The Hummums, Covent Garden

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: The Hummums, Covent Garden
    Parson Ford’s ghost story in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson and Hogarth’s “A Midnight Modern Conversation,” two major texts of the 18th century that thrived in Victorian London, establish the literary lore behind the Hummums. In Life of Samuel Johnson, Boswell notices Parson Ford’s presence in Hogarth’s print hanging on the wall and then prompts Johnson to tell the story of his cousin’s ghost. Johnson recounts the then seemingly famous tale of Ford, who died in his bedchamber at the Hummums and thereafter haunted the establishment. Boswell remarks that Ford “makes a conspicuous figure” in Hogarth’s “A Midnight Modern Conversation,” which was printed one year after Ford’s death. These texts seem unrelated to contemporary readers, but they were virtually inseparable to the Victorian London literati. For example, Sala jointly employs Ford’s tale and Hogarth’s print to establish the literary history behind the Hummums. These two texts held such intimacy that Sala reasons “A Midnight Modern Conversation” actually takes place in one of the hotel’s chambers

    Cory MacLauchlin, ‘The Hummums: Bath, Brothel and Holy Shrine of Literary London’. Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, Volume 6 Number 1 (March 2008). Online at Accessed on 22/10/2014.