Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far, away I used to be a medieval historian. I still describe myself as that (“I’m a medievalist really”) when I can’t quite get my head round having written a book about a late Georgian subject. But my interest in 14th century history and 19th century Parliaments […]
The current terrible weather in the UK makes me long for the Med. Some of the best sunshine I’ve had in recent years was in December (yes, December) 2010 when I went on trip to Malta. Being reminded of this, and the fabulous flight over Sicily close to a snow-capped Mount Etna to get there, […]
As a friend who is a special collections librarian commented, “First edition, first issue in first state dust-jacket”.
One Hundred and Fifty-One Years ago today the huge Tooley Street fire of 1861 began. As the excellent @londonhistorian pointed out earlier today, this was the fire which led to the creation of the first public London Fire Brigade in 1866, and was the “greatest” fire in London since 1666. The fire is famous for a number of reasons, including […]
Earlier this week I gave a micro-lecture at an event to celebrate Dickens’ connections with Parliament, and I reproduce some of it here. Having had an indifferent education up to 12 and then famously being put to work in a boot-blacking factory by his feckless and Micawber-like father, Dickens joined a solicitor’s office at the […]
This is what happened when I put the whole text of The Day Parliament Burned Down into Wordle! Click to enlarge…