We recently paid another visit to the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire, and readers of my blogs will be aware that it’s a part of the world to which we frequently return. The Horse Trials in May is a common feature on our calendar and we are also drawn by the fabulous countryside and historic locations, such as Hardwick Hall. The link between Chatsworth and Hardwick is of course Bess of Hardwick, notably following her marriage (Bess’s third) to William Cavendish in 1552. Their son William became the first Earl of Devonshire, and Chatsworth has of course been the home of the Dukes of Devonshire ever since.
But this is not about history, it’s a note about something that occurred to me as we were ambling around the gift shop at Chatsworth having just taken a few photographs during our recent walk around the gardens and the house. I realised that a lot of the photographs I had taken could be considered as “Postcard views”, in that they were an attempt to capture a view or a feature, ideally uncluttered by people or less photogenic items (such as an angle avoiding an “out of context” waste bin, or a visitor wielding a selfie-stick !)
This exercise ( and ironically the many tourist visitors with selfie sticks) made be realise that once upon a time we might try and take a photograph of the place but then resort to buying a postcard to get that special view and professional image, either as a keepsake, or to send to friends with a message such as “Wish you were here”.
It is of course still possible to buy postcards in the gift shop, but how many people settle for that quick “we are here” photo taken with their phone instead?
The following is a slideshow of a few “snaps” I took a few days ago at Chatsworth, and these are my postcards from a fabulous place.
The photographs feature some exterior views of the magnificent house and some of the art installations located in and around the house. Whilst there are so many and varied mind-boggling rooms, works of art, pieces of furniture, architectural features and other items that always impress, I think that my favourite room has to be the library. It is often not fully realised by the passing visitor, but it is a room that understandably is not a main thoroughfare but which I would love to spend time in, and given the chance look at some of the amazing books it contains. It was pointed out to us that one example of a rare volume is passed every day by so many visitors. It is Isaac Newton’s own first edition copy of his book “Principia Philosphiae Mathematica”.
I wonder if Isaac Newton was disposed to sending the odd Postcard?