Category Archives: Literature

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

Mr and Miss Morris

I did something the other week which I’d never achieved before: I went to the end of a London Underground line! I have to say that I was a bit disappointed that the Victoria Line remained resolutely Underground until Walthamstow … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Literature, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Father of the More Famous

I’m currently reading a book about Sir Joseph Banks as an Enlightenment figure (yes, I probably should get out more), and was struck by this quotation: ‘Mann [the Abbé Mann (1735–1809), a Yorkshire Catholic convert and savant who became a … Continue reading

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

Cats in Art

If you were to be foolish enough to Google ‘Cats in art’ (and I really don’t recommend it) you would get ‘about 37,600,000 results’ – probably more by the time you read this: and a great many would look something … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Literature, Museums and Galleries, Venice | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

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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Plant of the Month: April 2017

The forget-me-not is one of those plants which are ‘only a …’. But like so many apparently over-familiar pieces of nature, it repays closer examination. It must be one of the most widespread (and toughest) plants in the northern hemisphere, … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Gardens, History, Literature, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Plant of the Month: December

For the avoidance of doubt (as we lawyers like to say), I’m talking here about European mistletoe: Viscum album (Linnaeus). There are about 70–100 species worldwide, as well as New World and southern hemisphere ‘mistletoes’ of quite different species, which … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Literature, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments