Category Archives: Biography


Alas, and thrice woe (from my point of view anyway), this is my last ever blog for the Cambridge Library Collection. I now slip away into the sunset, leaving others to ramble on (or, even better, write snappily and coherently) … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Astronomy, Biography, Cambridge, Classics, Earth Sciences, Fiction and poetry, Gardening, History, Language and Linguistics, Life Science, Literary Studies, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Printing and Publishing History, Travel and Exploration | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spring and Port Wine

 … is the name of a play and then a film about Bolton, in northern England. However, I’m borrowing the title because I’ve just spent a few spring days in (O)Porto, where the wine comes from. My Portuguese vocabulary has … Continue reading

Posted in Art and architecture, Biography, Gardening, History, The Naval Chronicle, Travel and Exploration | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Wit and Wisdom of the Rev. Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith is described in his ODNB entry as ‘author and wit’, which somewhat overlooks the day job as a clergyman. In the two-volume ‘life and letters’ published in 1855 by his daughter Saba (a name he invented himself), she … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, English Men of Letters, Literary Studies | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Diary of John Evelyn

One of my vital tools as a scribbler of blogs on books is a little pack of those things – I don’t even know what they are called – which you can stick on to a page to mark a … Continue reading

Posted in Art and architecture, Biography, English Men of Letters, Gardening, History, Literary Studies, Travel and Exploration | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Illustrations of Roman London

Charles Roach Smith was born on the Isle of Wight in 1806, and reared by his mother and older sisters after his father’s death when he was six years old. He was educated in Hampshire, and then brought back to … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art and architecture, Biography, History | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments