The Diary of John Evelyn

Source: John Evelyn, diary entry 23 September 1673, reproduced in Hermann Hecht (ed. Ann Hecht), Pre-Cinema History: An Encyclopaedia and Annotated Bibliography of the Moving Image Before 1896 (London: Bowker-Saur, 1993), entry 556P, p. 557

Text: 23 to Lond; dining with Mrs. Bl: we went to see Paradise, a room in Hatton Garden furnished with the representations of all sorts of animals, handsomely painted on boards or cloth, & so cut out & made to stand & move, fly, crawll, roare & make their severall cries, as was not unpretty: though in itselfe a meere bauble, whilst the man who shew’d, made us laugh heartily at his formal poetry.

Comments: John Evelyn (1620-1706) was a British writer and diarist. Hermann Hecht notes that an exhibition of this kind was advertised in London around December 1675, while a similar exhibition (or possibly the same one) featured at Shoe Lane in London in 1661, under the title Paradise transplanted and restored, which was possibly a combination of picture and waxwork show.

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