Tagged with books

The Books are Written!

The Books are Written!

Hello lovely readers! I apologise yet again for my long silence, but it has been productive.  I have now cleared away most of my research books and notes so I am no longer at risk of breaking my neck every time I move around my workroom. I have completed my three books which will be … Continue reading

Did Shakespeare Ridicule the Working Man?

Here’s another piece from John O’London’s Unposted Letters. At first I thought the title was stupid – of course Shakespeare wrote of ordinary people, he is our greatest playwright, loads of working people used to pay to see his plays. But plays had to be licensed, and that meant sucking up to the powers that … Continue reading

The Battle of Banstead Commons, 1893

This is not a battle which many people are aware of, but it should be much better known, as the result was nothing short of a revolution in land use and access. Despite massive opposition from the lord of the manor in both houses of parliament, a thirteen year struggle in the law courts resulted … Continue reading

A Forgotten Corner of Bristol

Eric Gill (1882-1940) was one of this country’s finest sculptor, stone cutter, typeface  designer and printmaker, as well as having a truly strange and original life. This is from Ian Sinclair’s book, Landor’s Tower. “Douglas Cleverdon, Eric Gill’s patron, had a bookshop in a turning off Park Street, on the road to Clifton. Easy to … Continue reading

Fahrenheit 451 in 3 Minutes

This is a brilliant short animation based on Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451, sent to me by Jack Collins. It prvides both a summary of the story and an analysis of its main characters and themes. The book was written at the height of the McCarthy era in the states, but as our newspapers remind … Continue reading

English Literacy

In the bible of Bristol history, the 19th century journalist John Latimer claimed that most of the city’s inhabitants were ‘as illiterate as the back of a tombstone, but this changed dramatically in the succeeding decades, with many schools being founded, often by Non Conformists, especially Quakers. Carl Philip Moritz’s observations in London of 1782 … Continue reading

Watching the Storm

One of the essays I had to do for my masters was a discussion on Steinbeck, but doing my usual poking around, discovered he was almost the exact contemporary of Aaron Copland. I had read an article that criticised Steinbeck for changing his subjects all the time, but that is what I think makes him, … Continue reading

Kafka’s Kafkaesque Ending

One of the most infuriating things I sometimes find as a historian is when people order all their papers to be destroyed on their death. I have no idea why anyone would want to do this unless it was all idle scribblings, but if they are part of history that I am researching I just … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites: Oxfordshire

Slavery & Abolition Sites: Oxfordshire

Oxford All Soul’s Library The library was founded in 1716 by Christopher Codrington (1668-1710), whose grandfather had been a pioneer settler of Barbados.  In 1690 he was elected fellow of the college and awarded a BA in 1691; he was a friend of many Oxford wits and wrote poetry.  In 1700 he came into an … Continue reading