Posts tagged with ‘C18th’

from The Spectator

The original Addison and Steele version of The Spectator from 1711, that is, which I downloaded from Project Gutenberg to read on my phone. I thought this was amusing:  As I was walking [in] the Streets about a Fortnight ago, I saw an ordinary Fellow carrying a Cage full of little Birds upon his Shoulder; and as […]


Antonio Cassano, the rebel genius who wants to live fast and die fat – Times Online “I spent the first 17 years of my life dirt-poor,” said Cassano, who was raised by a single mother in one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in Italy and said he is certain that had it not been for […]

Nature’s Engraver by Jenny Uglow

 Jenny Uglow wrote the excellent The Lunar Men, about the Lunar Society that included Josiah Wedgwood, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley and Matthew Boulton. Nature’s Engraver is a biography of the wood engraver Thomas Bewick who, born in 1753, was just about contemporary with those men. He worked in Newcastle at a time when it was just starting to turn from […]

Herba Parietis or the Wall Flower

The text reads: Herba Parietis or the Wall Flower As it Grew out of the Stone Chamber Belonging to the Metropolitan Priſon of London Called NEW GATE. Being A History Wch is Partly True Partly Romantick Morrally Devine Wherby A Marriag Betweene Reallity & fancie is Solemnised By Devinity Written By: I: B: whilst he […]

Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Today is William Blake’s 250th birthday. Happy birthday, William. The Chimney-Sweeper A little black thing among the snow, Crying ‘weep, weep’ in notes of woe! ‘Where are thy father and mother? Say!’ ‘They are both gone up to the church to pray. ‘Because I was happy upon the heath, And smiled among the winter’s snow, […]

George III and the Mad-Business by Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter

I highly recommend this fascinating book; it seems to be out of print, but there are lots of second-hand copies on Amazon. As the title suggests, it’s about poor mad George III. And even Americans, brought up to think of George III as a tyrant, might have a little sympathy for him after reading this. […]

Erasmus Darwin by Desmond King-Hele

This is a biography of Charles Darwin’s grandfather. He was a doctor by trade, and one of the most highly rated in the country, but was one of those classic Enlightenment figures whose interests included botany, meteorology, physics, chemistry, engineering, philosophy and just about anything else that came his way. And for a few years […]