Category Archives: History

The Scots Welshman

… or possible the Welsh Scot? John Pryse Campbell, first Baron Cawdor of Castlemartin (1755–1821) was a member of the famous Scots clan, but two marriages in different generations to the daughters of Welsh landowners had brought their huge estates … Continue reading

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The Paston Treasure

Devoted readers (ho ho) will recall that one of the things I was NOT going to do after retirement was to miss exhibitions, or to arrive panting on the last day. Since the retirement has turned out not to be … Continue reading

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I Blame Walter Pater

‘She is older than the rocks among which she sits’ is one of those much repeated quotes which really needs a bit of context. Pater’s full paragraph on the subject of the Mona Lisa is positively rococo in its ramblings, … Continue reading

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The Old, Old, Very Old Soldier

I keep coming across super-centenarians at the moment, and in the oddest of contexts. For example, 23 October 2018 is the 376th anniversary of Edgehill, the first significant battle between the opposing sides in the English Civil War.

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Aqila and Prisila

I have mentioned before the excitement of spotting something new in the display cases at the Fitzwilliam Museum (either because of a change-around, or simply because I’d never observed it before). The other day I noticed this ceramic dish showing … Continue reading

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Small-Coals and Concerts

Looking something up in the ODNB, it’s terrifyingly easy to get distracted. Who could resist the siren call of this entry heading: ‘Britton, Thomas (1644–1714), concert promoter, book collector, and coal merchant’? And, as you read on, the story of … Continue reading

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Printing R-Evolution

I have been reading Julian Barnes’s Keeping An Eye Open, in which he remarks (p. 166) that ‘normal ocular fatigue sets in after about ninety minutes’. This is a huge relief, as I had always thought it was just me, … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, Classics, History, Italy, Literature, Museums and Galleries, Printing and Publishing, Venice | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment