Created By: Emma Dermott
In the last seven years however the perfection of Mr Lascelles’s house had become somewhat diminished. The colours were as exquisite as ever, but they had not been changed for seven years. The furnishings were expensive, but they represented what had been most fashionable seven years ago. In the last seven years no new paintings had been added to Lascelles’s collection. In the last seven years remarkable antique sculptures had arrived in London from Italy, Egypt and Greece but other gentlemen had bought them. What is more, there were signs that the owner of the house had been engaged in useful occupation, that he had, in short, been working. Reports, manuscripts, letters and Government papers lay upon every table and chair, and copies of The Friends of English Magic and books on magic were to be found in every room."
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The historical basis of the character Lascelles is likely to have been a combination of the characters of Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood who lived in Harewood House in Hanover Square and died in 1820, and his older brother Beau Lascelles, who died in 1814.
Beau Lascelles was the essence of fashion of that day. He was a handsome man, rather inclined to be fat, which gave him a considerable resemblance to George Prince of Wales, whom he evidently imitated in his dress and manner. He was very high bred and amicable in society, and his taste in all that surrounded him was undeniable; his house, his carriages, horses, and servants, without any attempt at gaudy trappings, were the admiration of all the town, from the uniform neatness and beauty of their tenue. The ensemble of his equipage when he went to Court on a birthday might really be compared to a highly-finished toy. His house, though not large, was a museum of curiosities, selected with great taste and judgment, at a time when he had few competitors; and, had they all been preserved, they would now be of incalculable value. His life was luxurious but short, as he died at the age of fifty."
This point of interest is part of the tour: Mr Norrell's London