Author Archives: carolinemmurray

George Claridge Druce

As far as I was concerned, until a few days ago, ‘Claridge Druce’ was a hardy geranium (indeed, I have heard it referred to as ‘Clarice Druce’, though not ‘Clarice Drudge’). Then I came across his name as the author … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Botany, Gardens, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Natural history | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Stones of Lecce

I think it is safe to say that 2022 was not a good year for the vast majority of people worldwide. My own issues will definitely sound pathetic by comparison with those of most people, not least the entire population … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art, History, Italy | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Thomas Spratt, R.N.

I discovered the other day that Thomas Able Brimage Spratt (1811–88) donated seven items of archaeological interest to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1853–4. I knew him as the author of a two-volume Travels and Researches in Crete (1865), which was … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Classics, History, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

William Crump and Others

23 October 2022 was Apple Day @CUBotanicGarden, and after the glorious warm sunlight of the day before, it was a bit disconcerting to be walking down Bateman Street to the back entrance, poised to take my place with my knife … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

More Palazzi

I have remarked in the past that for a person of my advanced age and  personal taste, the chief reason for being in Venice during the Biennale d’Arte (and this applies even more to the Biennale d’Architettura) is the opportunity … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Uncategorized, Venice | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The First King over the Water

On 1 August 1714, Queen Anne died, and as a result of the Act of Settlement of 1701, her second cousin George, Elector of Hannover, became king of Great Britain. Some factions were already yearning for ‘The King over the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Belgium, Biography, History, London, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


According to the National Geographic Society, a drought happens when: ‘Below-average precipitation affects the amount of moisture in soil as well as the amount of water in streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater.’ Alternatively, the United States Government says it is … Continue reading

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Another Botanic Garden

Coudeberg, Pierre Coudebergus, Petrus Coudenberch, Peeter van Coudenberg (Petrus) Coudenberg (Pierre) Coudenberg, Pieter Coudenbergh, Peter Coudenberghe, Peeter van Coudenberghe, Peter Coudenbergius, Petrus Coundenberg (Pieter) Koudenbergh Koudenbergh, Pieter are all the alternative spellings I have so far come across for this … Continue reading

Posted in Belgium, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | 6 Comments

Plant of the Month: July 2022

Three or four years ago, I bought a Phygelius capensis (Cape fuchsia or Cape figwort) at Cambridge market. It performed extremely well, and when I revolutionised the garden layout in January 2021, it was one of the plants which (to … Continue reading

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Two Duchesses (Part Two)

For those who are still with me, we now go back in time to look at the life and travails of Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma (1782–1824), queen of Etruria, duchess of Parma and duchess of Lucca. Her father was Charles … Continue reading

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