Tag Archives: history

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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A Moat Defensive

It’s a truth self-evident that history is about questions. Some of them have answers, such as when did so and so live or die. Some are Donald Rumsfeld’s known unknowns; we know that someone was Jack the Ripper but not … Continue reading

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Donald Trump’s hair peace

This may be the way that it was just before Rome fell. With barbarians cradling assault rifles at the gate, the commentariat wile away the time that is left to them by worrying themselves sick about Zwarte Piet-type problems. Zwarte … 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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‘The air of cities is less pure — more people breathe it’

Glancing through my Little Cyclopædia of Common Things, I have to acknowledge once again it’s the small stuff of history that gets forgotten. The Little Cyclopædia is not so little, by the way, stretching to nearly 700 pages. Mine is … Continue reading

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A pebble on his grave: Albert Grant 1831-1899

He was once so eye-wateringly rich, he bought Leicester Square when it was under threat of redevelopment, just to give it to the nation. Continue reading

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Zebras in harness

This is the main attraction. This was the story that first stopped me in my tracks taken from that page of The Graphic published that August Saturday 119 years ago. I was distracted by so many other stories on that … Continue reading

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Did Dickens steal Sam Slick of Slickville?

It was not looking like a success. It was meant to be an amusing satiric picture postcard of a book about the exploits of lower middle class sportsmen who aped their betters. The writing was merely meant to wrap around … Continue reading

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Jack Hargreaves; new viewers start here

Jack Hargreaves died 20 years ago. The name is so plain English. It is the sort of name you see rolling up the credits of a black and white movie from the forties. Jack Hargreaves is the source material of … Continue reading

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Short and sweet

Best four-line obituary ever? Not so much a death  notice, more like the beginning of a novel.

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