Thursday, 27 October 2016


The next National Trust property on Bill's list was Bateman's, the home of Rudyard Kipling. It was the 'homeliest' of the houses. [In the States, we use the word 'homely' to describe a plain or unattractive woman; in the UK it is used to describe a house as warm and inviting, or home-ly]. I prefer the latter use, don't you?

Still fairly large by today's standards, it just escaped being a museum, though museum it was. The house is Jacobean, ie built in the 1600s. 

[I    had an American friend once ask me what was meant by 'Victorian' or 'Georgian'. Just in case you don't know, 'Victorian' refers to the time period of Queen Victoria's reign, roughly the 1800s. Before her there were several King Georges in a row. Jacobean refers to King James.]

Anyhow Bateman's is full of dark wood paneling and Kipling aimed to furnish the house in the same period. The darkness made it difficult to take good photos (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

If   you were paying attention at Knole, you'll recognize this style of couch. 

[There is a whole 'thing' over here about class and language and what you call your couch / sofa / settee / davenport tells a lot about you. If you are interested in such things, I recommend Kate Fox's Watching the English.]

The house is of course very Indian in the furnishings, but I found it quite home-spun and very British as well. I will look for some examples for my next post to explain that view. 

We loved the garden/cafe so much we had lunch there before we toured and tea there afterwards. More about gardens later.

I found it hard to leave Batemans, I loved it so. I could easily imagine living there.

I'm aiming for slightly shorter, more manageable posts as life is quite busy just now. So I shall stop here and pick it up again later.


Indigo Dragonfly said...

When you said "dark paneling" I expected gloomy pictures - but these are anything but! Rather, it seems quite cozy & homely (I like the 2nd of your definitions better). It also seems exactly what I would have expected of Kipling, given his personal history.

Will definitely look up the Kate Fox book. I'm currently making my way through two of your recommendations about the mid-wars period, and economy post-wars.

Shelley said...

Gosh, that is flattering that you actually pay attention to my recommendations! I'd love to know how you get on with the books, as I am considering some serious choices for my book group. Some will cope just fine, others I'm not so sure.So your opinion about the 'readability' would be welcome.

Indigo Dragonfly said...

I will let you know how I find the books I'm working through. Are you considering more non-fiction titles, or fiction? That will make a difference on people's willingness to dive in. Some only want escapism, some will happily dive into a new subject.