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Fleet Prison

Henry Howard in Fleet Prison

Fleet Prison, so-called because it  stood close to the River Fleet, was located just outside the medieval city walls, and is first recorded in the twelfth century. This building was burned down during the Peasant’s Revolt and its replacement was destroyed during the Great Fire. Read More

Tara and Nicki Browne

Tara Browne’s fatal accident: ‘Like a death knell sounding over London’

More than half a century on, though Sixties London may conjure up ideas of hedonism, rebellion and freedom, there was always a darker side to it. Death came for some, like Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones, while others, like Syd Barrett and Peter Green lost their minds through drugs. And yet it was an accidental death more than any other tragedy that symbolized the decade’s sense of Et in Arcadia ego. Read More

Tower of London

Chidiock Tichborne in the Tower of London

The Tower of London has held a number of notable prisoners, among them Sir Walter Raleigh, Samuel Pepys, and Anne Boleyn. A lesser known prisoner was Chidiock Tichborne, the author of our next poem, who achieved his fame not as a poet but as a member of a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and enthrone Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, in her place. Read More

Woodhenge

Circles and enigmas

Stonehenge may be the best-known Neolithic monument in Britain but it has never stood in glorious, awe-inspiring isolation. In fact, it is situated within what archaeologists call a ritual landscape, defined by Frances Pryor as a ‘concentration of funerary and ceremonial monuments that were constructed in the Neolithic (4000- 2500 BC) and Early Bronze Age (2500-1500 BC)’. Read More

Iver uncanny child

Iver’s uncanny children

‘Nevertheless, it is strange that many of us think much the same about Olympia. To us – pray do not take it ill, brother she appears singularly stiff and soulless. Her shape is well proportioned – so is her face – that is true! She might pass for beautiful if her glance were not so utterly without a ray of life – without the power of vision. Her pace is strangely regular, every movement seems to depend on some wound-up clockwork. Her playing and her singing keep the same unpleasantly correct and spiritless time as a musical box, and the same may be said of her dancing. We find your Olympia quite uncanny, and prefer to have nothing to do with her. She seems to act like a living being, and yet has some strange peculiarity of her own.’

(‘The Sandman’ – ETA Hoffmann)

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