Monthly Archives: October 2015

Object of the Month: October

Moving on from the edible apples of autumn, it’s appropriate to consider the golden apples of the Hesperides, which can be viewed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, down the road from the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge, in a small exhibition on … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art, Classics, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


Upon St Crispin’s Day, what better way to celebrate England than to go to the Apple Day at Cambridge University Botanic Garden? For the second time, I had the fun of being a helper, slicing fruit for tasting, and bagging … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: October

No difficulty in choice this month: the cyclamen, in all its varieties, is the outstanding plant of October. If asked to choose my own favourite flowering plant, I’d be torn between the cyclamen or the clematis (in all its varieties … Continue reading

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What do we mean by it? I was catching up recently with Amanda Foreman’s ‘The Ascent of Woman’, and was very disconcerted by two things in particular: firstly, the sudden leap (à propos ancient oppression of women) from the Assyrian … Continue reading

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Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Disambiguation, as they say on Wikipedia. This is not about the novel by the great Kate Atkinson (another Jackson Brodie! Soon! PLEASE!), but about the usually scruffy, draughty, unkempt warrens which tend to lurk behind many of our great national … Continue reading

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Printing With Muscles

Some months ago, I saw advertised – on Twitter, I think – a one-day course on printing on a wooden press (of the type Gutenberg would have used, it is thought), run by the Dürer Press Group, at the St … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, History, Literature, London, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments


This title immediately raises issues. If the first part of a two-word hyphenated phrase requires a capital, should the second part also be capitalised? I think it should, because ‘Copy-editing’ looks unbalanced to me, but on the other hand, if … Continue reading

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St Helena

I say St Helena, you say Napoleon, or possibly vice versa. It’s undoubtedly the case that this tiny and remote island is most famous because of its reluctant and ex-imperial guest between 1815 and his death in 1821. Large numbers … Continue reading

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My Favourite Potholes

To survive on a bike in Cambridge, ‘Cycle City’ of the Fens, it is essential to assume that all fellow road users – drivers, pedestrians and (especially) cyclists – are rude, unpredictable, illiterate and terminally stupid. (The last of course … Continue reading

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