Author: John H. Farrant
Volume: Volume 85
ISBN: 978 085445 051 0
Every year through the 1780s, for the fortnight after Whitsun, the Swiss-born artist S. H. Grimm toured Sussex, sketching churches and their monuments, the remains of the medieval castles and abbeys and, particularly, the houses of the gentry. Commissioned by the lawyer and antiquary Sir William Burrell, the resulting 900 watercolours are an incomparable record of the county’s buildings, as yet untouched by the Victorians’ zealous restorations and demolitions.
This handsome book reproduces 116 of Grimm’s pictures, together with 88 watercolours, oils and drawings by 40 other artists from the early 17th to the early 19th century – 16 of them in colour. Each picture is accompanied by a 200-word caption, often based on new research, on the building’s history. The 40,000-word introduction, `Antiquaries and artists in Sussex from 1585 to 1835′, traces the progress of the county’s depiction in both words and pictures, from William Camden’s fieldwork in Queen Elizabeth’s reign for his Britannia, through William Burrell’s monumental but forlorn efforts to write a county history, to T. W. Horsfield’s History, antiquities and topography of the County of Sussex published just before Queen Victoria’s accession. Two accounts of tours through Sussex, in 1743 and 1777, are printed, along with prospectuses for Budgen’s map of 1724 and the Bucks’ engravings of 1737. The text is fully referenced and indexed, with a bibliography of 700 titles.
John Farrant has written extensively on the history of Sussex for 30 years – on harbours and shipping, on early modern Brighton, on buildings in their landscape, on travellers and the accounts they wrote, on artists and their pictures. He is a .Vice-President of the Sussex Archaeological Society. After a career at the University of Sussex, he is now a consultant in higher education management.
Cover illustrations: Eastdean, 1785, and Halland in East Hoathly, 1783, by S. H. Grimm, by permission of The British Library, Add. MS. 5671, ff. 79  and 48