Category Archives: Uncategorized

Have our Romans already departed?

Ah, the Dark Ages. That period in British history after the Romans went away where everything just stopped, or seemingly so. It didn’t of course. The record petered out. The accepted wisdom is that because people built in wood, drank … Continue reading

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The piratical eyes of the magnetic healer

Leamington is a quiet little spa town in Warwickshire near Stratford upon Avon. In the late 1880s it is not difficult to envisage how very Jane Austen it still must have been, with its Pump Room and all, though visitor … Continue reading

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I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled

Here’s a note of despair from, of all places, the Grauniad, that is to say an English Liberal newspaper, The Guardian, (once famed for its consistently poor proof reading hence the epithet). It ran a story yesterday that proves Western civilization … Continue reading

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The modern economy of time

You know nothing of progress until you know the 19th century. This was written in 1864. (‘Quicksilver on glass’ by the way is mirroring):-

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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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