The Art of Melancholy – Heni Talk

Last November I had the great pleasure of recording a condensed lecture of mine for Heni Talks, focusing in on the history and cultural associations of melancholy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As part of the lecture I also performed two pieces of lute song, with Soprano Faith Waddell, which brought the theme to…… Continue reading The Art of Melancholy – Heni Talk

‘Christmas Day’ – An Earl of Warwick’s Poem

Image: Portrait of a boy with a folio, Sir Joshua Reynolds, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Warwick. A religious poem transcribed from George Greville (1746-1816) 2nd Earl of Warwick’s poetry manuscript in the Warwick Castle archive. Christmas Day Hail the return of this auspicious day When to the throne of God we…… Continue reading ‘Christmas Day’ – An Earl of Warwick’s Poem

Is pleasure anything but a dream?

“One hears nothing of quarrels, nor murmurs there; it is the land of soft peace. The only noise that one hears is that of the river of forgetfulness, which flowing over small stones, makes a soft murmur that invites rest.” Ovid on Cimmeria the residence of Sleep I was recently shown a picture belonging to…… Continue reading Is pleasure anything but a dream?

Armour for Boys – Van Dyck & the Prince of Wales

Image: Prince of Wales, later Charles II, by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. Sotheby’s, London. Although it might be bewildering to modern audiences, princely armour made for children was fairly common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sotheby’s are auctioning off an outstanding Van Dyck in the upcoming Old Master Paintings sale of the eleven year…… Continue reading Armour for Boys – Van Dyck & the Prince of Wales

Tsars, Sultans and Emperors – An extraordinary tour

2019 is already shaping up to be a momentous year for lectures. I’ll be travelling far and wide to talk to various Arts Society groups and History Societies on various subjects. However, I am particularly thrilled to announce a particularly unique and new talk that will be taking place on Thursday 16th May 2019 at…… Continue reading Tsars, Sultans and Emperors – An extraordinary tour

Gainsborough’s Cittern (?)

Image: Sourced from the Telegraph.co.uk website. It was announced in the press today that an extremely fine ‘Lost’ portrait by Thomas Gainsborough is going on public display for the first time in 131 years. Identified as the artists’s daughter Margaret Gainsborough, the picture is believed to have remained in the painter’s possession and was in…… Continue reading Gainsborough’s Cittern (?)

Séance Transcript – Anne, Countess of Warwick

Image: Anne Greville (1829-1903), 4th Countess of Warwick. via OurWarwickshire. I’ve recently teamed up with the Warwickshire County Record Office and OurWarwickshire to share a fascinating discovery in the Warwick Castle Archive. Hidden in a wax sealed envelope, and stuffed in between a big bundle of receipts, were two unrecorded transcripts of Séances held by Anne…… Continue reading Séance Transcript – Anne, Countess of Warwick