"You see, it is simply a very young girl's record
of her own thoughts and impressions,
and consequently meant for publication."
-- Oscar Wilde
(The Importance of Being Earnest)
My name is Lisa Marie and I'm an architectural historian who sometimes wonders if I should have been a fashion historian. Love Letter from London is my place to share my architectural, sartorial and miscellaneous historical adventures with like-minded people around the world.
I have degrees in Journalism and Building Conservation so I am naturally particular about getting my facts and history straight, and I hope that my blog will inform readers, but it is not intended as a high-brow intellectual exercise. Rather, it is intended to entertain and present a chance for me to muse on anything that captures my fancy. Its main focus is historic architecture and vintage fashion - two things I see as being closely linked. Both are, after all, designed not in a void, but in a particular social context and are therefore a physical representation of the society and time into which they were born. They were, and still are, not just a necessity for shelter and comfort, but a way in which people can express themselves and project an image to the world.
However, as a personal blog, the theme is not strict and there are no real rules as to what I might write about. As such, there are frequent tangents from architecture and fashion, including accounts of museums, art galleries, events, music, etc. And, though the main focus is London, this is not strict either. Occasionally 'letters' will be sent from other towns or the country or abroad, when I get the chance to take a holiday or day trip. Or posts may have no geographical context whatsoever...
Love Letter from London started with a post about pigeons in May 2011. On my way home from work one day, I snapped some photos and showed them to my boyfriend (nicknamed 'The Cat') and emailed them to my mum. It struck me then that I take so many pictures of scenes that capture my fancy and carry out so many little bits of research into subjects that pique my interest, that it would be nice to be able to try to share them more widely. And thus, my blog was launched without any further ado or, as it happened, any real introductory post...
I adopted the blogger name, 'Miss Marie' which was inspired by umbrella I bought years ago (and was sadly one day left on the concourse at Nottingham train station). When I bought the umbrella, the attached tag appealed to me: 'miss marie', my too-oft neglected middle name, written on a polka dot background. So I decided to keep it in my purse, where it remains to this day, and so the idea occurred to take the name on for my blog.
This blog could have just as fittingly been called Love Letter to London because I have a million reasons to love this city. As an historian, I love the tangible sense of ages past. As an aesthete, I love its buildings and street scenes and art. As a flaneur, I love its variety of people... If I'm ever feeling down or at a loss, I just go for a walk through London's streets and am lifted with the reminder of what an infinitely amazing, intriguing and beautiful city I live in. Whether it's rainy, sunny or broodingly overcast, day or night, autumn, winter, summer or spring, the Savoy Hotel or a local pub, leafy West London or the grittiest back streets of East London, I damn well love this city in all moods and incarnations.
But my blog is called what it is because the richness of London makes it particularly easy to be reminded of all the beauty the world has to offer - in terms of architecture, design, style, art, etc, as well as the humanity of random interactions with strangers. Of course I love London for itself, but also for the inspiration it gives me. So the name Love Letter from London suggests me, sitting in my wee flat, writing letters about all the things that give me joy, with 'London' printed on the postmark, as the place of origin and as my muse.