Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dr William's Library and Thomas Hollis

Went to a seminar in Dissenting Studies at The Dr William's Library in Gordon Square I listened intently as Professor Allen Reddick, Head of the English Department at Zurich University went through the story of how Thomas Hollis, a wealthy dissenter of the 18th century came to donate so many rare books to this lovely library. His hero was John Milton and Hollis' career followed Milton's plan for moral and religious service.

He inherited not one but two vast fortunes and spent his life sending books to institutions always with a view of promoting the freedom of religious worship. When Harvard College suffered the loss of it's library after a fire he restocked it.

Professor Reddick spoke about the lovely bindings of the books and the inscriptions written inside.

The Dissenters are a subject in which I would like to extend my knowledge.

Medicine Man

If you haven't been to The Wellcome Trust to see the exhibition Medicine Man then you really need to go. The sheer scale of  the artifacts collected by Sir Henry Wellcome is represented well. Audio user guides take you through the stories they have to tell.

It's a pleasure to visit The Wellcome Collections building and I rejoined the History of Medicine library whilst I was there. Well worth a day out and it's free.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Museum of London - Docklands

Last week, half-term, I took my daughter to the Museum of London - Docklands. What a treat! I must say it's one of the best museums I've been to. We each learnt lots. The layout and design is superb and the facilities first-class. On top of everything they have friendly, helpful staff and guides. Outside the museum, the area is amazing. I found it hard to believe how this area has been regenerated. The size of the buildings immense. And, it was all free as well. I shall be paying another visit soon.

Friday, 10 February 2012

History of Medicine

Attended an introductory course on the History of Medicine at The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London which was held over three days and was a real treat. Not only did we have excellent lecturers in their field but the ambience created in the Great Hall added to a ricly rewarding experience. I would like to study for the Diploma exam but other commitments don't allow at present. I'm working on it.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Charles Dickens' London

A treat from the Senate House Library Friends. Open to the public. A talk given by Emeritus Professor Andrew Sanders based on his book, 'Charles Dickens' London'. An added bonus was that Professor Michael Slater was also there. Two experts on Dickens. Consisting of slides depicting London from the 1790's. In 1820 London was a mish-mash. Only one interrupted main road from the city to the west end, streets just ended in a dead end. Buildings were hickledy pickledy. No planning permission required. These were the streets Dickens wandered through as a boy and young man. All that he saw was stored in his brain and became the storehouse from which he created his characters and novels. Reading Claire Tomalin's biography at the same time as Bleak House has given me a better understanding of the genius of this great man. A whole year of celebration ahead. Brilliant evening. Brilliant subject. More more.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

John Henry Haynes

Went to the Royal Asiatic Society on December 12 to witnes a talk given by Robert Ousterhout about a forgotten American archaeological photographer of the 19th century. John Henry Haynes' photographs were rediscovered when Mr Ousterhout commenced work at the University of Pennsylvania. Published by Cornucopia, I would definitely recommend this book. To see these sites before earthquakes and humans had taken their toll is truly fascinating.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Went to see Rosamund Bartlett and a couple of others talk about Chekhov at the Olivier Theatre. Interesting as I'm a big fan of Ms Bartlett. Her biography of Chekhov is an excellent read whilst her latest book explores the life of Tolstoy. I was also impressed by the National Theatre and their apex offer of £12 seats. Will be off to see The Cherry Orchard shortly.