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19th century miscellany; cakes, cats and rants

Velvet hat lady of certain age and less certain maturity.

Particularly though not exclusively interested in the nineteenth century; also prone to ranting about my job hunt.

Masquerading as Susanna Lunden because someone once said I looked like her, which delighted me and bless her, she isn't around to object. We share a taste for extravagant hats and velvet.

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Necropolis, Glasgow, in snow.





Rattle his bones

Over the stones

It’s only a pauper

Who nobody owns

Words taken from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book - one of my absolute favourites. I had the poem inscribed on a set of four rings.



This is gorgeous. Also, I’ve been curious about something for a long time: where is that poem/song originally from? I know it appears in Ulysses but Joyce didn’t write it either…

When I was writing The Graveyard Book, I found it listed as a nursery rhyme in a book on English funeral customs through the ages. (Which one? I don’t know. I had a lot of funeral/graveyard books.) It may have originated with The Pauper’s Drive by Thomas Noel, although the way that Noel quotes it in the poem, it may well be that his refrain was borrowed from something already current. Many people, from Joyce to Morrissey, have used it, or bits of it.


“Pierre Testu-Brissy was a pioneering French balloonist who achieved fame for making many flights astride animals, particularly horses.”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.






Ed’s attempts to reach out to the Asian community doesn’t impress its target audience




You can see it in ed’s face that he is quickly regretting wearing it xD

Michael Faraday 22 September 1791 - 25 August 1867.

Portrait by Thomas Phillips, 1842. 


Michael Faraday Dies at Age 75

25 August 1867

Michael Faraday, one of the most influential scientists in history, died at the age of 75 on this day in British history, 25 August 1867. Faraday made many important contributions to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Faraday also served as the Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Remembering Michael Faraday, whose scientific discoveries changed the world, despite his having had almost no formal education….. in particular very little mathematical knowledge.  A lovely man as well as a great scientist. 

Anonymous Asked:
on a scale from 1 to 10, how obsessed are you with cats?

My answer:


a catrillion!!


Tagged as: me too!,

"I spent like 10 years of my life pretending to fly around on a broomstick and you’re asking me if preparing for a love scene was ‘tricky’ because the other person also had a penis?"

Daniel Radcliffe (via agiilebeast)


Excuses are boring.

Thanks for this lies, I need to follow this blog :)


Wladyslaw Podkowinski - Chopin’s Funeral March, 1894



Today’s top book news item:

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s rough memoir of frontier life, which served as the basis for her Little House on the Prairie series, will be published this fall as Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. The Associated Press reports, “The not-safe-for-children tales include stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey,” adding, “Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, herself a well-known author, tried and failed to get an edited version of the autobiography published throughout the early 1930s.” It will be published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press.

10/10 will read.

Oooh great, will have to wait for paperback or second hand copies, I’m broke!  Was amused and frankly rather scandalised to read somewhere on tinternet recently that Tay Pay Pryor, one of the mosquito screen wrecking drunks in Little Town, was actually Mary Power’s father!  Laura changed his name to avoid embarrassing the family. 


Before Moby-Dick there was Mocha Dick—not a coffee-chocolate phallus but “a real-life whale … who fought off whalers for decades before being killed by harpoon.” It was a magazine story about Mocha that inspired Melville to write his novel; now, in a new illustrated book, Mocha Dick: The Legend and the Fury, the original whale gets his due.

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
Born in a small village in Germany’s Black Forest, Franz Xaver Winterhalter left his home to study painting at the academy in Munich. Before becoming court painter to Louis-Philippe, the king of France, he joined a circle of French artists in Rome. In 1835, after he painted the German Grand Duke and Duchess of Baden, Winterhalter’s international career as a court portrait painter was launched. Although he never received high praise for his work in his native Germany, the royal families of England, France, and Belgium all commissioned him to paint portraits. His monumental canvases established a substantial popular reputation, and lithographic copies of the portraits helped to spread his fame. Winterhalter’s portraits were prized for their subtle intimacy, but his popularity among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as press releases, issued by a master of public relations.



"The mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness; this power arises from within, like the colour of a flower which fades and changes as it is developed, and the conscious portions of our nature are unprophetic either of its approach or its departure." 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry.

Romanticism was an attitude or intellectual orientation that characterised many works of literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, and historiography in Western civilisation over a period from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. Romanticism can be seen as a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealisation, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. It was also to some extent a reaction against the Enlightenment and against 18th-century rationalism and physical materialism in general. Romanticism emphasised the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.