Domestic Passions: Unpacking the Homes of Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts

  • Matt Cook
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


In 1924, Country Life magazine featured a home made in the Keep of Chilham Castle in Kent. Such unusual landmark properties were standard fare in this and similar publications from the late nineteenth century onwards. 1 They detailed domestic histories and interiors that seemed to perfectly frame and reflect the character and distinction of the inhabitants — in this case, the artist couple Charles Shannon (1863–1937) and Charles Ricketts (1866–1931). The author of the piece, historian of domestic architecture Christopher Hussey, waxed lyrical about the ‘two painters [who] now imitate the way of Montaigne and dwell in a tower: two painters whose long and productive friendship is scarcely less “perfect, inviolate and entire” than that of Michel de Montaigne and Étienne de la Boétie’.2 The pair had preserved and ‘beautified’ ‘one of the most ancient habitations in Britain’, and in these surroundings, were to be ‘left in their tower overlooking the fat meadows of the Stour, among the peacock bowers and ilex [holly tree] shade of their field, at peace to raise castles of canvas and weave tapestries in paint’.3


Domestic History Domestic Architecture Artist Couple Domestic Relationship Artistic District 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Matt Cook 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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