Category Archives: Literature

The Blackbird

Has there ever been a spring/summer like this for blackbird song? (Except, obviously, the year in which, in late June, Edward Thomas’s train stopped unexpectedly at Adlestrop?) I’m especially fortunate in that I have two competing to outdo each other … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Literature, Museums and Galleries, Natural history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Object of the Month: February 2019

I first came across William de Morgan in the second-hand bookshop in the stables at Wimpole Hall, an alarming number of years ago. His novel, Alice-for-Short (published 1907), was available for 50p, and I availed myself, drawn mostly by the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, Cambridge, Literature, London, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Bizarre Story

Thompson Cooper (1837–1904) was the son of Charles Henry Cooper (1808–66), the distinguished Town Clerk of Cambridge, whose historical and biographical works on the city are still a major source of information. From 1842 to 1853 he published four volumes … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, Biography, Cambridge, History, Italy, Literature, London, Museums and Galleries, Printing and Publishing, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Art, Biography, Cambridge, History, Literature, Museums and Galleries, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Biography, History, Literature, London, Music, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Object of the Month: June 2018

This fire screen, standing 104 cm (3 ft 5 ins) tall, must in the summer have graced fireplace of a well-to-do eighteenth-century individual, probably in France. When I first noticed it, I thought it was embroidered, perhaps by a daughter … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Cambridge, France, History, Literature, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment