Effects of Light and the Weather

We recently bought a rare first edition of a book illustrating the effects of light and the weather on the landscape. It reproduces landscape sketches by William Gilpin (1724-1804), an English writer on art, school teacher and clergyman. His picturesque books became very popular especially among amateur artists , though his didactic and pedantic tone grated […]

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Abolition of the slave trade

Tomorrow the 23rd August is the UNESCO International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/slave-trade-and-its-abolition/ I thought I would have a quick look at Hansard to see what was being said about the abolition of the slave trade and the following is an extract from 16th March 1807.

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National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day! I’d like to celebrate this event by showcasing how a poem can act as a link between nations, in this case between Scotland and Germany. In 1802, Walter Scott published his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Bk.5/1.3-4), a collection of “historical and romantic ballads, collected in the southern counties of Scotland”, as the subtitle said. […]

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Great British bed bugs

In the build-up to the London Olympics, with the invasion of Union Jacks, adverts for sport gear and energy drinks, have you considered another invasion – of bed bugs? The Australian bed bug epidemic was most likely to have been caused by the mass influx of visitors to the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Now London […]

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More Scott for Russians

We recently acquired two very rare translations into Russian of Walter Scott’s epic poems The Lay of the Last Minstrel and Rokeby. Scott was probably the most popular foreign author in Russia in the 19th century. The Lay of the Last Minstrel was first published in 1805. The Russian translation (RB.s.2828), in prose rather than verse, […]

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