Monthly Archives: January 2015

Row, row, row your boat

It was January 100 years ago when things turned badly wrong for 28 or so British Antarctic explorers under the command of Ernest Shackleton. Nowadays people jog up Kilimanjaro for charity and text home while they are doing it, but … Continue reading

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Freie rede macht frei

First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for … Continue reading

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Don’t eat the green ones, or any other colour!

Buying sweets could be hazardous to your health. Eating blancmange likewise, as this cautionary tale from the Medical Times of 1850 shows:-  

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Indian hemp in a French café

Forgotten Books is a website that deserves accolades. Yesterday they despatched the bound volume of Medical Times for 1850. It has copious specific and detailed information covering so much of the small stuff of life and death. By that I … Continue reading

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Murder in Acton; the final act

My search for more information — truth if you will — about a local murder from nearly 200 years ago is ended. I wanted to find out about why a girl who once lived just yards from where I am … Continue reading

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More from the Little Cyclopedia of Common Things

More real life from the 1880s as told to readers of the Little Cyclopedia of Common Things, (see a previous post for more about the book), brought to you this time by the letter P. Every one a winner for … Continue reading

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Catherine Foster; the trial

The morning the Lent Assizes opened in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday March 27th 1847, 17-year-old Catherine Foster, dressed in deep mourning and ‘evincing little alarm at the awful position she stood in’, replied in a firm voice “not guilty” … Continue reading

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Catherine Foster; the inquest

Just to recap (though it may assist you if you read this and the next couple of episodes by starting from the previous blog), the God-fearing young farm worker John Foster, a one-time neighbour o’mine, swallowed poison from his wife … Continue reading

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