Book review – Bodysnatchers by Suzie Lennox (2016). Digging up the untold stories of Britain's Resurrection Men This was my Christmas read, and one of the most enjoyable non-fiction books I've read for some time. A bit surprising given the subject matter; corpses, the desecration of graves and dissection of cadavers in Georgian era Britain.... Continue Reading →
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 →
Going, going … GONE! When is it acceptable to sell public art?
Going, going ... GONE! When is it acceptable to sell public art? It's happening more frequently than you might think. There was a time when I had assumed that once a work of art had been gifted or bought by a public art gallery, there it would stay (apart from loans and special exhibitions). Later... Continue Reading →
OTD in 1830 a poem was published, supposedly the first words ever recorded (1878)
On this day in 1830, a poem (later a nursery rhyme) Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Sarah Hale was published. Later in the decade Lowell Mason set the poem to a melody adding repetition in the verses. The poem was the first thing recorded by Thomas Edison on his newly invented phonograph in 1878... Continue Reading →
Proof we all have Victorian doppelgangers – spooky!
This is supposed to be a fun post, not serious research. However it is based on something that I'm interested in, the idea of the doppelganger (a ghostly double). See my previous post, 'Rossetti and the doppelgängers'. Every now and then, when looking at Long Victorian photographs and paintings, I see a face that immediately... Continue Reading →
Rossetti and the doppelgangers
A topic that I have been interested in for some time is the idea of the doppelgänger. And I’m not the only person to be intrigued by the notion of a mysterious double and what it might mean. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was fascinated by the possibility of the doppelgänger, the seeing of which is... Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →