Yesterday I tweeted a short piece on Anna Sewell (1820-78), author of Black Beauty on the anniversary of her death. She was an English novelist, the author of Black Beauty. Born in Norfolk, England into a devout Quaker family. “It is good people who make good places.” It would be impossible for most people to read about Anna Sewell’s struggle to write Black Beauty without being … Continue reading Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) & other writers appreciated too late
Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien – 125 today If you have time today, raise a glass of your favourite beverage to “Ronald” Tolkien, philologist, and Oxford professor. 125 today. You might also know him as J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. And the man who wisely advised us to: “Never laugh at live dragons.” … Continue reading Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien – 125 today
Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894) Today is the anniversary of the death of Christina Rossetti, English poet. She wrote a variety of poems – romantic, devotional, and children’s. You might recall – Goblin Market, Remember, Love Came Down at Christmas and the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter. Love Came Down at Christmas (excerpt) Love came down at Christmas, Love all … Continue reading OTD d. Christina Rossetti
Vocabulary you’ll need to survive in Victorian London Perusing the Public Domain Review you may eventually stumble upon The London Guide & Stranger’s Safeguard against the Cheats, Swindlers, and Pickpockets (1819). ‘A comprehensive guide to help the unwitting visitor avoid falling victim to the various and nefarious crimes abound in early 19th-century London.’ The book features a useful glossary of key vocabulary to enable the … Continue reading Vocabulary survival guide for Victorian London
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?
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
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