Walked early to look at my old house in Piccadilly – saw into the room where I have sat with him, and felt as if I had lived there with a friend who was long since dead to me.
No sense of past agony – all mournfully soft. My thoughts floated peacefully into other channels as soon as I had left the spot…
These poignant reflections were noted in Annabella’s journal on September 17 in 1820, a mere four years after she had left hearth, home and Byron behind on this very day in 1816 and walked out of the front door of 13 Piccadilly Terrace for the last time.
I fell into a sound sleep on the last night, as I believe is often surprisingly the case in such cases of deep sorrow. Next morning I woke exhausted. I went downstairs – the carriage was at the door.
I passed his room. There was a large mat on which his Newfoundland dog used to lie. For a moment I was tempted to throw myself on it, and wait at all hazards, but it was only a moment – and I passed on. That was our parting.
On the eve of her departure Annabella had confided in her former governess Mrs Clermont that “if ever I should be fool enough to be persuaded to return I shall never leave his house alive”.
However, some 198 years later in January of 2014, the doors of 13 Piccadilly Terrace reopened – albeit in 12th scale for a feature in the Dolls’ House Magazine for GMC Publications.
‘The house, named ’13 Piccadilly Terrace’ after Lord Byron’s London address, has been styled to 1815. Byron lived here with his wife Annabella Milbanke, who he had married in January that year, while that December saw the birth of his only legitimate daughter, Ada Lovelace.
The dolls’ house is complete with a basement kitchen and attic rooms that reflect the architecture, interior design, furniture and lifestyle of the Regency gent, inspired by Byron and his circle.’
‘Comments made in letters to and from Byron have given Tee insights into aspects of life at Piccadilly Terrace. These snippets have guided her when deciding what goes where, or at least in conveying the same atmosphere in miniature.
Being an avid blogger, Tee has documented her progress allowing her passion for Byron to reach other fans of the poet as well as fellow miniaturists.
However, despite this complimentary words – Number 13 remains a work in progress for with the beds unmade, the ancestral portraits to hang in addition to locating the elaborate dining service as the scrumptious dishes of Regency cuisine languish in an old biscuit tin!
The Life and Letters of Anne Isabella Lady Noel Byron Ethel Colburn Mayne (London: Constable & Co Ltd 1929)