First of all, to start off my week I got a brand new cover!  This book is coming out in October, a sort of sequel to The Winter Queen set at the court of Mary Queen of Scots (I loved doing the research for this one!).  She has a lot of hair, but just like with my last Harlequin cover I wanna steal her dress…

And when I was searching around for something  for today’s blog, I found out that June 26 marks the anniversary of the opening of the V&A museum in its current location!  The Victorian Albert is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, with 4.5 million objects over 145 galleries covering 12.5 acres.  Their collections cover design objects from all over world and in every medium imaginable.

The origins of the museum were in the Great Exhibition of 1851, objects from which formed the nucleus of the first collection.  (Prince Albert was always very keen to promote English arts and design).  It was called the Museum of Manufactures and opened in May 1852 at Marlborough House.  The cornerstone of the current Aston Webb-designed building was laid in May 1899, the last official public appearance of Queen Victoria.  It was officially opened to the public by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra on June 26, 1909 and has undergone numerous extensions since then (including right now).

Just a few of their objects are the Great Bed of Ware (mentioned in Shakespeare plays, see pic below); Henry VIII’s writing desk; the complete Music Room from Norfolk House, 1756; a costume collection of 14,000 objects from 1600 to the present; jewels such as Marie Antoinette’s bracelets and the Beauharnais emerald necklace, given by Napoleon to his stepdaughter; the 13th century Sicilian Tristan quilt; and so, so, so much more.  Plus great shops.

Recently the Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosted a great traveling exhibit of objects from the V&A, including clothes, George III’s walking stick, silver and porcelain, furniture, and a writing table belonging to Marie Antoinette.  It was a small but beautifully selected exhibit, and I visited it several times!  (One of my favorite things they had was this portrait of Madame de Pompadour):

To see explore the museum a bit yourself, visit them here!

Have you been to the V&A?  What was your favorite thing there?  And what do you think of the cover??