Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Naming of Birds

‘Oh look!’ I remarked, ‘There’s a great tit on the fat balls!’ My Canadian visitor sounded taken aback: ‘That’s not the sort of thing you hear every day!’ On the contrary, you hear it quite a lot in my house … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: November

It’s the beech! But why? Surely it’s at its best in spring, when the pale green, downy leaves unfurl from the elegant, tapering buds? At this time of year, buttery Gingko biloba, the exotic Osage orange, or even hazel, with … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: November

This month’s object is a bit of a cheat. It is held by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, but is not currently on display – nor, according to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, when he viewed it in 1833, should it ever have … Continue reading

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Ghostly Vegetables (Part 3)

Returning to Charles Jones, and the continuing existence (or not) of the varieties he chose to photograph, we have now arrived at flowers and fruit. Of the images selected to be shown in the book, there are twenty flowers and … Continue reading

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The Lord Mayor’s Show

Him Indoors was let out today (14 November) because he has a ticket for the Lord Mayor’s Show. For us non-Londoners, this is an event which falls sometime between Guy Fawkes and Advent, stops all the traffic in London, and … Continue reading

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Dried Flowers

Just back from a brilliant tour of the Cambridge University Herbarium, in the Sainsbury Laboratory next to, but not formally connected to, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Many thanks to Christine Bartram, the Chief Herbarium Technician, for making us so … Continue reading

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Ghostly Vegetables (Part 2)

Returning to the remarkable plant portraits of late Victorian gardener Charles Jones, I thought I would look at the varieties he photographed, and see whether any of those that he named still exist. (There are some generic labels, such as … Continue reading

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The Deluge of Time

‘Antiquities, or remnants of history, are, as was said, tanquam tabula naufragii: when industrious persons, by an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, History, Literature, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Ghostly Vegetables (Part 1)

The botanical theme continues, because I have just acquired a lovely book, The Plant Kingdoms of Charles Jones, by Sean Sexton and Robert Flynn Johnson, on the recommendation of the estimable Gentle Author, on whose blog you can see some … Continue reading

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