Filed under Writing

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

The Necessity of Art

This book by Ernst Fisher comes with an introduction by the wonderful pioneering art historian John Berger, so is a wonderful find. It seems that as long as there have been humans, we have been making art of some form, so the title seems particularly apt. If it’s not essential to us, why do we … Continue reading

Medieval Books

These are amazing- books bigger than people, books bound back to back, even 6 books in a single cover, the ultimate in conserving resources and storage space. I’ve seen some great illuminated manuscripts, but these are something else. Wonderfully Weird & Ingenious Medieval Books

On Swimming

One of the ‘truisms’ I hear a lot is that people never used to swim, especially referencing how the fashion took off in Victorian England, but also there were tables drawn up showing how many years you lost off your life for the time you spent swimming in the sea. Sailors especially were meant to … Continue reading

A World that Never Stops

As the city is taken over by the security services, I am scaring myself further by reading a wonderful book, 24/7 by Johnathan Crary, about the effects of the non stop world on bodies that need rest sometimes.   He begins by citing research by the US military on white headed sparrows who can migrate … Continue reading

A Boy Automaton

This is an ad for a travelling show from Gloucester in 1801. A fascinating mix of mechanism and hokum methinks, a copy of the works by Mailardet and Jaquet-Droz. Mr A Shepperly’s Celebrated CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, being the most splendid and brilliant collection of works of nature and art ever seen in England, amongst which … Continue reading

Public Whipping

Here’s an article from Latimer’s Journal of the 19th century in Bristol “The punishment of whipping appears to have been still highly approved by the local justices and continued so for several years. The Bristol Journal of December 4, 1819, contained the following:- “A man who has been loitering about our city for some days, … Continue reading