Category Archives: Biography

Sedgwick’s Boots

I begin with an appalling confession, made because of my reasonable confidence that nobody (least of all @TheMuseumOfLiz) actually reads this stuff … Here goes: although the Golden Jubilee of my arrival in Cambridge is only just below the horizon, … Continue reading

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The Stepney Meeting

A stone’s throw away from the back of Stepney’s enormous churchyard, where the parakeets and pigeons own the sky, and even closer to Lady Mico’s almshouses, is a much smaller cemetery, its gravestones broken, eroded or obscured by the black, … Continue reading

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The Loss of the ‘Royal George’

Was Proust the first or merely the best to describe the extraordinary moment when a completely forgotten incident in your life rises fully formed in your memory? In my most recent incident, it was a phone call at work about … Continue reading

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Allegorical Tombs

… are apparently a Thing, and one which I have come across twice in as many days in Venice, though they seem to owe their origin to one Owen Swiny (MacSwiny, McSweeny, MacSwiney, McSwiny, and other variants), of Enniscorthy in … Continue reading

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A Life in Footnotes

I mentioned some time ago that I was going to investigate (at my usual superficial level, naturally) the life and career of the physician Francesco Travagino (sometimes Travagini), who appears to have taken advantage of a space on somebody else’s … Continue reading

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The Charterhouse

Another real bargain in London … Last week I took a tour of the Charterhouse. In my case it was organised by the Friends of Strawberry Hill, but you can book online yourself. I was escorted there by kind relatives … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: March 2019

As I have mentioned in passing before, the botanist Pierre Magnol (1638–1715) was born in Montpellier, and spent most of his life there. His father and grandfather were apothecaries, and his mother’s male relatives were physicians. His older brother César … Continue reading

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