Monthly Archives: December 2016

Fame, what you need you have to borrow

“Died last week, at her lodgings, near the Seven Dials, the much-talked of Mrs. Mapps, the bone-setter, so miserably poor, that the parish was obliged to bury her.” London Daily Post, 22nd December 1737. Mrs Sarah Mapp had a brief flirtation … Continue reading

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You say ‘tomato’, Hester

The great observer of Norfolk and Suffolk speech patterns, Reverend Forby, back in the 1830s observed that we may have been mispronouncing Miss Prynne’s name — at least according to the East Anglian dialect of the Pilgrim Fathers:-

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Sad Evening Primrose

There aren’t many practical archaeologists who are also published poets. Let us celebrate the life of Nina Frances Layard (1853-1935). She was the first elected woman Fellow of the Society Antiquaries. She was a foundation member (and President 1922-23) of … Continue reading

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The moment in the rose garden

Reading in an old archaeological journal from 94 years ago (as you do), about the discovery of a complete Neolithic bowl fished out of the River Thames, it gives a fascinating insight into the ways that historians and archaeologists impose their … Continue reading

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The night sheep saw an angel, maybe

  The Christmas carol does not take a view about shepherds who were “watching their flocks by night”, but watching your sheep has to be a good thing. Maybe on one particular Saturday night certain English shepherds weren’t doing enough … Continue reading

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Dancing your way out

Dancing your way out of poverty and oppression might seem just a bit Billy Elliott. But for at least a couple of families of East European Jews (separated by generations, but with the same impetus), it was not so much … Continue reading

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Marvellous… if true

“When I was younger …sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” The White Queen I’d like to think I am as cynical as one can be without being antisocial. I distrust conspiracy theories and yarns about … Continue reading

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