Monthly Archives: March 2017

Plant of the Month: March 2017

I have to confess that I had hoped that the Persian ironwood tree, Parrotia persica, had obtained its botanical name (first applied by C.A. von Meyer in 1831) because it was observed to be a favourite perch for parrots, but … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Exploration, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

First Catch Your Unicorn

After reading a depressing story about the number of songbirds illegally netted on the British RAF bases in Cyprus, in order to create a dish sanctified (as the hunters claim) by centuries of Cypriot ‘culture’, I was thinking back to … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, History, London, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Object of the Month: March 2017

Would you give a home to one of these things (assuming always that you had the space)? I used to think that I wouldn’t – overblown, grotesque, quite unsuited (except in the most utilitarian terms, i.e. they have holes and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Cambridge, History, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments


The first edition of Pompeiana by Sir William Gell and J.P. Gandy was published in parts between 1817 and 1819. As is remarked in the preface: ‘Pompeii was begun upon in 1748; and it may at first excite our surprise, … Continue reading

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