The Quare Fellow…..

The greatest Irish writer of his generation who wrote the critically acclaimed Borstal Boy and The Quare Fellow described himself as “a drinker with a writing problem”. Raised on whiskey by his maternal grandmother because “it was good for the worms”, Behan achieved national notoriety with a series of drunken …

Public Impotency Trials

Apart from death, one of the few ways one could dissolve a Catholic marriage was proof of impotence. But how on earth could you prove it? .The only valid way at the time was to participate in a “public impotency trial” As bizarre as it may sound, church officials aided …

Hair……

I came across this strange photograph of a man and his rather odd haircut which made me think about hair and hair styles. It is probably fair to say that hair styles are a mirror that reflects individual, collective and stylistic histories. It is one of the only parts of …

The Great Grimaldi….

This is rather lovely! I was (once again) side tracked whilst doing trying to do some research by the curious story of Joseph Grimaldi (18 December 1778 – 31 May 1837). He’s commemorated in a little park just off the Pentonville road  where he is buried. Rather sweetly it features …

Naughty Lord Palmerston…….

Despite his ill-fitting false teeth and appalling bad breath, Britain’s prime minister was seemingly irresistible to women during the Crimean War. “Lord Cupid” as he was known in Parliament, fathered seven illegitimate children and once tried to bonk one of Queen Victoria`s ladies-in-waiting while he was visiting Windsor Castle. (He …