"The vicissitudes of old books furnish a romantic chapter in the history of literature. About the end of the eighteenth century, the library of an old Lincolnshire house was overhauled by someone who weeded out a lot of what he no doubt considered rubbish. These were destroyed, except for a few which were begged by the gardener, who probably wanted them to use as stands for plant-pots, or to give a false air of literary distinction to his cottage."
--- J. Arthur Hill, 'Old Books and their Printers', The Imprint, 17 June 1913, p 407.

This periodical celebrated the beauty of good craft for its own sake as well as for the benefit of the businesses of its readers, but it seems the appreciation of good printing could not be expected from all. (in this case 'The Book of St Albans', which came into the possession of Thomas Grenville a few steps after the gardener, and is now in the British Library.)
sir_guinglain: (PitWheelWoodhorn)
( Aug. 9th, 2016 04:30 pm)
"Mind Dickie teks things varry literal. He's watchin' Ted Heath mekkin a speech at the Convarsative Conference when it was on the telly. "We must, we must" sez Ted "Wage war against poverty". So Dick gans strite oot and shoots a tramp."
---Dick Irwin and Scott Dobson, Geordie Laffs (Newcastle: Frank Graham, 1970) p. 9
"As the antients had their Capitoline and their Olympian Jupiter, so we had our virgin of Winchester and our virgin of Walsingham: and as there were temples to the Capitoline Jupiter in other places, as well as on the Capitoline hill, and one at Athens in particular; so we had places dedicated to the virgin of Winchester, in other places as well as Winchester; and one at Oxford in particular. The society at Oxford (to which I am obliged more than I could easily express, for passing the best part of my life, in a most agreeable manner) was established before the light of the Reformation had begun to dawn on England; by one of the noblest patrons of learning, that ever was. As he was, in those times, bishop of Winchester, he founded a seminary there; and a college to be supplied with students from it, at Oxford. This college, at Oxford, was dedicated Sanctae Mariae Wintoniensi; and both of them are called, the two St. Mary-Winton colleges, on some occasions, to this day."

---Joseph Spence Polymetis (1747), p 48 note 7
"Time-serving reviewers, those sensitive registers of the day-to-day changes in current and temperature, no longer invite their readers to sneer at Mr. Leavis, and Cambridge seems to be becoming increasingly aware to whom it owes its international reputation for English studies. The Leavis case is fortunately the rare one of the obnoxious character holding on until in the course of time it has become apparent that he is a great man and must be admitted, however reluctantly, into the fold, if only to avert scandal."
---H.A. Mason, 'F.R. Leavis and Scrutiny', The Critic, 1/2, Autumn 1947, p. 21
"be ashured I shall give my consent to mary to no man till I be tuenty yiers of ag, and then I hop in God I shall not be in great danger of bearing bairns. I got word from Dr Waderburn that if I maried now I should haserd both my oun life and my chyld's".
--Margaret Leslie, countess of Leven in her own right, to her aunt Catherine, countess of Melville, 31 July 1673. Lady Leven was right; she was forced by her tutor (guardian) the earl of Rothes to marry his nephew, and died the next year soon after the birth of a child who did not survive. See Scots Peerage, vol. 5, p. 380.

(posted elsewhere yesterday; apologies for the repetition)
In seventeenth-century Britain a change from one denomination to another threatened not just eternal damnation but damage to one's material condition in the present. This was especially true in Scotland where the identity of the Scottish Church was more contested than it was in England and the elite arguably broader and more fissured. In 1688 Walter Ogilvy, Lord Deskford, eldest son and heir of James Ogilvy, third earl of Findlater, converted to Catholicism from the (then episcopal) Church of Scotland. This is how his father warned his younger son James (later first earl of Seafield and eventually fourth earl of Findlater) about the danger his eldest son posssessed, and how they needed to rapidly exclude him from inheriting the family estates:

I cannot but desier you to remmeber to consult your bussines of the convayence of my esteat in your person; for although Walter be nou in my house, yett be his still frequenting the Popish chappell and continouing in odd and most unacountable actions, ther can be no good expected of him so ye need to be the mor circumspect in garding your selfe against his evell.

---The Correspondence of James First Earl of Seafield, pp 42-43

(Charles II appears in the userpic in the absence of his brother James VII and II, then reigning.)
For Brasenose, Robert Hewison and Michael Palin produced John Mortimer's radio play Call Me a Liar. A slight school-of-Billy-Liar piece, Philip Hodgson played the anti-hero Sammy Noles amusingly, a compulsive a defensive liar who is finally redeemed by the love of Martha Heinz. Good attention to detail, marred only by a recalcitrant moustache. Ingeniously staged with a three part revolving set.

Of Teddy Hall's production of the third act of Dannie Abse's Fire in Heaven, I hardly know what to say. I suppose the piece was as well-performed as the last death-rattle of a worn out verse convention allows.

---David Wright, Theatre, Isis 20 November 1963.

I cited Teddy Hall as there's a strong possibility Ian Marter was in that production, but I need to research further.
From The St James's Chronicle or British Evening Post, 27 December 1764:

"We hear that there are Cabbage Roses now blown in the garden of Mr. Snelgrove, at Heytesbury, as beautiful as if it were the Month of June."
sir_guinglain: (George head)
( Oct. 13th, 2010 05:45 pm)
From the Public Advertiser, 2 November 1779:

"The following melancholy Accident happened at Durham on Wednesday the 6th inst. Matthew Carr, of Ryehope, Esq; who had been attending the Sessions in that City, after going to bed fell into a Dream about Fox-hunting, and supposing he was taking a flying Leap after the Hounds, the Force of Imagination acvted so powerfully on him, that he jumped out of the Window of his Bed-chamber, and unfortunately broke his Knee-pan, which brought on a Mortification, and he died the Monday following. He was a Gentleman in the Commission of the Peace, and greatly respected."
Not only does this review article, of Lesley Chamberlain's Lenin's Private War, seen on Arts & Letters Daily, provide more context for Lenin's infamous remark that 'The revolution has no need for historians,' but also sketches the cultural importance of philosophy in Russian political history. While the parallels the article makes are general and almost inevitably given the length of the review, a little caricatured, it reminds me of many of the gaps in my own education - in philosophy, for example - but also of the difficulties the western European left had in coming to terms with the (Bolshevik) Russian revolution and its consequences for hopes of civil liberties and the rapid narrowing and stifling of discussion about what a society that supposedly had more respect for 'human' values than others ought to be like.
sir_guinglain: (Argue mainly)
( Jul. 25th, 2007 04:11 pm)
From the introduction to the second edition of Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution, 1872:

Some part of the difference between England and America arises
undoubtedly not from political causes but from economical. America
is not a country sensitive to taxes; no great country has perhaps
ever been so unsensitive in this respect; certainly she is far less
sensitive than England. In reality America is too rich; daily
industry there is too common, too skilful, and too productive, for
her to care much for fiscal burdens. She is applying all the
resources of science and skill and trained labour, which have been
in long ages painfully acquired in old countries, to develop with
great speed the richest soil and the richest mines of new countries;
and the result is untold wealth. Even under a Parliamentary
government such a community could and would bear taxation much more
easily than Englishmen ever would.

Bagehot thought that the United States was happy with a government enjoying vast surplus revenues, where the United Kingdom (or, as he called it, 'England') would force, and had forced, government to use it to abolish income tax and lower other duties, intolerant of the potential for what modern political discourse likes to call 'big government', a fear absent, he believed, in the United States, though it was a discipline he thought they should learn for the good of their future economic development.
London Chronicle, no. 758, Tuesday 3 November 1761 )


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