18 Folgate Street: The Tale of a House in Spitalfields
Introduction by Peter Ackroyd.
An enchanted time capsule transports us back to the 18th century and brings an old house to life.
Growing up in California, Dennis Severs fell in love with the England he saw in old black and white movies. In 1979 he bought a run-down house in Spitalfields and over the next twenty years he filled it with objects and furniture found in local markets. He wanted his visitors to feel they were stepping through time, into an old master painting. He invented a family to live in it, the Jervis family, Huguenot silk-weavers who arrived from Nantes in 1725. Before Dennis died in 1999 he put the stories of the house, the Jervis family and his own life into this book. It is illustrated throughout by photographs taken by his niece, Stacey Shaffer, using the natural light that Dennis loved.
The Dennis Severs House is run by the Spitalfields Trust and is open to visitors.
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Out and In This House and Your Senses
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18 Folgate Street architecture balance baroque become began begin boom-boom candle carver chair ceiling centre century chair chamber-stick circle Classical clock colour corner created curtains dark decorated delft pottery Dennis Severs door Drawing Room dress Ebenezer Scrooge Edward Jervis eighteenth-century Elizabeth Jervis everything explain eyes feel fire floor Georgians hand happen harmony hear heart house's Huguenot imagine inside instinct Isaac Gervais Jack the Ripper Jervis's kitchen lift light listen Liverpool Street Station London look looking-glass mind Nature night once painting panelling Peter Ackroyd piano nobile picture porcelain Protestant Reason Rebecca room's round sense side sight silk smell smoke somehow someone Sophie space Spitalfields square stairs stand suddenly Sweeney Todd symmetry taste tea table things Tick tock tricorne turn visitor voice walls warmth watch