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Still Grieving Lost Children

Still Grieving Lost Children

This is really sad, from Joseph Leech’s Rural Rides, from the churchyard at Keynsham, though the author could have been a bit more diplomatic: My attention was attracted by 2 very antiquated crones, who came hobbling towards me over the graves which, in the course of nature, they ought to have long since filled; both … Continue reading

Paupers Riot 1830

Paupers Riot 1830

Here’s another horror story from Bristol’s past which serves as a warning of where we may be heading. The 1840s was a time of massive social upheaval across Europe, echoing the previous century’s ‘hungry forties’, but the problems were soaring in the 1830s. In Bristol, trade declines, so many workers were reduced to pauperism and … Continue reading

UK Royalty and Race

UK Royalty and Race

There’s a lot of discussion about how the present royal family is dealing with Prince Harry’s present partner, but I am increasingly fascinated by what defines race. This is an article by Kate Williams takes definitions of race onto a new level: Queen Charlotte, the German wife of “mad” King George III and mother of … Continue reading

The Death of Eli Dupree

The Death of Eli Dupree

Here’s a monument from Gloucester Cathedral which is very much out of the ordinary. It says Eli Dupree was “abused unto death” at Hayes Middlesex. My immediate thought was he was a child somehow mistreated in school or but the man was 74 years old. I asked one of the guides what this meant; she … Continue reading

A Bad Doctor

A Bad Doctor

John Aubrey is one of the great English writers and left a huge amount of diaries which range over a wide range of topics. They are chatty, he often qualifies what he writes by citing he’s not sure of this, or that someone told him, so provides insight into his life and thinking. This is … Continue reading

America Defying Trump

America Defying Trump

In the gloom that has descended since last Saturday, here’s a ray of hope for us all.  This is an article from last Sunday’s Observer, written by Mark Ruffalo and Rahwa Ghirmatzion Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the historic Paris climate agreement and turn his back on the other 194 nations … Continue reading

Women’s Work- 19th Century Britain

Women’s Work- 19th Century Britain

I recently found this wonderful book by Rohana Darlington, Irish Knitting. She graduated from the Central School of Art and Design and in 1984 she received a travelling fellowship to study hand knitting in Norway and Ireland; from the latter came this book, a mix of Irish history focusing on fine art and textiles, but … Continue reading

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

This documentary featured the pioneering journalism and activism of Jane Jacobs who led the battle to stop the wholesale replacement of cities and their vibrant communities with freeways and tower blocksin New York City. Her main opponent was Robert Moses who became a local hero for promoting open spaces and building public parks, but after … Continue reading

Nourishment for our Brains

Nourishment for our Brains

This is from the i paper, an obituary for Marian Diamond Neuroscientist 11/11/1926 – 25/7/2017. Her work has huge implications for how our society is changing: Marian Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain and was the first to show that the brain’s anatomy can change with experience, has died aged 90. … Her … Continue reading

How to Create a Perfect Wife

How to Create a Perfect Wife

This is an intriguing book by Wendy Moore, a journalist and author who I’d never heard of. The story fills in a lot of gaps in my historical knowledge, especially featuring the poet Thomas Day who I knew from his famous abolitionist poem The Dying Negro and his book on child centred education. He was … Continue reading