At Home with the Doyenne of All Things Lord Byron

Tee Bylo loves Regency history as a well as creating life in 12th scale and has combined the two with her creation of the ‘Ghost of Piccadilly’ inspired by Lord Byron’s address at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in London in the year 1815 and where the Poet lived with his wife the former Annabella Milbanke who he had married only two months previously on a bitterly cold January day and on an equally cold day in December, their only daughter Augusta Ada Lovelace was born.

The house is complete with a basement kitchen and attic rooms reflecting the architecture, interior design, furniture and the lifestyle of Byron and that of his circle and comments made in letters to and from the Poet have given Tee a fabulous understanding into his life at Piccadilly Terrace; an atmosphere she has now sought to recreate in miniature.

As an enthusiastic blogger, Tee has shared her progress of life inside No 13 allowing her passion for Lord Byron to reach other fans of the Poet as well as those who enjoy the miniature art form and here are just some of the many questions that Tee has been asked!

What’s the Story Behind the Creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
The idea for the creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace began in the summer of 2009 after watching and more than once, the BBC adaptation of Byron featuring the delightful Jonny Lee Miller as His Lordship and the idea for the Ghost of Piccadilly was inspired by Byron’s life at this London address during that eventful year of 1815.

Is 13 Piccadilly Terrace a ‘Real’ Model?
Yes, it is a ‘real’ model’ which has been created in 12th scale primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

Although No 13 began life as a Sid Cooke kit comprising of simple pieces of MDF and Plywood, the original design has been ‘tweaked’ with false walls and side windows – the creation of which has been entirely my work.

And How Large is 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
The house measures 70cm in width and 132m in height with a depth of 64cm and has 13 rooms – which is rather appropriate for this particular model!

Was the Design Process of 13 Piccadilly Terrace a Dream to Create or a Nightmare?
The journey from bare wood to the creation of an atmospheric grand house was a challenge!

As was choosing the interior design with the appropriate colour scheme, the elaborate woodwork and the plastered ceiling decoration for the dining room, ALL of which resulted in more than a few headaches AND sleepless nights!

However, the basement kitchen WAS a dream to create!
With inspiration drawn from the Georgian kitchen at Fairfax House in York, the effect was realised with the use of a piece of foam board, a pot of plaster filler, a cheap vinyl floor tile and some bought pieces for the fireplace from an independent dolls’ house supplier.

​​And Your Plans for 13 Piccadilly Terrace?
As No 13 remains a work in progress, there’s plenty to keep me occupied as there are still beds to be made, the family portraits to hang, a wedding to arrange AND an elaborate supper for the Twelfth Night to serve up.

I am also hopeful that an exquisite gilt chair in the style of Louis XV and upholstered in the most delightful fabric may FINALLY find its way to the drawing room!

How Can I Follow the Stories About Lord Byron’s House?
As well as sharing the stories from Piccadilly Terrace on the website, you can also follow the news from Number 13 on InstagramFlickrTwitterFacebook and Google+

And you can now join me as I party like it’s 1815 from Lord B’s Abode on this blog.

Tell Me the Attraction of Lord Byron?
It was Byron himself who once described himself as ‘Being the fashion; it’s absurd but I can’t help it’ and the attraction of this handsome, unconventional poet who was also a talented and very witty man of letters is just one explanation of his timeless appeal.

He was arguably the first celebrity of our age with a fascinating personality of irreverence, humour, controversy and political idealism and as such he remains just a potent today as he did over 200 years ago as he cut a swathe through London society.

How Can I Learn More About Your Work?
You can discover more about my work on the official website Tee Bylo or on my blog Creating Life in 12th Scale… and you can also support me and my work on the crowdfunding site Patreon.

I can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Can I Share the Information and the Images from the Ghost of Piccadilly on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all I ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit me and my work. Thank you!

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Feeling Better? Tee Humours His Lordship…

“There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman – some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them, – which I cannot at all account for, having no very high opinion of the sex.

But yet; I always feel in better humour with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken.”

Lord Byron

Now, I’m CERTAINLY in a better humour with myself NOW that the website for the Ghost of Piccadilly Terrace is FINALLY finished!

Time for tea and cake me thinks!

Sources Used:

The Trouble of an Index Byron’s Letters and Journals Volume 12 Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1982)

Happiest when Alone! Lord Byron Yearns for Some Peaceful Confusion…

As we have now left Lady Byron to enjoy a peaceful repast in the Dining Room here at Piccadilly Terrace, it’s now time to pay a fugitive visit to His Lordship’s Library which is situated on the Piano Nobile.

