Grin like a Cheshire cat…

The first publication to mention this eccentric image was the work of satirist Peter Pindar (the pseudonym of John Wolcot), who wrote A Pair of Lyric Epistles (1795) containing the line: Lo, like a Cheshire cat our court will grin! Seventy years later William Makepeace Thackeray in The Newcomes also …

Bad hair day….

Having a bad hair day- slang for a time when things are going badly undoubtedly had a limited currency before it reached a wider public. In an interview on Weekend Update, the American television journalist Jane Pauley mentioned having invented the term herself during the 1970s. But according to the  …

The Victorian Internet…

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web – which is the operating system upon which the internet runs – but what is less well known is that his invention was inspired by a forgotten Victorian bestseller. Enquire Within upon Everything was a ‘how-to’ miscellany that was first published in …

V for Vendetta……

Yesterday I was listening to  a choir sing some Renaissance madrigals on the ubiquitous Youtube channel. Among them was a song about how Italy was terribly oppressed in the sixteenth century. The country was exhorted to: Grasp, grasp, bold one, the righteous sword To avenge yourself of a thousand other …