Archive for March, 2010

Resource: When Horatio Nelson met William Garrow…

Garrow: “Is he a man, from your knowledge of him, likely to commit a deliberately foul murder?”
Nelson: “I should as soon suspect myself because I am hasty, he is not.”

No, this is not an excerpt from a future script of “Garrow’s Law” (*hinthint*) – it’s a quote from a historic document. In 1787 (if I read that correctly), Nelson gave evidence for one of his sailors and was then sworn-in and cross-examined by William Garrow.

Please click below to read more about this case at The Garrow Society:

GARROW AND HORATIO NELSON: THE TRIAL OF JAMES CARSE FOR MURDER

If you’d like to read the complete record of this case, you can do so at

THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE OLD BAILEY

I can’t be the only one who would love to see that case in on TV…!

29 March, 2010 at 8:16 pm 5 comments

TV Tip / Resource: “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” – BBC2

No, I won’t let the BBC’s choice of titles for its programmes ruin my enjoyment. The upcoming drama about the life of Anne Lister is called “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister”. Ok, ok, probably my fault that I think of Belle de Jour now, and I shouldn’t complain, seeing how they named their new drama about “the sex lives and love affairs of twenty-something lesbians living in contemporary Glasgow” – “Lip Service”. LIP SERVICE.  Head -> desk -> rinse -> repeat.

But back to Anne Lister:

“I love and only love the fairer sex and thus beloved by them in turn, my heart revolts from any love but theirs.”


Portrait of Anne Lister by Joshua Horner, ca. 1830

Anne Lister, 1791–1840, was a Yorkshire landowner, industrialist, traveller and diarist. She was also a lesbian who, despite needing to keep her orientation secret from society at large, defied the conventions of her times by living with her female lover.

I’m very excited that, for a change, focus of a period drama is on a lesbian character. Anne Lister is not the product of an author’s fantasy, but an actual historical personality, and this makes this twice as interesting. I don’t think we can really, from our modern point of view, fully appreciate how exceptional Anne Lister’s life and achievements were. Well done, BBC – I’m looking very much forward to this drama.

Maxine Peake stars in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, a bold and passionate new drama for BBC Two, written by Jane English and directed by James Kent. Cast: Anna Madeley; Susan Lynch; Christine Bottomley; Gemma Jones; Dean Lennox Kelly and Tina O’Brien.

“The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” is a 90-min. drama. No date available yet.

If you’d like to know more, here are some links:

Wikipedia on Anne Lister

Anne Lister on The Isle of Lesbos

Anne Lister on History to Herstory

24 March, 2010 at 1:16 pm 6 comments

Recommended pottery. No, really!

Regular readers of this blog will know how fascinated I am with Nelson-memorabilia. Nelson-in-a-jar, Nelson-umbrella-stand – I’ve seen it all. One of my favourites is still Nelson-and-two-officers-ride-to-the-zoo-on-an-elephant, though. That one was made by artist David Cleverly, whose work I really like for its humour and 18th-century-touch. Plus –

Darwin riding a dodo?

Napoleon and a walrus?

Nelson and his dog…?

If you’d like to have a look at the “Heroes Gallery”, please click HERE.

In other words: if I was rich, my place would feature a special shelf filled with these artworks.
Though, admittedly, some pieces might be a bit controversial…

12 March, 2010 at 11:14 pm 4 comments

Woof! A *really* old sea dog…

My cats might disagree with the following story – as a matter of fact, Charlie just gave me his most disapproving look – but for all of you who think that dogs are man’s best friend:

Mary Rose’s dog unveiled for the first time

The 16th century sea dog acquired the nickname [Hatch] after divers discovered her remains near the sliding hatch door of the ill-fated ship’s carpenter’s cabin, where she had lain since it sank in 1545.

And what about Hatch’s job aboard the Mary Rose?

The mongrel was most likely on board as the ship’s ratter – superstitious Tudor seamen did not have cats on board as they were thought to bring bad luck.

Ladies and gentlemen, Charlie just left the room.

12 March, 2010 at 12:57 am 4 comments

One step closer to a second series of “Garrow’s Law”…

… we’ll get there, eventually. The latest entry on Mark Pallis’ Garrow’s Law Blog gives reason for hope!

(If you’ve watched last night’s finale of “Being Human”, you’ll know that at least one lead character of “Garrow’s Law” should be available now for a second series…)

1 March, 2010 at 10:40 pm 4 comments


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