On the 25th of October Jodi Eastberg will be giving a talk about the Regency linguist, diplomat, merchant, politician and China scholar Sir George Thomas Staunton (1781-1859).
Jodi Eastberg is Associate Professor of History at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has done extensive research into British perceptions of China through the life of Sir George Thomas Staunton.
Jodi is working on a biography of Staunton and is currently in the UK researching his banking records with Coutts & Co. in London.
As I mentioned previously, Staunton learned Chinese at a young age and became an influential figure in the East India Company. His country house, Leigh Park, near Portsmouth in Hampshire, reflected his interests, with Chinese collections in the house and Chinese plants and pavilions in the garden.
The garden, in particular, seems to have been an enchanting Regency-style chinoiserie fantasy, with Chinese or pseudo-Chinese structures including a bridge, a boathouse, a pergola and a summer house, as well as a pseudo-Mughal onion-domed pavilion. Although the house is gone some of the garden structures survive.
The talk will be at Staunton Country Park (as Leigh Park is now called) on 25 October, from 10.30-12.00. Places are limited and anyone interested is asked to contact Kerry Bailey on 023 9245 3405 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.