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Christopher Fletcher rss

James Basire took a coach and four through early January snows in 1814 to attend his aunt's funeral. His record of that journey remains a thrilling piece of unmediated history.

Here, Mr Gove, is the thrill of raw, unvarnished history

4 September 2013 9:36

Our unrelenting appetite for historical drama is fed by a ceaseless stream of novels and dramatisations – usually, these days, something to do with those naughty Tudors. Perhaps it is… Continue reading

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The Guardian Hay Festival 2006

A Little Something: remembering Seamus Heaney

2 September 2013 16:59

‘So.’ So begins Seamus Heaney’s translation of ‘Beowulf’. I know it didn’t come easy to him. The morning after he had been awarded the Whitbread Prize for the work I… Continue reading

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Anon’s Baby Song; a lullaby for your baby tonight

11 June 2013 9:00

Writing, as I have done, about the Bodleian’s holdings of Jane Austen or Byron is all very well, but our most prolific author is Anon. He (or she) leaves his… Continue reading

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Jane Austen’s pinny

28 May 2013 9:30

This is the third entry in an occasional series by Christopher Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library. You can read the other instalments here. It’s almost two… Continue reading

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Lord Byron circa 1810, shortly after the publication of ‘Stanzas to [Mrs Musters] on Leaving England’, the poem which prompted his childhood friend Elizabeth Parkyns to write a savage riposte.

Taking revenge on wicked Lord Byron

15 May 2013 8:30

This is the second article in an occasional series by Christopher Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library. You can read the first instalment here. By 1814, two… Continue reading

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The ‘Catalogus Plantarum’ is an early botany book that urges its reader to walk in the British wild.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian

22 April 2013 13:28

Does monotropa hypopithys, or yellow bird’s nest, still grow in Mickleham, Surrey, in the woods once owned by Sir Lucas Pepys the celebrity physician who, in ministering to King George… Continue reading

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