has the soul of Dorian, taking on all of the pain and suffering that he has gone through.

When Henry asks Dorian this question that he heard about the Marble Arch, we see Dorian become suspicious that Lord Henry knows something about Dorian and the painting. This arch can represent a turning point in the relationship between Henry and Dorian at this point of the novel.

















Blue Gate Fields (Final Project)

Blue Gate Fields in Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray becomes the pivotal moment in the novel where Dorian’s soul is eternally damned with corruption. The essence of Blue Gate Fields is located in an area deriving of low middle class, poverty stricken people, and vicious criminals as depicted in the Booth Poverty online archive. An area where Basil would color as a place that vile creatures lived, and it becomes an area in which Dorian yearns for. The descent into Blue Gate Fields begins in Chapter 11 where the narrator explains Dorian’s affliction with becoming a denizen of the decrepit East London location: “Then, suddenly, some night he would creep out of the house, go down to dreadful places near Blue Gate Fields, and stay there, day after day, until he was driven away” (Wilde). The use of the word “suddenly” becomes a defining characteristic of the nature of Dorian’s descent into West London and the corruption affiliated with the area. For a man defined as “pure” on the outside stalking about in the most wretched of places “suddenly” exposes the ways in which Dorian himself can slip versatilely between aristocracy and the criminal squatters of Blue Gate Fields on a whim.

cabel streetLater on in the novel we find that Dorian frequents Blue Gate Fields for its opium dens. In Chapter 16, the corruption of Dorian’s soul becomes exploited through the means of obtaining opium to blissfully ebb away the insidious sins that he had committed over the years: “There were opium dens where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new” (Wilde). The area surrounding Cable street (the real name of the notorious Blue Gate Fields) that Dorian frequents for its opium dens harbored many violent thefts, sexual offences, and cases of deception. The narrator describes the area in which Dorian runs around as “a dark lane. Over the low roofs and jagged chimney-stacks of the houses rose the black masts of ships. Wreaths of white mist clung like ghostly sails to the yards” (Wilde). Despite the fact that the harbor is relatively further away than Wilde depicts, the area near water is the defining characteristic that brings the opium den’s realistic nature to fruition.

Blue Gate Field’s location in the story also allows for the altercation between Dorian and James Vane to take place with the gun and the threat to Dorian’s life. The violent nature of Dorian’s sins and James’s intent of murdering Dorian to avenge his departed sister is consumed within the Eastern part of London as a way to condemn these two characters who are corrupted: one with vengeance, the other with insatiable desire for beauty and a painting that encapsulates it.


Works Cited:

“Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)/Chapter 11 and 16.” – Wikisource, the Free Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.” Browse. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015

The Bristol (Final Project)

We see the Bristol very briefly in The Picture of Dorian Gray , but it’s purpose is to serve the transformation of Dorian into the easily manipulated young man that he is. In Chapter 6 of Oscar Wilde’s novel, the evening at the high-end hotel Bristol where Dorian, Lord Henry, and Basil talk about the marriage proposal between Dorian and Sybil: “Hallward was shown into a little private room at the Bristol where dinner had been laid for three” (Wilde). The motif exposed within this chapter surrounding beauty and sensibility that enamors Dorian. The dichotomy of the East versus the West in The Picture of Dorian Gray exposes the sinister hidden within the glamour of the posh and rich aesthetic of the West side of London in characters like Lord Henry, while later on in the novel, the East exposes the sinister side entering through Dorian and festering in the portrait. The manipulation from Lord Henry and the appeal of aestheticism begins Dorian’s journey into the evils of ugliness and the disgust of denying art.

From the map acquired from the Booth Poverty archive, the Brisol is located within Burlington Gardens. The red below exposes the upper middle class living that goes on in this area along with a select few of wealthy citizens of London in the area. This high class upbringing brings to life the reality in which Wilde’s characters experienced and gives a realistic appeal to his novel. The Bristol becomes a societal setting that encroaches and exposes the distaste and ugliness of the lower class.

burlington gardens

Within the sixth chapter, Basil expresses his contempt for the lower class: “‘I hope the girl is good, Harry. I don’t want to see Dorian tied to some vile creature, who might degrade his nature and ruin his intellect'” (Wilde). By painting Sybil as a “vile creature,” the reader is left to understand the distancing of social class. The upper class is considered human and much more, while the lower class is depicted as monstrous. This further exploits the way in which Dorian’s portrait and actions becomes horrendous and vile like that of a monster. The exact opposite is Sybil’s character. She is quite beautiful, naive, and infatuated with Dorian. Basil’s quote should be pointed at Dorian instead of poor Sybil Vane. While Sybil does not encompass the depiction that Basil paints of her, Dorian does quite literally through the portrait.

