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George III architectural plans

18 December 2014

The 1780s were very difficult years for George III. In addition to the political turbulence and the personal trauma that he suffered at the time of the loss of the American colonies in 1783, he had a period of severe...

The London Qazwini Goes Live

18 December 2014

In a previous blog (Fashion in 14th century Mosul) we wrote about three leaves loaned to an exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London from the British Library's copy (Or.14140) of the Arabic treatise ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt (عجائب المخلوقات...

A dish fit for the gods: 150 years of Offenbach’s ‘La belle Hélène’

17 December 2014

When in the 1690s the Académie Française was rocked by the so-called Querelle des anciens et des modernes between two factions headed by Nicolas Boileau and Charles Perrault respectively, history might have regarded it as a short-lived conflict unlikely to...

Santa Claus’s coming to Britain

17 December 2014

The modern Santa Claus originated in the New York area where he evolved from Dutch gift traditions surrounding St Nicholas. His name, spelt Sancte Claus, first appeared in print in a poem in the New York Spectator in 1810. But...

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