Category Archives: History

May 19

Oscar Wilde in Prison

On the 19th of May 1897, Irish writer Oscar Wilde was released from prison after serving a two year  sentence for criminal sodomy and “gross indecency”. He had to go through hard labor and major deprivation, a very problematic situation for a hedonist accustomed to his creature comforts. His experiences in prison were the basis […]

May 16

Teen Marriage: Marie Antoinette & Louis-Auguste

On the 16th of May 1770, the wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was held at Versailles in the Chapel Royal. Following three centuries of rivalry, France and Austria had finally become allies in 1756, so in order to cement their fresh diplomatic ties, Louis XV and the Empress Maria Theresa arranged the marriage of […]

May 13

Is God a Woman? The Visions of Julian of Norwich

Here is a vision shown by the goodness of God to a devout woman, and her name is Julian, who is a recluse at Norwich and still alive, A.D. 1413, in which vision are very many words of comfort, greatly moving for all those who desire to be Christ’s lovers. (Julian of Norwich, Showings) On […]

May 12

Florence Nightingale’s Dark Decade

On the 12th of May 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Tuscany, the city she owes her name to. She was a national heroine in her lifetime already, elevated to near sainthood by some and bitterly criticised by others. Much of this is due to the fact that this complex and dedicated woman had often […]

May 11

Inorganic vs Organic in Paul Nash’s ‘Totes Meer’

On the 11th of May 1889, British Surrealist painter and war artist Paul Nash was born in London. The older brother of the artist John Nash, he started his professional education at the Chelsea Polytechnic, from which he moved on to the London County Council School of Photo-engraving and Lithography. Eventually, after being spotted by […]

May 10

The National Gallery Before Trafalgar Square

“Monday, 10th of  May, 1824, probably did not strike contemporaries as especially notable. At the Guildhall Court ‘Eliza Cockburn, a rather interesting-looking girl, about 15 years of age, was charged with attempting to set fire to the house of her master.’ Kean was unable to appear in the title role in Richard III at Drury […]

April 21

The Myth of Romulus and Remus

Easter Quote Week continues… 21st of April 753 BC is the date traditionally recorded by Varro as the day when Rome was founded. It brings to mind the famous myth of the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, the alleged forefathers of the great city. The present version of the myth comes from the book entitled […]

April 19

The Mystery of The Shroud of Turin

Next in Easter Quote Week… Christian calendars refer to this day preceding Easter as Holy Saturday, when the Virgin Mary is assigned the title of Our Lady of Solitude, referring to her grievance and mourning following the crucifixion of her son Jesus Christ on Good Friday. Today we revisit the story of the famous  Shroud of […]

April 19

The Wobbly Beginnings of Motoring in Britain

On the 14th of April 1931, the first ever edition of the British Highway Code was published, sold for one penny and containing only 18 pages of advice! Some of it was directed at drivers of horse drawn vehicles to ‘rotate the whip above the head; then incline the whip to the right or left […]

April 16

Adler’s Bordello: Jewish Female Paths in America

On the 16th of April 1900, Pearl (Polly) Adler was born in Ivanava (Yanow), Belarus, as the oldest of 9 siblings in a traditional Jewish family. When she was 12, her father, a successful travelling tailor, decided to send her ahead as the first link in the Russian “chain emigration” to the United States to […]