Even though the West side of London is filled with the rich patrons of the city, it is not devoid of crime. The Old Bailey claims to have documented various accounts of robbery and grand larceny within the area of Burlington Gardens. The act of evil deeds pour out across the area, as how Dorian’s evil acts of murder and manipulation proceed throughout the novel.


Works Cited:

“Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)/Chapter 6.” – Wikisource, the Free Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.” Browse. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015

Covent Garden, Final Project

Covent Garden

Covent Garden, a market resurrected in 1656, is where Dorian finds himself wandering around after he ends his relationship with Sibyl. At first he walks through unnamed streets that are described as “evil-looking,” “dimly lit” and “grotesque.” The description of these streets is only a few lines, while the description of Covent Garden is almost an entire page, again showing how Dorian doesn’t wish to spend time in places he doesn’t consider beautiful. Covent Garden was known for its flower, fruit, and vegetable market and Dorian arrives there at daybreak, finding an aesthetic comfort in this setting. “The air was heavy with the perfume of flowers, and their beauty seemed to bring him an anodyne for his pain” (93). After all the ugliness that he’s just witnessed with Sibyl’s acting and her reaction to being broken up with, Dorian finds peace in a beautiful place not yet open for business. Dorian finds the market beautiful so he takes his time in it before calling a cab home. Charles Dickens also wrote of Covent Garden in a similarly romantic manner in Martin Chuzzlewit, The Victorian Web including a passage of Ruth and Tom Pinch walking around London. The phrase repeated throughout the passage is “many a pleasant stroll” were taken in the market, and the two characters are described taking in the surrounding market with “the perfume of the fruits and flowers” in the air.


Looking at two major works from this time shows its popularity among writers and how romantic a place it was for Londoners. It was a place of community, a small area of green in an otherwise dark and concrete city. The fact that Dorian goes there alone adds to the gloominess of how he’s feeling about his current situation; he’s all alone in an otherwise bustling part of London, coming to terms with the ugliness of the world. As Charles Dickens, again, wrote in Night Walks, “Covent-garden Market, when it was market morning, was wonderful company.” So perhaps the market was all the company Dorian wanted. Seeing as it was an area of commerce and everyday shopping, much of the crime in or near Covent Garden was theft according to the Old Bailey, although often much less violent thievery than seen on Rupert Street.

Works Cited (Both Locations):

“Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty      Map & Modern Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec.  2015.

“The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.” Browse. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

“Covent Garden.” The Dictionary of Victorian London. VictorianWeb.org. Web. Dec.   2015.

“Covent Garden.” Victorian Web. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New YorkBarnes & Nobles Classics, 2003. Print

Rupert Street, Final Project

Rupert Street

Rupert Street is mentioned only once in the novel, in Chapter 6, with the footnote, “In London’s SoHo neighborhood; location of many inexpensive European restaurants” (80). Rupert Street is where Dorian goes to eat at an Italian restaurant before going to see Sibyl, the actress he is infatuated with, act in a play. Dorian mentions the street in passing, almost in a rushed manner, as he breathlessly recounts for Harry his encounter with Sibyl. Rupert Street is in the center of London and was home to many middle-class, well-to-do people, which shows the general wealth of Dorian and his friends for being able to eat there, as well as how Dorian is able to attend the theater multiple nights in a row. The Booth Poverty Map also shows some area of blue, however, indicating that some concentrated parts were very poor. The  fact that the footnote cites the area they’re in as the home to many “inexpensive European restaurants” also speaks to the idea that there are a lot of different kinds of people around where Dorian is at this moment in the book, some well off, some less so. Dorian likes to think very highly of himself and how he spends his time but London is an extremely varied place with all kinds of different people, as we’ve seen in other texts from this semester, and it’s hard to completely ignore that you’re not always surrounded by inherent beauty. Dorian, however, glosses over Rupert Street as a location for this very reason. It’s not entirely beautiful which is off-putting to him. He would rather take the time to describe Sibyl herself in her “moss-colored velvet jerkin with cinnamon sleeves, slim brown cross-gartered hose, a dainty little green cap with a hawk’s feather caught in a jewel, and a hooded cloak lined with dull red” (80). He takes great care to describe the beautiful, but never to describe the ugly.


