Archive for May, 2010

“The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” is NOW on BBC2

Stop reading my blog and switch on the telly.

THE SECRET DIARIES OF MISS ANNE LISTER

is NOW on BBC2. It will be followed by documentary “Revealing Anne Lister”.

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.

What the hell, BBC! I’m a regular viewer, and I haven’t seen ONE trailer, NO promotion at all. What’s the point of such a production if you don’t promote it?! Did somebody get cold feet?

Massively Miffed Molly here!

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31 May, 2010 at 9:43 pm Leave a comment

Art: Maritime Dioramas

I’m currently working on a diorama which will eventually house my navy dolls (among them Admiral Lord Collingwood, also known as Old Cudd(l)y). That’s the perfect excuse to have a closer look at a fascinating sub-category of model making: maritime dioramas.

A diorama is a three-dimensional miniature model, sometimes inside a glass case or dome. If we go by that definition, we could say that bottle ships are the most popular and best known dioramas. I don’t know where the following comes from, and it’s probably not the type of bottle ship you’re used to, but you must admit: it’s amazing.

Sailors often spent their spare time with carving or model making, and of course they drew their inspiration from their environment. Some dioramas show ships, others scenes of daily naval life. Here you can see a wonderful example, dating back to the Napoleonic wars and of British origin, showing French prisoners of war. If you look very closely, you can see that one man in the diorama is working on a ship model – so it’s a model-in-a-model. Amazing detail and exquisite work, but at the same time, also a very touching historical artifact sized 12 x 4.5 x 6 inches.

The diorama above comes from OneOfAKindAntiques.com – to see more dioramas, enter “diorama” in the search box and hit enter. You’ll be shown the dioramas which are currently on sale. To see all items, you’ll have to check the “search archived/sold items” box in the top right corner and hit enter again. It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s not, and trust me, it’s worth it.

Model making was also a way for prisoners of war to pass their time and maybe earn a little money by selling their artworks to the locals. The following diorama is the work of a French Prisoner of War during the Napoleonic Wars. It shows the model of a 76 gun ship of the line and was made in ca. 1800 and measures 15 x 7 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches.

This diorama here is absolutely stunning. Again the work of a French POW, it’s carved from ivory and measures 10 1/4 x 4 x 8 1/4 inches.

If you should ever visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, please make sure that you’ll see the dioramas they have on display. Some of them feature glass paintings which, if a candle is lit behind the case, gives a convincing illusion of movement. They are far more luxurious and glamorous than the models you can see in this post, but it’s probably the work of the ordinary sailors who gives us the  most accurate portrayal of daily life.

If you’re curious now and would like to see more, here are some links for you:

Maritime dioramas at Clipper Maritime Antiques

Tall Ship Museum in Hamburg / Germany: Slide show of over 50 maritime dioramas

Maritime dioramas at Land and Sea Collection

28 May, 2010 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

Official word on second series of “Garrow’s Law”

Mark Pallis, the Legal & Historical Consultant on “Garrows Law”, posted the official news today on

HIS BLOG: “GARROW’S LAW”

If you haven’t done so, try to catch up with his previous entries.

Here’s a big thank you to the BBC! Huzzah!

If you’re curious to learn more about 18th century crime, law and discorder, I can really only send you over to Old Bailey Online, one of the most addictive websites for historical geekery.

Back in autumn on BBC1: William Garrow (Andrew Buchan) in "Garrow's Law" - still answering autograph requests from series one...

11 May, 2010 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

Garrow’s Law: Dumbarton, we have a second series!

The morning paper brought intriguing news for Mr. Garrow…

“Andrew Buchan will return as pioneering barrister William Garrow in another four-parter with creator Tony Marchant leading the writing team. The shoot – in Dumbarton – begins in the summer and you can expect it on BBC1 at the end of this year.”

– Feedback page, Radio Times (1 -7 May, 2010)

(Many thanks to Viktor’s Lady, Camille and Liz Hanbury for the heads-up!)

“I admit that there were moments of great worry concerning our future, Mr. Southouse. Whatever took them so long to make a decision? And pray tell, why only four episodes?”

“The BBC had to cut our budget in order to purchase more bow ties for The Doctor and hire bodyguards for Graham Norton.”

“In that case, I shan’t complain. Money well spent, I’d say!”

Meanwhile, at the BBC…

“Fine! Fine! I give in! You’ll get your second series of “Garrow’s Law”! Now let me go, you blasted womenfolk!”

5 May, 2010 at 8:54 am 3 comments

Find your way around this blog or “Where are the screencaps?!”

I noticed that there’s some confusion regarding the content of Joyful Molly here on WordPress and Joyful Molly on Livejournal. People are looking for content that’s not here and wonder if I’ve deleted entries. So I thought I’ll explain this for the “newbies” and hope this will make  navigation easier:

You can find everything posted here on WordPress (WP) also on LiveJournal (LJ), but not vice versa.

Here on WP, emphasis is on research and all things 18th century (art, fashion, customs, science and more), Age of Sail etc.

Reviews of movies, books and TV shows are only posted here on WP if they have historical content.

Examples: you can find my reviews of “Garrow’s Law” here, but not my thoughts on “Being Human”. Jack Davenport in “Mary Bryant”? Here. Jack Davenport in “FlashForward”? There. If you’re looking for screencaps of James D’Arcy in “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” or Andrew Buchan in “The Fixer”, you’ll have to head over to my LJ. Or, in pictures:

WORDPRESS:

LIVEJOURNAL:

All my “non-historical” interests are hosted on LJ as well. WordPress is my library and Livejournal my living room. All entries are tagged, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find what you’re looking for.

Also, I’m currently in the process of re-organising the resource list; it will stay here on WP but navigation will be far easier, and I’ll also weed out some dead links.

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask; I usually don’t delete entries, so maybe it’s just not here.

Confusion complete? Great!

1 May, 2010 at 12:13 am 3 comments


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Being one amateur historian's exploration of the 18th and 19th centuries.

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