A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

23rd September 2021

Printed in Jedburgh in 1821, these poems were written by a Andrew Scott (1757–1839), a Scottish a shepherd boy who enlisted at the outset of the American War of Independence and served for the duration of the campaign.  Of the many poems he penned there, most were lost, but ‘The Oak Tree’ survived and is […]

Derbyshire on Dunstable

Derbyshire on Dunstable

16th September 2021

The town of Dunstable is not too far away from here in Chesham, just over half an hour’s pleasant drive through the northern part of the Chilterns, near where I grew up and past the wonderful Ivinghoe Beacon (the name of which is the source for Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe). While not a Buckinghamshire book, I […]

A sensible bit of paper

A sensible bit of paper

9th September 2021

‘Without a play-bill’, stated The Tatler in September 1830, ‘no true play-goer can be comfortable.  If the performers are new to him, he cannot dispense with knowing who they are: if old, there are the names of the characters to learn, and the relationships of the dramatis personæ: and if he is acquainted with all […]

One of 30 copies for the Queen

One of 30 copies for the Queen

3rd September 2021

This book (a first edition, privately printed on the Royal estate at Windsor) describes itself as ‘The gift of the Queen, to her beloved daughters, Charlotte Aug: Matilda.  Augusta Sophia.  Elizabeth.  Mary.  And Sophia.  And with Her Majesty’s permission dedicated to their Royal Highnesses by the Translator Ellis Cornelia Knight’ (p. [3]).  Cornelia Knight (1757–1837)—novelist, poet, […]

A female Romeo

A female Romeo

19th August 2021

One of the items in my recent Theatre list is this playbill, which advertises an important performance of Romeo and Juliet in 1832. If you look closely, you will see that the role of Romeo, ‘for this night only’, was taken by Ellen Tree (1805–1880; Kean as she subsequently became, on her marriage to the […]

The Cambridge Greek Play

The Cambridge Greek Play

12th August 2021

Yesterday I published my annual summer Theatre list, and I thought I would share here details of one of the items featured. It is a series of etchings published to commemorate the first Cambridge Greek Play, from 1883. ‘The tradition of performing a Greek play in Cambridge goes back to 1882, when the very first […]