Artist David_Wilkie Painting The_Letter_of_Introduction

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 novel Pride and Prejudice was published (see below). And, to … Continue reading Painting: The Letter of Introduction (1813) by David Wilkie (we’ve all been in this room)

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. If I read a book and it makes my whole … Continue reading OTD d. Emily Dickinson – and the benefits of obscurity to a writer

Background 1950s graphic story of the Bronte family

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 things Victorian and I got my hands on a 1950s … Continue reading Three Sisters of Haworth, the Bronte family in wonderful 1950s graphic art

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: (i)  A ‘Flying Machine’! Never mind if it works, you’ll … Continue reading 10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

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

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!

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