From their early beginnings in the Restoration until the final closure in Queen Victoria's reign, Vauxhall Gardens developed from a rural tavern and place of assignation into a dream-world filled with visual arts and music, and finally into a commercial site of mass entertainment. By the 18th century, Vauxhall was crucial to the cultural and fashionable life of the country, patronized by all levels of society, from royal dukes to penurious servants.
In the first book on the subject for over fifty years, Alan Borg and David E. Coke reveal the teeming life, the spectacular art and the ever-present music of Vauxhall in fascinating detail. Borg and Coke's historical exposition of the entire history of the gardens makes a major contribution to the study of London entertainments, art, music, sculpture, class and ideology. It reveals how Vauxhall linked high and popular culture in ways that look forward to the manner in which both art and entertainment have evolved in modern times.
David E. Coke was formerly the Curator of Gainsborough's House Trust, Sudbury, Suffolk, and Director of Pallant House Gallery Trust, Chichester. Alan Borg is a former Director of two of Britain's national museums, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum. He lives in London.