Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hortus Academicus

The botanic garden in Leiden is always associated with its hugely distinguished first director, Carolus Clusius, and sure enough, his bust is the first thing you see at the entrance. I wasn’t aware, however, until our recent visit, that other … Continue reading

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A Skeleton in the Cupboard?

One of the things I’m doing at the moment is browsing through nineteenth-century issues of the Gardeners’ Chronicle (online – God bless the Biodiversity Heritage Library!), cross-checking references to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. A lot of the material is … Continue reading

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William Cobbett, Nurseryman

Though the constant thread running through his adult life was radical journalism (for which he spent most of the years 1810–12 in Newgate prison), William Cobbett (1763–1835) had many careers: farmer, soldier, grammarian, language teacher, author, economist, printer, publisher, Member … Continue reading

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The King’s Faithful Servant

Rustat Road in Cambridge is where, in a former century, one used to go and pay one’s water rates to the Cambridge Water Company. I haven’t been able to find a picture of the building online, but I have a … Continue reading

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The Dotterel

I was dining at the Reform Club the other night (not something that happens to me particularly often). I didn’t get to see Alexis Soyer’s legendary kitchens – do they indeed still exist? – but we did take coffee in … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: August

The apotheosis of Nelson was already well under way in 1836, when one George Gunning, of Frindsbury in Kent, presented a snuffbox to the Fitzwilliam Museum. Books, prints, portraits, medals and ceramics preserved the great naval hero in the public … Continue reading

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Object(s) Of The Month: March

Some of the most ancient artefacts which have survived to grace our modern museums were carved from bone or ivory: hardwearing substances, which survive almost anything except a severe conflagration or a deliberate act of grinding them to shards or … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art, Cambridge, Exploration, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment