Full image caption
An illustration of West End society in the stalls at Covent Garden, from 'London: a Pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. In the eighteenth century Covent Garden had been one of only two theatres given a Royal Patent to perform drama in London. This monopoly ceased in 1843 and a few years later, having remodelled the auditorium, the theatre reopened as The Royal Italian Opera. By the time of 'London: a Pilgrimage' the theatre had been rebuilt on two occasions, following fires. The illustration therefore shows the interior of theatre designed by E.M. Barry, which opened in 1858.
© Museum of London