The Old Bailey showed that much of the crime in the area was pretty serious, the majority of incidents on Rupert Street were grand larceny and there were also a couple instances of murder. The amount of crime, the nature of these crimes, and the footnote are interesting because Dorian eating on Rupert Street before going to the play is a kind of quiet turning point of the play. Up until now Dorian has been able to surround himself with the beautiful and while he’s still showing off his wealth, in the next chapter, much of the beauty begins to fade when he leaves Sibyl, appalled with her lackluster performance, and Sibyl subsequently kills herself. Rupert Street may have been outwardly fashionable, but it also contains poverty and decay, just like Dorian himself.

The Achilles Statue (Wellington Monument)

Achilles Statue Map 1Achilles Statue Map 2The Achilles Statue, or The Wellington Monument, is a bronze statue that rests in Hyde Park, London and was built by Sir Richard Westmacott in 1822. According to British History Online, its construction was subscribed by the ladies of England as a monument in honor of the Duke of Wellington and his military successes. It was received with a lot of controversy because it was the first nude statue to be put on public display in London. The statue features an entirely nude Achilles (save for a single olive leaf over his family jewels), his armor next to him, and his sword raised in the air preparing to strike. A writer of the Tour of a Foreigner in England wrote, “His [Westmacott’s] ‘Achilles,’ which has been erected as a monument to the Duke of Wellington, is merely a colossal Adonis.” Adonis is another character in Greek mythology, often used to describe handsome young men; he is a vegetation god that is eternally youthful and beautiful as well as a deity for life, death, and rebirth. I think the statement that Westmacott’s Achilles looks more like Adonis is fair, but this shouldn’t mean that Achilles wasn’t also a beautiful man–he was able to disguise himself as a girl on the island of Scyros. I think both Adonis and Achilles fall under the criteria of “pretty boys”.

In chapter 5 of Dorian Gray, Sibyl and Jim Vane approach the monument while in the middle of an argument. Jim claims that “as sure as there is a God in heaven, if he ever does you any wrong, I shall kill him” (Wilde). The people around them begin to stare and gape, “a lady standing close to her tittered” (Wilde). The argument continues on until they reach the Achilles Statue. When they fight in front of the statue, it is as if they are fighting in front of Dorian himself. Around all these wealthy people, people concerned entirely with appearance, Sibyl and Jim fighting in public further separates them from this society. They are crossing the public and private, by fighting about private matters in the middle of a public park, and these are two things that should remain entirely separate. Jim is embarrassing Sibyl with the ugliness of his words, because she is in love with Dorian. She immediately tells him, “Come away, Jim; come away” (Wilde) and leads him out of the crowd of people.

This relates to the themes in Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray in many ways. It speaks to this idea of translating people into art (what Basil wishes to do with Dorian) and capturing their beauty forever. The creation of the statue parallels Basil’s creation of Dorian’s portraits, in the sense that the beauty of these figures is being captured and translated into art, which will last forever, eventually outliving the people that inspired the art in the first place (something that perplexes and upsets Dorian). I think it’s easy to say that Dorian wishes to be Adonis, ever-youthful and beautiful, but I think that Dorian really wants to be Achilles, the statue itself. He wishes to be trapped in time, unchanging, unaging. This also relates to the theme of art, specifically the purpose of art, which Wilde addresses directly in this novel. Wilde, and other members of the aestheticism movement, are arguing that art shouldn’t have to serve a purpose, it should just be beautiful. The creation of the statue seemed to have to have been justified as a war monument for it to be able to be displayed, when it could have just been a work of art created solely to be looked on and enjoyed by the public.

Achilles Statue – Victorian Web



“Achilles (The Wellington Monument).” The Victorian Web. The Victorian Web, 21 August 2006. Web. 16 December 2015. http://www.victorianweb.org/victorian/sculpture/westmacottr/2.html

Walford, Edward. ‘Hyde Park.’ Old and New London: Volume 4. London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1878. 375-405. British History Online. Web. 14 December 2015. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol4/pp375405.

Wikisource contributors. “The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).” Wikisource . Wikisource , 30 Sep. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.


