Thursday, 24 April 2014

Spindler's list

Sorry, more DWM - but I just found out more about the career of William Spindler, the German industrialist who figures large in the Isle of Wight Undercliff's 19th century social circuit.  But Ventnor was the final destination of a far darker story of the dangerous political climate of Bismarck's Germany.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Almost Fairyland

A couple of times I've mentioned here a classic and very scarce Isle of Wight book, the privately-circulated 1914 Almost Fairyland: personal notes concerning the Isle of Wight, written by John Morgan Richards, the American ex-pat businessman who retired to Steephill, near Ventnor. I'm pleased to say that I finally got to read it.

Monday, 21 April 2014

DWWW: part 1

JSBlog has had a bit of a DWM (Dead White Males) bias lately, so here's a compendium of DWWWs (Dead White Women Writers) from The Picture Magazine, Vol 3, 1894. Published by George Newnes from January 1893 to June 1896, The Picture Magazine was quite an innovative format for its time, in being simply an eclectic mix of captioned images.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Mrs Aberdein's Papyruseum

Pursuing the trail of enigmatic references... RS Kirby's 1820 piece on Robert Coates mentions that "Mrs. Aberdeen exhibits his curricle in her Papyrueism, and her rooms are crowded almost to suffocation, with the world of taste and fashion. We understand that Mrs. Aberdeen has refused an offer of fifty guineas, which was made her for this elegant little model of Mr. Coates's fancy, alleging that she could not think of lobbing her exhibition of one of its greatest attractions."

Saturday, 19 April 2014

"While I live I'll crow"

I just checked out the reference to the architect John Foulston "emulating the renowned Romeo Coates in the singularity of the vehicle which served him as a gig" in George Wightwick's 1857 Bentley's Miscellany piece "Life of an architect" (see Imaginary prison and an elephant portfolio). The person in question was the famously eccentric dandy and actor Robert Coates (1772-1848).

Friday, 18 April 2014

Imaginary prison and an elephant portfolio: more on Foulston

Another highlight from John Foulston's 1838 The public buildings erected in the West of England as designed by John Foulston F.R.I.B.A.: his rejected design for Bristol Gaol. He was sore about the rejection, and shows it.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Building the Devonport Column

Wikimedia Commons
I've not yet visited the Devonport Column, which has now been open to the public for nearly a year. But last year I had a look at John Foulston's The public buildings erected in the West of England as designed by John Foulston F.R.I.B.A. (1838), which has some background: "The manner of raising and setting the stones, in the erection of the Devonport Column is, he [the author] believes, perfectly novel, and will not fail to interest the young practitioner".