Captain Cook and Doctor Priestley: A Library Tale for Our Times

This comes from a really excellent blog run by Leeds Public Library. Think of the 1770s as part of a very long 19th century!

The Secret Library | Leeds Libraries Heritage Blog

Heritage volunteer Tony Scaife imagines a secret meeting of great minds in 18th century Leeds…

Having borrowed a copy of Peter Whitley’s Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America from Leeds Libraries, I became intrigued at the similarities between the 1770s and today. As his many Whig critics claimed, Lord North’s bungling government negligently lost of the American colonies, and with them the potential economic resources of an entire continent.

Similarly, our present government, with its party lineage stretching back to Lord North, is not without its Remainer and Brexiteer accusations of incompetence and bad faith. The pledge of a ‘global Britain’ with worldwide free trade agreements certainly has echoes of the late 18th century search for a second British empire; whilst, then and now, though for different reasons, the news from America tends towards the disturbing.

Amidst all these anxieties and complexities, public libraries, as they have…

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