Author Archives: allennz

Darwin was wrong

It sometimes seems that whether a person who was well known in their lifetime remains famous or becomes a footnote of history is a matter of luck. Victorians might be surprised by many of those who have survived history (and … Continue reading

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Victorian Vegetarianism

In the 19th century, vegetarianism was linked to a much more radical agenda which incorporated not just health issues but moral, spiritual and political agendas. In the UK the Vegetarian Society was set up in the 1840s and while the … Continue reading

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Book of the Month

I need to declare a conflict of interest here. Chapter 11 is by me: Agitate, Educate and Organize: Radical Networks in New York in the early 1880s. Featured is the founding footnote of this blog – John De Morgan – … Continue reading

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

Originally posted on 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…

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Cartoon of the week

This is one of a curious set of cartoons done in 1852 by Charles Heaphy, relating to New Zealand’s gold rush. Heaphy (1820-1881) was an English-born New Zealand explorer and first soldier of the New Zealand armed forces to be … Continue reading

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Something completely different

This is from the collection “Illustrations from the Lights of Canopus” (1847) which can be found at the wondrous Public Domain Review website: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/illustrations-from-the-lights-of-canopus-1847/ The Anvār-i Suhaylī or Lights of Canopus — commonly known as the Fables of Bidpai in … Continue reading

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Book of the month

This excellent piece of historical detective work shows that 19th century scoundrels are an international phenomenon. Thomas Guthrie Carr – who “lied, fought and sleazed his way around Australia and New Zealand between 1865 and 1886” – lived on the … Continue reading

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History rhyming again?

An 1896 Judge magazine cartoon which has William Jennings Bryan- a Presidential candidate – and the Populist Party swallowing  up the mule representing the Democratic party. A reminder that Populism can take many forms, across the political spectrum, and emerges … Continue reading

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Charles Augustus Howell

  A portrait by Frederic Sandys (1882) One of my favourite Victorian scoundrels and an inveterate footnote of the period is Charles Augustus Howell. He is actually quite well-known – notorious – but mostly because he regularly features in the … Continue reading

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Cartoon of the Week

Facebook didn’t invent the cute animal and the cat in charge.

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