‘Dinner in the Iguanodon’ lithograph from the London Illustrated News 1854. When the Great Exhibition of 1851 ended, it was decided that the Crystal Palace which had housed it should be moved to a new site. The structure was rebuilt in a park at Sydenham in south London. The park was renovated and filled with new attractions including the ‘Dinosaur Court’, a collection of over 30 concrete statues of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, which are still present today.
These statues were the first in the world to depict dinosaurs as they may have looked when they were alive (subsequent discoveries have proven that many are wildly anatomically inaccurate). This momentous achievement was celebrated with a banquet which took place in the park on New Year’s Eve 1853. It was attended by 21 people including the sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, geologists, paleontologists, and journalists.
The 8 course meal was served at a table placed inside the mould of one of the iguanodons. A tent was set up around the creature (complete with chandelier) and, because of the statue’s height, a special stage was erected to allow the diners and waiters access. Discussion centred on the latest scientific discoveries, though by contemporary accounts the evening became more boisterous as time went on and the proceedings lasted well past midnight.
I think it’s mostly about his unselfishness. His compassion, generosity, and refusal to let adversity take his beautiful personality away from. He’s my age and he’s already been through so much. During a time that people are usually very selfish (mid/early 20s), he is just so kind and compassionate. And such a fighter. He inspires me to keep being nice and strong even when people give you reason not to be. I love him so much.