“This beautiful and romantic islet is situated in the most picturesque part of the Thames, between the Willows and Maidenhead Bridge; it is the favored resort of aquatic parties in the vicinity of Windsor, and is a delightful resting place for those bound to Cliefden, Henley, or Marlow – the woodland beauty of the scenery being unrivalled on the banks of ‘Thames winding stream’. The (third) Duke of Marlborough selected this sequestered spot for the enjoyment of Isaac Walton’s “gentle art”, and embellished it by the erection of two elegant buildings – a pavilion and a temple. The former is decorated by finely-executed paintings of monkeys, in various grotesque and humorous characters (which, with the pavilion, are represented by the drawings), and continue to prove an attraction to the curious…. it is asserted that the whole cost the Duke of Marlborough £12,000. It was purchased by H. Townly Ward, Esq., and is now the property of P.C. Bruce, Esq., of Taplow. The tout ensemble presents an imposing idea of aristocratic grandeur and magnificence.”
Preface to Monkey Island, Illustrated, by a series of Humorous Figures and a View of the Pavilion. From original sketched by M. Penley, drawn on the new patent zinc plates by T. Fairland. Dedicated to the Young Gentlemen of Eton College. Windsor: published by J.B. Brown … ca. 1839. This copy inscribed on front wrapper: “Robert H.J. Heygate from his brothers Frederick & William Heygate, March 28, 1839.” Call number: (Ex) Item 6473315
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