Author Archives: ActonBooks

He dreamed a dream in time gone by

John Williams (no, not that one), died in April 1841. He was a miner. No, not that kind of miner. He was the Georgian epitome of success. It was said he employed 10,000 people in the tin and copper industry … Continue reading

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While you’ve a lucifer

The usual suspect book awards are lining up to give accolades to a novel about 18th century colonial New York entitled Golden Hill, by a British author, Francis Spufford. I cannot see why. Half-way through the book, I put down Golden … Continue reading

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Jemmy Wood the banker’s banker

He was not what you’d call a looker. In profile Jemmy Wood bore a passing resemblance to Mr Punch following a good lunch – but James Wood esq, ‘the eccentric banker, merchant and draper’ of the city of Gloucester, England … Continue reading

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The final act in Drama

Here’s one you may have missed. Firstly, it might make you smile that there is a town of 44,000 people in north eastern Greece where it meets Bulgaria called Drama. The story is a poignant Easter/Passover one of loss, isolation and … Continue reading

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Off with his ankle!

If you recently ate a meal that you’d rather not see back again, look away now. I say that because we are about to closely examine the festering old wound of Italian resistance partisan Giuseppe Garibaldi. The look-see at what … Continue reading

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This takes all the biscotti

From a British daily that once was listed in the realm of ‘quality newspapers’ but has descended the slippery slope of clickbait, The Daily Telegraph, today comes this howl-at-the-moon mad piece of over-interpretation of archaeology based on an agenda. We have previously ventured … Continue reading

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“She rode to town on her own horse”

Just a further thought on the “scandalous practice of wife selling” from the previous story. This idea of an auction was not any brutalising suttee of a marriage where women were subjugated by gnarly unreconstructed men who had tired of the old … Continue reading

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The end of an un-civil partnership

A note of a dubious anniversary from Robert Chambers, writing in his 1869 Book of Days, though history is full of these quasi-divorces throughout the 19th century. Usually they were surprisingly amicable affairs based on village common sense when a marriage … Continue reading

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Sanderson at the Langham Hotel

The Civil War was a memory. In the first five years after the war’s end many of carpetbaggers and scalawags had been found out by resentful losers reposed in the Southern States and so some of those northern infiltrators and … Continue reading

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Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble

Rome, that is to say ancient Rome “fell”. Every schoolkid knows that. But a thought occurs to me. Was it the hordes of heathens knocking at the gate that told Romans, in a manner not unlike Nicholson in The Shining that … Continue reading

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