Category Archives: Natural history

(Yet) Another Artist Of Whom I’d Never Heard

Well, had you (assuming, of course, that you are not an expert in eighteenth-century French flower paintings) heard of Gerard van Spaendonck? You will gather from his name that he was not French – he was born in 1746, in … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Cambridge, France, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Object of the Month: May 2018

How many bear jugs does one person need in his or her life? The answer, in the case of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher (about whom I have written before), appears to be at least twelve. This is the number bequeathed by … Continue reading

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The Chelsea Physic Garden

Well, I made it to the one-day exhibition on Philip Miller at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and it rained only at the end of our stroll around, and then not much. We were greeted at the entrance by welcoming staff, … Continue reading

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Fool’s Gold

The other day, I came across the name of Giambattista Angello, described as a Venetian alchemist in London. Always keen to follow the path of the legendary all-purpose cure, theriaca, around Europe, I pursued him, though I was slightly puzzled … Continue reading

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Hans Hoffmann

One of the benign prerogatives of the University of Cambridge is that department and faculty librarians needing to de-access duplicate or redundant books are required to offer them first to the University Library, then to other department libraries. What is … Continue reading

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Preferences

Or are they prejudices? Did I not warm to Bologna because of the oppressive feel of the red stone buildings and the gloomy arcades, or because I don’t much like the paintings of the Bolognese school, or because I lost … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: March 2018

The primroses are out in splendid fashion this year – two severe blasts of snow appear not to have cramped their style (let’s see what the third, allegedly due later this week, will do). Quintessentially plants of woodland and hedgerow, … Continue reading

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