In 2016 Mozart Sold More CDs Than Beyoncé

Mozart tops the charts, despite inability to tour According to this piece in Atlas Obscura, the artist who sold the most CDs in 2016 wasn’t Beyonce, Adele, or Bowie … it was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). If true, that’s an impressive achievement given that the artist has been unable to tour for 225 years due to death. Academics have argued over the cause of the … Continue reading In 2016 Mozart Sold More CDs Than Beyoncé

OTD d. Christina Rossetti

  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 survival guide for Victorian London

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

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

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?

“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