Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: ‘A Child of Strawberry’: Thomas Barrett and Lee Priory, Kent
Author(s): Reeve, Matthew M
Lindfield, Peter
Contact Email:
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Date Deposited: 16-Sep-2016
Citation: Reeve MM & Lindfield P (2015) ‘A Child of Strawberry’: Thomas Barrett and Lee Priory, Kent. Burlington Magazine, 157 (1353), pp. 836-842.
Abstract: First paragraph: WRITING IN JULY 1790, Horace Walpole famously recounted his impressions of Lee Priory in Kent (Fig.20), newly rebuilt for Thomas Barrett (1744–1803) by James Wyatt (1746–1813): ‘I found Mr Barrett’s house complete, and the most perfect thing ever formed! Such taste, every inch is so well furnished [. . .] I think if Strawberry [Hill] were not its parent, I would be jealous’. He regularly praised Lee in his letters and in print, elsewhere calling it his ‘Gothic child’. Walpole unapologetically positioned Lee as the offspring of Strawberry Hill (and thus of himself), a child of his famous Gothic villa in Twickenham. Flippant though Walpole’s perspective might seem, it reminds us that our understanding of the Gothic Revival via a positivist teleology of style, framed by Charles Locke Eastlake and others in the nineteenth century, had little meaning for Georgian audiences. From Walpole’s perspective, and to a large extent from Barrett’s, Lee Priory was understood to represent a second generation of Gothic houses following an original ‘family’ of Gothic buildings built by Walpole’s friends and designers between c.1740 and c.1775, including parts of The Vyne in Hampshire, Dickie Bateman’s villa at Old Windsor and Donnington Grove in Berkshire. Structuring this ‘familial’ relationship with the ‘children’ of Strawberry Hill, Walpole hung images or ‘portraits’ of these Gothic houses in his home, including a ‘View of Lee, the seat of T. Barrett, esq; in Kent, by Pether; in an ebony frame’. Recent scholarship has shown that this ‘family’ of patrons and designers was bound by common aesthetic and sexual (homoerotic) subjectivities. Art within Walpole’s circle, from the exchange of objects and images and their display, to the design and decoration of houses which often employed the same designers and was in their privileged Gothic (or ‘court’) style, formed what has been called a ‘Queer Family Romance’ within the patronage of Walpole’s clique.
Rights: The publisher has not responded to our queries therefore this work cannot be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
A_Child_of_Strawberry_Thomas_Barrett_an.pdfFulltext - Published Version1.18 MBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 3000-01-01    Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.