Monthly Archives: May 2015

Celebrated Ladies of Great Britain

I’ve already mentioned the treasures to be found in the three volumes of John Walker’s Letters Written by Eminent Persons in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1813). In Volume 2 part 1, mention is made (in a 1749 letter) of … Continue reading

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Mr Fairchild’s Mule

In a previous life/blogspot, I mentioned in passing the horticulturalist Thomas Fairchild (1667–1729), who left £25 for the endowment of an annual Whitsuntide sermon on either the ‘Wonderful Works of God in the Creation, or on the Certainty of the … Continue reading

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The Lapwing

I was aghast to learn a few days ago that the lapwing (or peewit, or green plover), Vanellus vanellus, is now a rare bird. A very long time ago, I saw hundreds of them every Sunday evening, and I had … Continue reading

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Professor Henslow’s Legacy

To CUBG on Saturday for the Festival of Plants: it started cloudy and windy but cleared up to blue sky and bright sunshine. As usual, there was a marquee with stalls showing the work of the Sainsbury Laboratory and other … Continue reading

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More Amateur Thoughts on Ruskin

One Saturday in April, I attended a rather brilliant one-day conference at Anglia Ruskin University here in Cambridge, on the subject of ‘Ruskin the Educator’. The tone of the gathering can be indicated by the hissing which greeted a mention … Continue reading

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‘Books and Dirtiness, the Usual Appendages of Learning’

I had long promised myself the treat of tackling Letters Written by Eminent Persons in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, To Which Are Added, Hearne’s Journeys to Reading, and to Whaddon Hall, the Seat of Browne Willis, Esq., and Lives … Continue reading

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Retirement: 6 Weeks In

Well, I’ve just been sternly admonished by a friend for describing myself on my Twitter account as an ‘Old Lady’. ‘Lady of Leisure’ has been suggested, but I’ve rarely been so busy. ‘Lady in Retirement’? But that’s reminiscent of the … Continue reading

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