Monthly Archives: June 2017

The cad’s brother

  In a Berlin art museum there is a portrait of a family assembled around a rotund, modest-looking little German man. He is uncomfortably seated, apparently shifting his weight. Standing about him is are his English wife, his sons, daughters … Continue reading

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Lock Up Your Daughters

I’d like to introduce you to Thomas Napper and his nemesis, Ferdinand Philip Fischel Strousberg. Their story is at the creepier end of plots labelled ‘psychological drama,’ but it was real life and publicly played out in England during the … Continue reading

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‘No profit grows where is no pleasure taken’

It is not a rose glow view of history that holds as fact that during the 19th century the world’s financier was, without doubt, Britain; that is to say London; that is to say The City; that is to say … Continue reading

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To set the whole world ‘a-gadding’

You know nothing of progress if you do not know the 19th century. Let us think for a moment about railroads. Before they came, most rural Europeans lived and died within 20 miles of where they were born. Not because … Continue reading

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They walked on water

You know nothing about progress if you do not know the 19th century. In 1818 the first tiny 90 ton steam powered vessel, The Rob Roy, began using its 30 horse power engine on regular trips from Greenock in Scotland … Continue reading

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Captain Hornblower or Jack Sparrow? You decide

There are contrary versions of this story. One has a man who thought he could ride on the coat-tails of an illegal scheme, who got caught and rightly, though severely, punished. The other version says that an ambitious but innocent … Continue reading

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Another Italian job

This is taken from a California paper from 1855. If you can get past the blatant sexism of the age in parts (handing back the wife to her father, etc), it’s very like a Saki short story. Maybe it is … Continue reading

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An Italian honeymoon ends in tragedy, 1824

Source: An Italian honeymoon ends in tragedy, 1824

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Looking for a new hobby?

There’s a Brit named Tom Jackson who buys picture postcards — mostly from the sixties and seventies — from garage sales, thrift shops and car boot events. He then puts the picture postcards into the ether via Facebook with just … Continue reading

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