Category Archives: Biography

Idiots

To add to the gaiety of the nation in these trying times, I have for some time now been tweeting (@Prof_hedgehog) a #WordOfTheDay drawn from Thomas Wright’s Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English: Containing Words from the English Writers Previous … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: April 2017

Over the Easter weekend, the children who live opposite were applying the life lesson of the Parable of the Talents to raise money for charity. Their school had given them £1, which they had to make grow, and the options … Continue reading

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In Chancery

Bleak House is my favourite Dickens novel. I don’t propose to defend the assertion now, but I mention it because recent rummagings in the library in which I spend my Friday mornings have brought to light a rather sad tale … Continue reading

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The Last Medici

A few days ago I attended a lecture by Professor Tim Blanning on the subject of the European context of Viscount Fitzwilliam’s stupendous bequest to the University of Cambridge in 1816. Bearing in mind Fitzwilliam’s continental travels and his long … Continue reading

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Professor Martyn Writes to Dr Pulteney

One of my current voluntary activities consists in part of thumbing through an elderly card index, which reposes in an elderly and beautiful wooden card index case. In the course of this rummaging, I have noticed with alarm the increasing … Continue reading

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Westminster Bridge

I tend to ignore the porcelain gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum, since, as I have mentioned before, I really don’t like the coy, arch, simpering, figurative pieces that populate so many of the shelves. A quick genuflect towards the bookcase … Continue reading

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Dr Ducarel Writes to Dr Watson

Whether history has been kind to Andrew Coltée Ducarel (1713–85) rather depends on which source you use. Francis Grose and Horace Walpole seem both to have loathed him (but didn’t the latter loathe almost everyone?). Others, including John Nichols, have … Continue reading

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