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A Summer Holiday in the Isle of Wight

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Every summer we can rent a cottage,
in the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
–“When I’m Sixty-Four,” John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Shanklin, Chine, Isle of Wight, England.
Shanklin, Chine, Isle of Wight, England. Photochrom published by Photoglob Co., between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Since we’re in the midst of Washington, D.C.’s first genuine heat wave this summer, my mind turns to imagining cooler climes.  And, naturally, these daydreams often involve cooling waters. Real travel is not in the cards for me at the moment, so instead I travel virtually via the Library’s collection of gorgeous photochrom prints.

Pictured above is a little cottage in England’s Isle of Wight which has everything my fantasy requires: a porch where I can listen to the gurgle of the stream, which spills into a waterfall, running right outside my door.

Photochroms, dating from the late 19th century, are richly-colored images that look for all the world like photographs but are actually ink-based photolithographs.  Like postcards, the photochroms feature subjects that appeal to travelers (and armchair travelers!), and were sold as souvenirs and often collected in albums or framed for display.

Were I to tire of the idyllic scene on my cottage’s porch, I might, in my musings, amble down to the Needles (pictured below) along the coastline. These dramatic rock formations are a fitting contrast to the serene scene of my streamside dwelling. 

I tend to favor these scenes free of other people which add a sense of timelessness to the images and to my reverie. But, if your imagination is more social in nature, you can find plenty of people gathering along the seashore, such as these crowds, including horses, on the beach at the Isle of Man. Whatever your preferences, why not indulge yourself in a brief journey in these colorful photochroms?

The Needles, Isle of Wight, England
The Needles, Isle of Wight, England. Photochrom published by Photoglob Co., between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

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Comments (2)

  1. I am armchair and w-chair bound…. I only wish some day, (at least for now, I will, in my mind ) but, to hope and pray to go and see and walk amongst the vivid natural constructs, such as the Needles..!!
    Thank you… LOC…
    With God’s peace….

  2. The blog is so nice!I like it so much!

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