You may wonder at my use of the the word ‘fugitive’ but when you read on, all will hopefully be explained!

library-the-library-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

“I do not know that I am happiest when alone; but this I am sure of that I never am long in the society even of her I love, (God knows too well, and the Devil probably too,) without a yearning for the company of my lamp and my utterly confused and tumbled-over library..”

Lord Byron (April 1814)

Given what we have learnt about Byron’s quick temper with his fondness for solitude and with a pistol within easy reach…

library-a-pistol-awaits-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

I shall bid you a fond adieu for now!

Tee

Sources used:

Byron’s Letters and Jounals Vol 3 1813-1814 Ed Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1974)

Leaving Lady B to Dine in Peace!

There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman, – some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them, – which I cannot at all account for, having no very opinion of the sex.

But yet, – I always feel in better humour with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken.

Lord Byron

And there is certainly a ‘woman within ken’ in the Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace for the walls that I have painted in a distemper inspired by the colour of ‘Wedgewood Blue’ are now adorned with several female likenesses that feature the like of Lady Melbourne and Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire.

dining-room-the-chippendale-table-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

For with this feminine presence dominating the Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace and with Byron’s ambivalent attitude towards food well documented in that he would frequently go for days without eating a substantial meal preferring a diet of “hard biscuits and Soda water”; I have created this particular room to be as ‘unByronic’ as is possible and which may offer some explanation for the portrait of B’s ‘infernal fiend’ that now hangs there.

dining-room-a-portrait-of-annabella-milbanke-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815
‘A Portrait of Annabella Milbanke by Hoppner in 1802’

For it was during the course of his brief residence within the martial home of 13 Piccadilly Terrace, he would on more than one occasion refuse to share the dining table with his bride.

… once when his dinner was accidentally served at the same table with mine, he desired his dish to be taken into another room (in my presence, & the servants attending) with an expression of rage…

Lady Byron

As the dietary strictures employed by Lord B were not shared by his wife for having made no secret of her enjoyment of food, my hope is that this wonderfully poignant image of this solemn yet graceful little girl can continue to adorn the walls of this dining room in peace!

Bye for now!

Sources Used:

‘The Trouble of an Index’ Byron’s Letters and Journals Volume 13 Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1982)

Lord Byron’s Wife Malcolm Elwin (London: John Murray 1962)

A Romance in Miniature…

Fletcher, after having been toasted and roasted, and baked and grilled, and eaten by all sorts of creeping things begins to philosophise, is grown a refined as well as a resigned character, and promises at his return to become an ornament to his own parish, and a very prominent person in the future family pedigree of the Fletchers who I take to be Goths by their accomplishments, Greeks by their acuteness, and ancient Saxons by their appetite…

These are the words of Byron written in a letter to his mother Catherine in the summer of 1810 as he continued to enjoy his Grand Tour accompanied by the faithful and “learned” William Fletcher, his Valet and the recipient of kindness, extensive travel and the frequent butt of jokes.

Fast forward from that balmy July over two hundred years later to our present day and to the creation of my Byron-inspired Miniature Regency House.

I have now completed the rooms that can be found nestled away in the garrets that are suitable for a miniature William Fletcher.

the-servants-quarters-of-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815-lord-byrons-abode
The Garrets of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

And if we travel through the Hallway, a bedroom for Fletcher awaits and as Byron was to write of Fletcher’s “perpetual lamentations after beef and beer”…  I shall oblige him!

garret-william-fletchers-bedroom-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

We can also peek through the pine door to another bedroom… but for whom?

the-servants-quarters-of-anne-rood-of-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815-lord-byrons-abode

When Byron married Annabella Milbanke in January 1815, she was accompanied by her Maid Ann Rood and as the Byron marriage disintegrated, the romance between the “Learned Fletcher” and “Roody” blossomed.

“The parcel came & contained also a billet from Roody to my Valet – from which I infer that she is better in one sense & worse in another…”

They were married in early 1816 and sadly were not to enjoy marital bliss for long as Fletcher was to accompany his Master to Europe in April and Ann was to continue in the service of her Mistress.

How very sweet! A real romance in miniature!

Byron was certainly enthusiastic about this concept as he was to note in his Ravenna Journal in 1821: “Of all romances in miniature (and perhaps this is the best shape in which Romance can appear)…

Adieu for now!

Sources Used:

Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 2 1810-1812 Ed. Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1974)

Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 4 1814-1815 Ed. Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1975)

Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 8 1821 Ed. Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1978)