Category Archives: Literature

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

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

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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

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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