Monthly Archives: July 2013

Historical Miscellany #24 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s cheese catastrophe

A letter from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Thomas Poole, 16 October 1797 Dear Poole, From October 1779 to Oct. 1781. – I had asked my mother one evening to cut my cheese entire, so that I might toast it: this was no easy matter, it being a crumbly cheese – My mother however did it […]

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Ecnéphia: Thunder, lightning and the Royal Baby

Yesterday morning as the press soared to new altitudes of excitement about the impending birth of a royal baby, Suzannah Lipscomb, the historian, asked: What would previous centuries have made of the omens of intense sun and thunderstorms as the heir arrives? #RoyalBaby — Suzannah Lipscomb (@sixteenthCgirl) July 22, 2013 After days of unusually hot […]

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Historical Miscellany #23 – Dew, Aristotle’s Explanation [c.350BC]

To fit this scorching summer weather I’ve picked a meteorological snippet for this week’s miscellany. In the fourth century BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote a fascinating tract, Meteorologica, explaining a wide variety of atmospheric phenomena, as well as earthquakes, shooting stars and other mysterious curiosities. His theories held for centuries after his death, although […]

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Tony Hogan – Ten questions for Kerry Hudson

Something a little different on the blog today. A year ago I met Kerry Hudson. We were both paddling in very much the same literary boat. It was about a month till our debuts were released. We had both been signed by the same publisher at pretty much the same time, and we were both […]

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Historical Miscellany #22 – Dream analysis [1909]

Dreams have long been pondered over. Here is a little analysis from the Wordsworth Book of Dreams, 1909. (Extract) Cocktail: To drink a cocktail while dreaming denotes that you will deceive your friends as to your inclinations and enjoy the companionship of fast men and women while posing as a serious student and a staid […]

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Historical Miscellany #21 – Photographic problems on Whitby Pier [1902]

A lively anecdote from the noted Whitby photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, published in Amateur Photographer on March 6th, 1902. “There are two piers at Whitby, which, though starting from points widely apart, almost touch each other where they end. The one pier is given up to fashion and frivolity, the other is deserted, except by fishermen […]

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