York Place


Goodgle Map :York Place/ York Buildings
Goodgle Map :York Place/ York Buildings


York Place, in accordance with Google maps, is the site of the “York Buildings” and is in close proximity to numerous venerated edifices.  It neighbors the dynamic Charing Cross Station, scenic Victoria Embankment, the esteemed National Gallery and the most illustrious religious building in all of England, Westminster Abby.  This exquisite expanse, as per Booth Online Achieves, consists of both middle-class and well-to-do residents.  Further research on the topic in British History Online, in the article entitled “Hungerford Market and the site of Charing Cross Railway Station” espouses the notion that in 1670 the York Buildings Waterworks Company took possession of the York Buildings.  By this time streets such as Hungerford Lane and Villiers Street; situated adjacent to York Place, were purchased by the New Hungerford Market Company and were recognized as a prominent marketplace for fish.  The surrounding area was subsequently purchased by the Charing Cross Railway Company and afterward converted into Charing Cross Station(“Hungerford Market and the site of Charing Cross Railway Station”, British History Online).  The Victorian Embankment, a series of eight formal botanical gardens was located behind the York Buildings. Located along the north ridge of the Thames River this reclaimed ridge was dedicated to the public, as a means of escaping the chaos and ills of the overcrowded city (“Victorian Embankment” –British Histories Online).

Google Map: York Place, Victorian Embankment, National Gallery, Charging Cross Station
Google Map: York Place, Victorian Embankment, National Gallery, Charing Cross Station

York Place Booth

The York Buildings, situated behind York Place and intersecting at Duke and Buckingham Streets was strategically designed and erected with the intent of providing the burgeoning populous with a thoroughly modern infrastructure; one that supplied an abundance of water and efficiently removed toxic waste (“Victorian Embankment” –British Histories Online).

York Watergate and York Buildings Waterworks in 1795
York Watergate and York Buildings Waterworks in 1795

York Place is the location of the shared studio of Mr. Oakley and Frank Jermyn and doubles as the place where Frank works as an engraver (Levy, 89).  Lucy and Frank journey to his studio with the intentions of photographing his “drapery” (Levy, 96-97). From “morning till night” over the next several days the women busy themselves, at the studio, by taking extensive photographs of the drapery as personally requested by Mr. Oakley (Levy, 98).  This passage indicates to the reader that Mr. Oakley and Frank were enlightened.  By hiring the two sisters, seemingly social rarities, the gentlemen pay homage to the women and prove themselves to be progressive thinkers. Subsequently, before sending his work to the Royal Academy Frank invites the sisters, Darrell and Lord Watergate to his studio in York Place to inspect his engravings.   (Levy, 113-6). According to The Romance of A Shop, footnotes denote that the Royal Academy had been relocated to the National Gallery’s East Wing in 1868 (Levy, 133).   Again, this information indicates to the reader that the sister’s abilities are treasured by men who are like-minded artists. Following Frank’s party, Lord Watergate and Darrell stay in York Place.  During their time together Lord Watergate ponders whether the sisters will agree to honor him by preparing informative slides as an accompaniment to his lectures to be presented at the Royal Institution (Levy, 117).  This augments the sister’s competence as scholarly women who possess both an astute sense for business and a keen awareness of art.  In this way, the sisters are free to explore their freedoms by going outside of the boundaries of their shop and beyond the confines of their neighborhood.  Amy Levy’s  The Romance of A Shop critiques the rigid mores of Victorian London and explores the challenges embodied within this unyielding social system.




Works Cited


“Charles Booth Online Archive.” Charles Booth Online Archive. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.


Levy, Amy, and Susan David Bernstein. The Romance of a Shop. Peterborough, Ont.:Broadview, 2006. Print.


