Category Archives: Italy

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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Two Duchesses (In Two Parts)

I have to say that I am getting a bit fed up with the after-effects of Covid – eight weeks after I first tested positive and had very mild symptoms, I am still feeling exhausted and completely brain-fogged, hence the … Continue reading

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Saint Pantaleimon

We’re recently back from a week in Venice, where the weather was glorious, and we spent a lot of time in churches, not least because some seem to be open now which never, ever, were in the last twenty years … Continue reading

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Jane Dormer

Back in the autumn, I had the happy experience of wandering around the Palazzo Ducale at Mantua, drooling over the Mantegnas, though rather less appreciative of the efforts of Giulio Romano. More rooms are open than the last time we … Continue reading

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The Nuremberg Hesperides

This blog was going to be called ‘The Hand of Buddha’, but, as so often, one thing led to another. The inspiration was found in the Chinese herbal garden at the Hortus in Leiden, which was in good autumnal form … Continue reading

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Edward of Windsor

I have written before (twice) about the tombs inside SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, but on our visit a few weeks ago, Him Indoors pointed out something we had missed on many previous occasions – on the wall of … Continue reading

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Titian in the Malverns

We recently had a very few days in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a tiny bit of Shropshire, a lovely wallow in nostalgia for me, and a bit of a revelation of the counties’ beauty for Him Indoors. (A further revelation was … Continue reading

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St Jerome

One of the Christmas gifts which I most appreciate every year is a diary from the National Gallery, donated by family members who understand that, as senility advances, I really do need to write down what (if anything) I have … Continue reading

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The Dunnock

In my distant youth, the dunnock was a hedge sparrow, a rare and exotic visitor to a garden in which the (totally boring) house sparrow predominated. Sixty years on, I get moderately excited at the arrival of house sparrows, whereas … Continue reading

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Songs of the Nativity Revisited

A few weekends ago, I was multi-tasking between Christmas cakes and reshelving books, with the Advent Service from St John’s on the radio, when I picked up William Henry Husk’s Songs of the Nativity, the cover of which is one … Continue reading

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