Menu
Cart 0

Autograph of the Week

Adolphe Sax's wonderful invention

Posted on

How many of you recognize the name of Ambroise Thomas?  To the more dedicated music lovers, his name will probably ring a bell. Aged 60, Thomas was appointed Director of the Paris Conservatoire. Throughout his working life, he produced opera after opera - twenty-four of them in all. Some were very popular in their day, but that phrase "in their...

Read more ›


Letters for International Women's Day

Posted on

The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. In Britain, Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday as it is known here) is celebrated in March – this year, it falls on the 26th. And all over the world, women have been celebrating their achievements and working towards their goals, so it seems a good time to reflect on the lives of...

Read more ›


A helping hand

Posted on

It is very obvious that there are more and more people today who need a helping hand. Whether you look close to home, at the elderly lady next door who can't quite manage to carry her shopping, or the growing number of homeless people in major cities all over the world, or the mother desperately juggling a part-time job, looking...

Read more ›


Courage in Times of Turmoil

Posted on

There can be little doubt that 2016 will go down in history as a year of seismic change. I won't try to list the changes here, it would take too long. One of the defining factors in this year is that it did not affect just one little corner of the world; the shock waves were felt everywhere.It has happened...

Read more ›


Have you written your Christmas cards yet?

Posted on

Well, have you?  I haven't. I have a pile of lovely cards, still wrapped, sitting reproachfully on my table. This is the time of year when most of us veer between having fun and feeling stressed and harassed in the extreme. There is an answer to all this, of course. Noel Coward wrote a song about it and called it...

Read more ›


Women in turbulent times

Posted on

There is a Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. "Interesting" seems an understatement for the times we live in today and, as far as I know, the Chinese sages gave us no practical guidance as to how to deal with interesting times. History is more likely to provide a precedent. And when it comes to upheaval, the quarter century...

Read more ›


The details of history

Posted on

Autograph collectors collect in different ways, for different reasons. For some it is a matter of finding one really interesting letter or document by a series of major figures.  Others collect all the letters they can find from one person who excites them. Others focus on a series - Prime Ministers or Presidents or Monarchs. Still others will focus on...

Read more ›


Easter 1916

Posted on

This year marks the centenary of the Easter Rising. In many ways, the dust has barely settled on this event. For many, it was the Queen's visit to Ireland in 2011 that marked the most significant emotional turning point in the relationship between the two countries. But go back to 1926, a mere ten years after the Rising, and you...

Read more ›


In praise of Mothers

Posted on

In Britain, Mother's Day is celebrated in March; in the United States and much of Europe, it is celebrated in May. But whenever we choose to mark the day, Mother's Day is an occasion to remember and celebrate everything mothers have done for us, and the mother love that prompted those actions. The French Enlightenment, and the works of Jean-Jacques...

Read more ›


Who would you like to see around today?

Posted on

There is supposed to be a Chinese curse which says "May you live in interesting times".  There is no denying that these are interesting times. In fact, you might think that the world has gone mad, everything is in chaos, and where will it all end? This is not the first time people have felt this way. The 1640s saw a...

Read more ›


It's time to start thinking of your New Year's resolutions!

Posted on

Christmas is almost upon us, with its Christmas stockings, cards, presents, dinners, parties ... and exhaustion. No sooner have we got over that exhaustion than it is time to start all over again, with parties heralding the start of the new year, its hopes and good intentions. Russians, observing the Orthodox calendar, would celebrate New Year a fortnight later, as...

Read more ›


Snooper's Charter? How they did it in 1805...

Posted on

There's been a lot of talk in the media about government "snooping" into private lives, from the revelations of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, to the current debate raging in Parliament about the "snooper's charter". Is this all new?  The internet and social media may have added another dimension to this, but from a historical perspective, it was ever thus. If...

Read more ›


Back to the top