A little Regency in Second Life

Vue Sur Mer, September 2022 – click any image for full size

Pleasure Ò Raigàin (vVEdanaVv) is one of the creative minds (and chief builder) behind Carrowmere, a Homestead region I visited with great delight back at the start of 2022 (see: A trip to an Irish corner of Second Life). Whilst that region is still active in Second Life, Pleasure has turned her mind to other projects as well, and recently invited me to pay a visit to Vue Sur Mer, a new parcel build she has opened to the public.

Occupying just 4096 square metres, this is one of those landscaping designs I tend to like because it demonstrates the fact that people don’t actually need a full-sized region (Homestead or otherwise) to create something special for themselves or which can be shared with others as a public space. Sitting within the north-east corner of its parent region (hence the reason for the parcel’s name), this is a parcel with a very distinct and cosily engaging theme, offering as it does a slice of Regency England in reflection of the US TV series Bridgerton.

Vue Sur Mer, September 2022

I confess to knowing next to nothing about the television series – I’m actually not a great fan of period dramas for assorted reasons; but that hardly matters here. Whether or not you are familiar with the show – or indeed Regency England – Vue Sur Mer offers an enticing and romantic corner of Second Life that is highly photogenic and easy to appreciate.

Whilst formally regarded at the period 1811 to 1820, when by Act of Parliament, George, Prince of Wales became Prince Regent as a result of his father’s (George III) worsening mental health and ending when the Prince ascended to the throne as George IV, the Regency period can more broadly be regarded as the final third of the Georgian era, spanning the years 1795 through 1837. It was a time of sharp social divide within the United Kingdom between the haves and the have nots, with the former enjoying a period of cultural and social growth (aided by Romanticism straddling the era and the early Victorian period), and seemingly oblivious (or uncaring) about the hardship faced by the labourers of the country.

Vue Sur Mer, September 2022

In its celebration of the period as seen through the likes of Bridgerton, Vue Sur Mer quite marvellously captures the grace and beauty that lay within the houses and gardens of the well-off. This is a setting where, to draw further on the period) Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet would find little amiss.

Presented as semi-formal garden environment in which is located a small summer house and even smaller pavilion, both constructed of neatly cut and squared white stone, it is not hard to imagine Vue Sur Mer as a places tucked away within the wildlings beyond the more formal gardens of a grand estate, a place where the romantically-inclined can slip away to for courtship conversations, unobtrusively observed by footmen; or which the estate owners might host a young artist or musician or poet, thus earning themselves further social kudos.

Vue Sur Mer, September 2022

Behind the summer house sits a shaded pond where courting couples might sit or a poet seek his (or her!) muse under the natural arch of two bent trees, this time watched over by Andromeda and Perseus. To the side of the house tea might be taken under a beflowered gazebo set over a carpet of pale blooms, the discussion perhaps revolving around Ms. Austen’s writings, given the books perched on the table. Nearby, the pavilion sits purely as a retreat for the menfolk, being set out with a range of brandy and whiskey bottles which share their table with a box of cigars.

Between pavilion and gazebo lie stone steps rising under a stone arch to reach a wildling garden protected by a snowy owl; a place where a budding painter might decide to set their easel should they tire of the confines within the little greenhouse on the far side of the little beach, converted as it is as a tiny art studio.

Vue Sur Mer, September 2022

Compact yet packed with detail (I’ve not really mentioned the care with with Pleasure has set the décor and furnishings within the house), and finished with a gentle soundscape, Vue Sur Mer is a veritable painting in its own right. And I leave it to you to decide whether or not to do so in period attire!

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