Premiere of Dumas' Monte Cristo at Théâtre Historique (1848)
Book illustrations, Book reviews, Dumas, Alexandre

Book review: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Book review – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844). A 1250 page adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (working with a collaborator), originally serialised in a French Journal between 1844 to 1846. I read the Penguin Classics edition with the Robin Buss translation. There is a limit to how many books you can read in a lifetime, so why not read the best or the most fun first? This one is a thumping good read and the ultimate revenge story. It is a tale that can satisfy the fantasies of anyone that has ever dreamed of winning the lottery. It is also the story of an individual victorious in the face of gross injustice, an evergreen theme ... CONTINUE READING

Image of empty art gallery
Art, Books & art, Curiosities, Paintings

A postscript to “Selling public art” – another sell-off

This is a short postscript to the last post, it's not going to be a regular theme. I prefer to focus on the positive, if possible. Another public museum is selling off art to pay the bills. Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts (USA) is selling off 40 of it's most notable paintings, sculptures and drawings -… Continue reading A postscript to “Selling public art” – another sell-off

Artist David_Wilkie Painting The_Letter_of_Introduction
Art, Books & art, Life in the Long 19th Century, Paintings, Readers reading

Painting: The Letter of Introduction (1813) by David Wilkie (we’ve all been in this room)

Today is the anniversary of the death of Sir David Wilkie (18 November 1785 – 1 June 1841). A Scottish painter. When I think of Wilkie, I immediately think of the The Letter of Introduction. The Letter of Introduction (1813) Readers reading series #11 The painting was completed in the same year that Jane Austen's… Continue reading Painting: The Letter of Introduction (1813) by David Wilkie (we’ve all been in this room)

Art, Brontë, Charlotte, Brontë, Emily, Collins, Wilkie, Dickinson, Emily, Famous and appreciated … too late, Graphic art, Orwell, George, Pre-Raphaelites, The Woman in White

OTD d. Emily Dickinson – and the benefits of obscurity to a writer

Emily Dickinson - and the benefits of obscurity to a writer Today is the anniversary of the death of the great American poet, Emily Dickinson (10 Dec 1830 – 15 May 1886). Another author from my 'famous and appreciated … too late' series. All quotes in this post are from Emily's writing, unless mentioned otherwise.… Continue reading OTD d. Emily Dickinson – and the benefits of obscurity to a writer

Background 1950s graphic story of the Bronte family
Art, Books & art, Brontë, Anne, Brontë, Charlotte, Brontë, Emily, Graphic art, Writers

Three Sisters of Haworth, the Bronte family in wonderful 1950s graphic art

Three Sisters of Haworth - a graphic story I have two interests that rarely get reflected on this blog. I collect/sell vintage prints (on a small scale) and I'm a fan of the world of speech bubbles (cartoons and graphic art). So I was delighted when my love of these collided with my love of… Continue reading Three Sisters of Haworth, the Bronte family in wonderful 1950s graphic art

Books & art, Curiosities, Designs & patents, History, Science & technology

10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

Yes - these are real Victorian design patents. We might laugh at some of them now, but they represent the hopes and dreams of a previous age. A design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. But enough of that, here are ten of my favourites:… Continue reading 10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

Art, Art movements, Baudelaire, Charles, Lloyd Webber, Andrew, Paintings, Pre-Raphaelites, Pygmalion, Shaw, George Bernard

The peculiar life & times of Flaming June: “The most wonderful painting in existence”

The peculiar life & times of Flaming June: "The most wonderful painting in existence". A world renown Pre-Raphaelite piece of art - that will take us from Clapham Common to Puerto Rico, but carefully avoiding Andrew Lloyd Webber's lefty granny.

Book illustrations, Books & art, The War of the Worlds, Wells, H G, Writers

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… Continue reading Happy 150th birthday, H. G. Wells!

Artefacts, Books & art, Curiosities, Life in the Long 19th Century

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… Continue reading Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive

Art, Books & art, Paintings, Shelley, Percy Bysshe, Writers

Painting: The Funeral of Shelley (1889)

'The Funeral of Shelley’ by Louis Édouard Fournier (1889). The Walker Gallery, Liverpool, UK. The painting depicts the funeral of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley on a beach in Tuscany (18 July, 1822). It is said by some that Edward Trelawny plucked Shelley’s carbonised heart from the ashes, but was eventually persuaded to hand… Continue reading Painting: The Funeral of Shelley (1889)