Tag: history

Total 25 Posts

Paul Thomas Murphy: Shooting Victoria

British television has a lot to answer for. From “Upstairs, Downstairs” to “Downton Abbey,” it has perpetrated an image of “historical” Britain as a country filled with a loved, even revered, upper class that gracefully patronizes the lower orders, who in turn are thrilled to roll over and have their… Read more

Belinda Jack: The Woman Reader

At the beginning of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf made a case for a “Room of One’s Own” for all women, without which they could not become writers. Near the end of the century, Doris Lessing focused on readers. Libraries, she said, were the most democratic of institutions: there, no… Read more

Johann Zoffany, Royal Academy

Laurence Olivier once showed some visitors around the Garrick Club, pointing out the fine collection of paintings and ending with: “And now we’ll go to the dining-room to see the Zoffanys.” “Oh no,” protested his kind-hearted friend, “don’t disturb them if they’re eating.” For this probably apocryphal story to work,… Read more

Cleveland Street Workhouse under threat again

Below is a leter from the group that fought to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse, the sole surviving 18th-century workhouse, and a probable model for the workhouse in Oliver Twist. The building was indeed listed, but now it looks like the University College Hospital Trust is hoping that weather and… Read more

Slutwalks? You (haven’t) come a long way, baby!

Three thousand women turned out in London this weekend for a ‘Slutwalk’. This movement to assign responsibility for rape to its perpetrators, not to its victims, was triggered originally by a Canadian policeman, whose primary advice to women on how to avoid being raped was, ‘Don’t dress like sluts’. As… Read more

Editathon-ing away, the Victorians rule the waves!

Well, that’s a Saturday spent usefully. No, I haven’t joined the Boy Scouts — although it’s a thought. Instead I spent the day at a seminar organized by the British Library in conjunction with Wikipedia. From the BL’s point of view, it was a way of promoting its special collections… Read more
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