Category Archives: Snippets

A Sneaky Assistant

Snippets 165. One of the most brave and remarkable explorers in British history was the relatively little-known Lucy Atkinson (nee Finley).  During the late 1830s and early 1840s she worked as a governess in St Petersburg, where she met her … Continue reading

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The Clog Almanac

Snippets 164.  An early form of calendar used in England, amongst other countries, was the “clog almanac”.  It was described in detail in The Book of Days (1864) by Robert Chambers, one of the great pioneers of the trivia book.  … Continue reading

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Thirteen O’Clock

Snippets 163. One of the great pioneers of the trivia book was Scottish Author Robert Chambers (1802-1871), who edited The Book of Days, from 1864. His work is packed full of fascinating information, and the following quote is taken from the … Continue reading

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A Grumpy Serenade

Snippets 162. When American Thomas Rees went on a tour of Europe at the beginning of the 20th Century, his journey concluded in Britain, the birthplace of his father. His account of his travels was published under the title Sixty Days … Continue reading

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A Night of Chaos

Snippets 161.  In 1815 George Head, the assistant commissary-general of the commissariat of the 3rd division of the Spanish army, undertook a journey across North America, snappily titled Forest Scenes and Incidents in the Wilds of North America, Being a … Continue reading

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Quarantined in the Port

Snippets 160. In 1817 Henry Matthews went on a “tour in pursuit of health”, and wrote about his experiences in Diary of an Invalid, in 1820. His first port of call was Lisbon, and from there he travelled to Italy, … Continue reading

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Inspired by the Past

Snippets 159. Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German lyric poet, whose words were set to music by composers including Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. In his memoirs, published posthumously in 1884, he mentions his uncle, who was a source … Continue reading

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