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 …

The peculiar Dorothy Paget……

The Honourable Dorothy Paget (1906-1960) was one of the most successful owners of her era. In all, her horses were to win a total of 1,532 races on the flat and over the jumps, including winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup an incredible seven times, plus owning the winners of the …

Shakespeare, Onions and Sex…….

Shakespeare was rather keen on onions.Let me explain… In the ‘ Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Bottom gives final directions before presenting a play before the Duke and his party, tells them to go home and attend to this, that and the other, and says : ” ‘And most dear actors eat …

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 …

Let`s hear it for Norman……..

Dear old Norman Wisdom. For many of us , this unsophisticated comic represented something inexplicably special. We grew up with him always on TV and in black and white films, low budget slapstick comedies that defined an era. At the age of 13, after a bad childhood, Wisdom was homeless …

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 …

How to speak Art Gallery…….Chiaroscuro and Pentimento

CHIAROSCURO : Literally means “bright-dark” in Italian and describes the technique, in painting or drawing, of modeling three-dimensional figures by contrasting or gradating areas of light and dark. Leonardo da Vinci was among the first to use chiaroscuro to break out of the tradition of flat, one dimensional outlining of …

Monty Python and the me generation……

I saw an article recently in the Daily Telegraph that modern audiences would now be left baffled by the humour in Monty Python film The Life Of Brian – because they have such ‘poor religious literacy’. The article goes on to say that some Engish teachers had commented that nearly …