William Godwin's Diary


This is potentially three different entertainments. Belshazzar’s Feast was a painting by John Martin on exhibition, apparently best viewed in the evening, illuminated by gaslight, seen to be ‘highly favourable to the richness of the colouring, and the distinctness of the objects, and likewise peculiarly appropriate as conveying a just representation of the scene, at the time selected for the festival of Belshazzar.’

See the Morning Chronicle, 25 May, 1821 and the Liverpool Mercury, 30 November, 1821.

The Apollonicon was a ‘grand musical instrument, invented and constructed by Flight and Robson, organ-builders’ according to the Examiner, 20 May 1821. Around the time of Godwin’s entry, the daily performances included selections from Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Cherubini ‘with a grandeur of effect and delicacy of expression equal to any Orchestra of the most scientific performers’.

'Lausanne' likely refers to Henry Aston Barker's panorama with scenes from Switzerland and the High Alps, where 'an interesting view of Lausanne and the Lake of Geneva continues to be exhibited', as advertised in The Times, 14 May 1821.