Filed under poetry

Poetry versus Song

This is from the book John Clare by John Lucas, about an agricultural worker who gained some fame for his poetry in the early 19th century, at a time when his beloved countryside in Northamptonshire was being enclosed, and access was being criminalised. He suffered severe mental health problems and died n 1864. “In 1825 … Continue reading

Girl with Cow

I am currently reading a huge book, Customs in Common, in which he discusses the battles not just for enclosure of land, but the battle between the various users, in particular, for grazing of household beasts. Whist there was still space between fields, and parts such as embankments that were too small to be used … Continue reading

Unposted Letters

This is a lovely little book I just found, by the author John O’London who claims they were intended as Letters to Gog and Magog journal, but were never posted. I have no idea who this man was, but he deserves to be better known; he dedicates his book to his daughter Sylvia Tempest Whitten, … Continue reading

Living Muses of Great Britain

Living Muses of Great Britain

Women have on the whole had a tough time throughout history, but in England in the mid to late 18th century, as the period between the two world wars, the shortage of men allowed women with talent to emerge into the public spotlight, albeit in socially acceptable fields. This engraving by Richard Samuel published in … Continue reading

Chatterton and History

Thomas Chatterton was one of the most famous Bristolians of the 18th century, for his poetry attributed to the priest Thomas Rowley, but was a big fraud, the exposure of which eventually led to the boy’s suicide. This is where he seems to have got his inspiration. This is from ‘Bristol Past and Present’: “Thomas … Continue reading

The English Garden

The English are notoriously fond of their gardens, and some claim that the style that emerged in the early 18th century is the only genuinely English art form, a layout that replaced rigid lines and vast intensely cultivated plots with sinuous paths and more naturalistic design. This is from “The Georgian Triumph, 1700-1830”, by Michael … Continue reading

A Female Revolution

The middle of the 18th century in England was an incredibly noisy, busy time, and women were more visible than at any other time in history. This is not just because of the many cartoons by Cruikshank and others mocking their outrageous fashions, they really were out there. In Bath, almost 1/3 of the blue … Continue reading