Monthly Archives: August 2020

Plant of the Month: August 2020

The name ‘acanthus’ was taken by Linnaeus from the Greek ἄκανθος, used by Aristotle among others to mean a prickly Mediterranean plant (today A. mollis), imitated in the Corinthian columns of Greek architecture; the related ἄκανθα means ‘thistle’. The family … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Italy, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | 5 Comments

The Eight Wonders of the World

One of the many ways in which my day job has changed during lockdown is that, instead of spending a lot of effort being polite to people on the phone, then slamming it down and shouting ‘Why don’t they look … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, Cambridge, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, The Netherlands, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Unhappy Countess

I was lured into reading about the melodramatic and unhappy life of Mary Eleanor Bowes (1749–1800), by the National Trust, who said, on its website on Gibside, one of her many homes, that she was a botanist. Further investigation revealed … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, Literature, London, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments