Tag Archives: London

Telling ‘Sarah’s Story’ – finding truth in family history

It is some time since I have written on the history of my family, or on history in any sense really. I am deep into the process of finalising a manuscript that will be published in the next few months – … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, London, Mental health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

An Islington murder

Or should I say, TWO Islington murders…. Readers of my blog might know that I have been undertaking research on the area around Clerkenwell and Islington generally as I work to understand the life my London ancestors led. I have … Continue reading

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Calling Clerkenwell home – roots in roguish & revolutionary soil

The line between ‘family’ and ‘social’ history is becoming ever more blurred. For me, studying my tree has always been more about the history surrounding the lives of my ancestors than finding each and every distant relation. I know I … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The mystery of the missing grandmother – or ‘O Bessie. Where Art Thou?’

I wrote this post last year and although I have recently discovered a little more about the strange dynamic of the Hardiman family I still cannot trace my Grandma. There are hints that as ‘Bessie’ she might be the daughter of her … Continue reading

Posted in Family History, History, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sir Robert Peel, riots & the role of the police. Why ‘zero tolerance’ shouldn’t be tolerated…

I have thus far resisted the temptation to rant about the riots and the response of both politicians and the press. As a Londoner by birth I was deeply depressed at the site of many of my old North and … Continue reading

Posted in History, London, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The poetry of London: Wilfred Owen and the Ghost of Shadwell Stair

Wilfred Owen is, for many (including myself) the greatest poet of the First World War. Memorable works such Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth are part of the GCSE syllabus; Owen himself features in Pat Barker’s Regeneration … Continue reading

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Wordsworth, Whistler and a Waterloo Sunset – the beauty of London Bridges

  The Thames is a river that takes me on imaginative journeys, some of them reflecting my real life and others a dream world that I have inhabited regularly since I left London in the late 1980s. From the Oxfordshire … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, London, Music, Poetry, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Keats at Guy’s Hospital part 2 – An education in horror

Looking at the National Health Service today, it is clear that despite economic constraints it offers a standard of care that renders incomprehensible to us the dreadful conditions under which people of all classes were treated in the early 19th … Continue reading

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The Clerkenwell Outrage of 1867 – Irish Republicanism in London

In 1868 Queen Victoria wrote a disturbing note to the then Home Secretary. She was deeply unhappy ” to see the failure of the evidence against all but one of the Clerkenwell criminals… it seems dreadful for these people to … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘This enormous Babel of a place’ – On learning of London before the Victorians

I have recently been looking into the history of London between 1810 and 1830 to add some context to my blog posts on the poet John Keats. It is a period in the history of the metropolis that I have … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Keats, Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments