Liv­ing in Lil­liput

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

Ly­ing on a ta­ble in the li­brary in Queen Mary’s Doll’s House in Wind­sor Castle is, among other con­tem­po­rary jour­nals, a minia­ture edi­tion of Coun­try Life (Fig 4), no wider than a 10p coin and dated Septem­ber 19, 1923. its pres­ence re­flects the im­por­tance of the mag­a­zine, then as now, as well as the con­nec­tions be­tween Coun­try Life and the Doll’s House project.

Sir Lawrence Weaver, then Ar­chi­tec­tural Edi­tor, was co-edi­tor with A. C. Ben­son and E. V. Lu­cas of the two-vol­ume study of the model build­ing and its dec­o­ra­tion and con­tents and, cru­cially, direc­tor of the UK ex­hibits at the Bri­tish Em­pire Ex­hi­bi­tion held at Wem­b­ley in 1924 at which the Doll’s House was first ex­hib­ited. And, of course, Weaver, along with the mag­a­zine, had long been the pro­moter of the ge­nius of the ar­chi­tect who de­signed the 5ft-high tim­ber struc­ture: Sir Ed­win Lu­tyens.

Coun­try Life gave Lu­tyens’s un­usual build­ing suit­able cov­er­age. in 1924, Christo­pher Hussey pub­lished two rather arch ar­ti­cles in the man­ner of Jonathan Swift to de­scribe in de­tail ‘The Palace of Their Majesties The King and Queen of Lil­liput’, not­ing how Lu­tyens, ‘the King’s Chief Ar­chi­tect, had, with the ut­most in­ge­nu­ity, de­signed; less to be a per­pet­ual Habi­ta­tion for their Majesties, than for a grand Example, to all com­ing from other Lands, of the Arts, Do­mes­tic Uses and Ap­plied Sciences of Lil­liput at that time’.

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