‘Plate 31: York Watergate and York Buildings Waterworks in 1795.’ Survey of London: Volume18, St Martin-in-The-Fields II: the Strand. Ed. G H Gater and E P Wheeler. London:London County Council, 1937. 31. British History Online. Web. 16 December 2015.http://www.british-history

“Victorian Art Institutions: Academies, Schools, Galleries.” Victorian Art Institutions: Academies, Schools, Galleries. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.
“York Buildings,’ in Survey of London: Volume 18, St Martin-in-The-Fields II: the Strand, ed. GH Gater and E P Wheeler (London: London County Council, 1937), 81-83, accessedDecember 16, 2015, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol18/pt2/pp81-83

Sussex Place


sussex placen to regent's park
Sussex Place near Regent’s Park


According to Charles Booth Online Archive, Sussex Place was considered both an upper-middle and upper-class setting.  Regrettably, there are few historical records denoting its’ illustrious historical past.  Sussex Place is advantageously situated on the outskirts of Regent’s Park.  Regent’s Park is renowned as the site of the Royal Botanic Society’s Gardens, the Zoological Garden, and the Toxophilite Society Grounds (Charles Booth Online Archive).  In 1760, Cambridge established one of the first Botanic Gardens in the world; however, it is not the site of Regent’s Park.  Furthermore, Regent’s Park held possession of the Toxophilite Society Grounds, a prestigious archery club made famous by the Prince of Wales and King George IV of England in 1780 (British History Online, “Sport, ancient and modern: Pastimes” ).

Sussex Place

With this information in mind, Regent’s Park and Sussex Place were bothlikely occupied by the elite highbrow of the day.  In contrast, the sisters of The Romance of A Shop by author Amy Levy, are young and gifted middle-class, socially independent women and proven to be astute in managing a photography studio.  Incongruous to their proven record, women as owners and managers of businesses were not credited as being highly reputable.  This outmoded mindset causes Fanny to state in chapter one, “[n]eed it come to that- to open a shop?” (Levy, 54).

The Artist at the Flower-Shows: Bewitched! (an incident at the Royal Botanic Society’s Garden, Regent’s Park). Artist: George Housman Thomas. Engraver: H. Harral. Wood-engraving


Sussex Place to the left and Regent’s Park

Gertrude travels to the Watergate home, independent of a chaperone and “has no difficulty in finding Sussex Place.” She has been summoned to take the disease photo of Lord Watergate’s late wife in the practice known as “postmortem photography” (Levy, 85-87).  Her public presence in London and her increased knowledge of urban life and surroundings enables her to find her way (86). She astutely goes on to describe the Watergate home as being “located mid-way between the terrace” and as having a “white curve of houses with columns, the cupolas, and the railed-in space of garden that fronted the Park” which vastly contrast her mourning gown and boots (86).

The significance of this inimitable location in the novel is socially relevant.  Author Amy Levy superficially makes an argument that society views Flâneur, educated and independent women, as being socially inappropriate.  Paradoxically, Levy underscores the significance of society placing emphasis on marriage and forewarns women that if they are “consumed” by men, they will surely die. Lady Watergate, as reflected upon by the sisters, died of “consumption” and her demise is compared to the departure of Phyllis. Similarly, Lady Watergate was a new woman like Phyllis. Lady Watergate is not viewed as being fully appreciative of her husband’s attention and his accomplishments.  The depraved Phyllis mingles with married men and attempts a romantic tryst.  Society seemingly is punishing both women for their “consumption” which can be defined as being consumed with being socially independent, obsessed with men and personal beauty.  Phyllis dies an artistic death; however she is not immortalized. Lady Watergate experiences a slow and painful demise. Nevertheless, she is memorialized with a beautiful picture.  (Levy, 84). For this reason, Phyllis narcissistically declares “what perfect features she has. Mrs. Maryon told us she was wicked, didn’t she? But I don’t know that it matters about being good when you care as beautiful as all that” (Levy, 88).







Works citied


“Charles Booth Online Archive.” Charles Booth Online Archive. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.


Levy, Amy, and Susan David Bernstein. The Romance of a Shop. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2006. Print.


‘Sport, ancient and modern: Pastimes.’ A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, General; Ashford, East Bedfont With Hatton, Feltham, Hampton With Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1911. 283-292. British History Online. Web. 14 December 2015. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol2/pp283-292.


“The Artist at the Flower-Shows: Bewitched! (an Incident at the Royal Botanic Society’s Garden, Regent’s Park)” by George Housman Thomas(1824–68).” “The Artist at the Flower-Shows: Bewitched! (an Incident at the Royal Botanic Society’s Garden, Regent’s Park)” by George Housman Thomas(1824–68). Web. 16 Dec. 2015.



‘The University of Cambridge: The Botanic Garden.’ A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge. Ed. J P C Roach. London: Victoria County History, 1959. 324-325. British History Online. Web. 15 December 2015.