Filed under Books

The Shipwreck of The Grosvenor 4 August 1782

The Shipwreck of The Grosvenor 4 August 1782

The East India Company’s Grosvenor was a three-masted, square-rigged, frigate-built vessel. She was built by Wells of Deptford and set off on her maiden voyage to India in 1770. Twelve years later, on her fourth and last voyage from Madras to England, she plowed straight into the African continent in the early hours of a stormy, misty morning. She … Continue reading

Victorian Cosmetics 2 – More Recipes for Unguents

Victorian Cosmetics 2 – More Recipes for Unguents

I’m adding one more recipe for a Victorian unguent from the wonderful Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness written in 1875 by Florence Hartley. I’m not sure that this one will be a great money spinner for me in terms of my post-retrenchment recovery plan, but the stories that come with it are fascinating – … Continue reading

Retrenchee Reads a Book of Etiquette

Retrenchee Reads a Book of Etiquette

I was retrenched this week. It’s quite a thing to say that out aloud. I don’t like it; it sounds dirty – stench, retrench. I prefer to think of myself as a retrenchee. It sounds exciting and revolutionary. Retrenchee and Trotsky met Frida and Diego for tequila in the smokey room. Yes, better. But, alas, I am not … Continue reading

Heights of History’s Heroes and Villains

Heights of History’s Heroes and Villains

I am reading a book called Mussolini’s Barber by Graeme Donald. In it, he mentions that Joseph Stalin was 5 ft 4 in tall. I don’t know about you, but this was rather a shock to me. When I looked into it, there does seem to be some debate about his actual height. What is certain, however, … Continue reading

Who Do You Think They Are?

Who Do You Think They Are?

Who comes to mind when I tell you the following? He was a middle-class London lad with serious aspirations. He studied in Paris. He had a penchant for wearing silks and furs and threw the most lavish parties in town. He had over 150 knights in his service. He owned six ships and was partial to blood sports. He … Continue reading

In Which I Trollin Through 17th Century Norfolk and A Dictionary of Middle English

In Which I Trollin Through 17th Century Norfolk and A Dictionary of Middle English

Trollin v., L.G. trullin, troll, roll, walk, wander, ‘volvo’ PR.  þus haþ he trolled (pple.) forþ þise two and þritti winter. I am reading a dictionary of Middle English and I am absolutely riveted. When the husband and children leave the house, I read it out aloud to myself and wonder if my most distant named ancestor John Thyrston or Johannis Thurston or Jno. … Continue reading