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Happy 150th birthday, H. G. Wells!

Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of H G Wells!  To celebrate here are four classic illustrations from his 1897 “scientific romance” War of the Worlds (see below). H.G. didn’t like the original drawings, so these are taken from the 1906 edition. Pen and ink drawings from Henrique Alvim Corrêa. I have a long history with H. G. Wells. I can’t remember a … Continue reading Happy 150th birthday, H. G. Wells!

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Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive

I recently learned that some of Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive. Researchers wishing to view them must sign a disclaimer. Many people know that Marie Curie won a Nobel prize for her pioneering research on radioactivity. But perhaps it’s not so widely known that she won that illustrious prize twice and, altogether, Marie Curie’s family won 5 Nobel prizes. Not bad going! High achievers, … Continue reading Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive

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What do your favourite books say about you?

What do your favourite books say about you? There is a quiz in The Independent newspaper that attempts to calculate how old you are based on your favourite books. Feel free to give it a try. As I mostly favour Long 19th Century books I was expecting it to estimate my age at about 150 but, disappointingly, it managed to correctly pigeonhole my decade. I … Continue reading What do your favourite books say about you?

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“Hoydon” – Victorian Words & Phrases #3

Hoydon = A romping girl. Definition taken from The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose. I only remember coming across the word “Hoydon” once, and that was in an early scene in Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy): They leant over the gate by the highway, and inquired as to the meaning of the dance and the white-frocked maids. The two … Continue reading “Hoydon” – Victorian Words & Phrases #3

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Charles Dickens anniversary – 31 quotes

Anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens Today is the anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens (b.7 February 1812 – d.9 June 1870). Dickens was a great Victorian novelist and the creator of an extensive range of vivid fictional characters. He was also a journalist, speaker and social critic. In his childhood Dicken’s father was imprisoned for debt and the 12 year old Charles was … Continue reading Charles Dickens anniversary – 31 quotes

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6 handy Victorian words & phrases you’ll need this summer

6 handy words & phrases every Long Victorian needs this summer No.6 “Bow wow mutton” Definition = ‘A naval term referring to meat so bad it might be dog flesh’. McBow-wow-mutton burger, chips and a diet coke, please – can you supersize that? No.5 “Ark ruffians” Definition = ‘Rogues who robbed, and sometimes murdered, on the water, by picking a quarrel with the passengers in … Continue reading 6 handy Victorian words & phrases you’ll need this summer

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Happy birthday, Thomas Hardy – 17 quotes

Happy birthday, Thomas Hardy! Today is the birthday of Thomas Hardy (b.2 June 1840 – d.11 January 1928). Hardy was a celebrated and influential English novelist and poet. And is a favourite of mine. Author of such works as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). And some fine poetry. Most … Continue reading Happy birthday, Thomas Hardy – 17 quotes