Sunday, 30 November 2014

Isle of Wight photo tours - Victorian-style

With the sheer ease of photography nowadays, it's easy to forget the complications that the hobby presented in the late 1800s. I just found a nice batch of Photographic News articles in which amateur photographers of the time describe their Isle of Wight visits. The details are sometimes geeky, but often interesting in their descriptions of the technical problems and general impressions of the Wight by Victorian photographers.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Kestyns of Cather Castle

Further to the brief comment in Carisbrooke Castle #1, I just checked out Robey F Eldridge's 1897 The Kestyns of Cather Castle, a novel by an Isle of Wight author, which turns out to be available as a PDF from the British Library.


I love it when memories drop into context, years later. On the bus yesterday, I was talking with Clare about school memories, and a recollection surfaced: How Supersmart ate the Elephant. This is a story concerning a jackal who finds a dead elephant, but is unable to bite through its hide. He succeeds eventually, by variously tricking other animals who come along. It's a good yarn, and I Googled it when we got home.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Carisbrooke Castle #1

We visited the Isle of Wight at the weekend, and despite a poor prognosis for the weather, Saturday 15th turned out to be a beautifully fresh and changeable autumn day, and we went to Carisbrooke Castle (for me, this was a revisit after a gap of around 50 years).

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Imitation Game

Further to the post That is All You Need to Know, we just went to see The Imitation Game, the historical thriller based on Alan Turing's central role in the cracking of the German Enigma code in World War 2.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Annals of the Poor

I've resisted reading the Rev Legh Richmond's 1814 Annals of the Poor, as it's a compilation of classic 19th century pious literature - not my cup of tea at all. However, it's also a classic of Isle of Wight literature, with ties to real locations and people, so I thought I'd finally give it a go.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stephen Reynolds in Sidmouth

An edited cross-post from the Devon History Society site: The Great War: Stephen Reynolds in Sidmouth was a Sid Vale Association talk by Dr Nigel Hyman, exploring the little-known contribution of Reynolds (best known for his semi-autobiographical account of Sidmouth fisher-folk, A Poor Man's House) to the organisation of the inshore fishing industry during World War One. I dug into some background about Reynolds' life and works, and found some nice images in his 1910 Alongshore.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

1873 ads: a selection from Shaw's

A nice crop of adverts from the 1873 Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight. Unlike the locally-targeted ads in Shanklin Spa: A Guide to the Town and the Isle of Wight, these are general-purpose ones that must have appeared in the whole UK stable of Graphotype-illustrated Shaw's guides.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The lucky escape of Kerenhappuch Newnham

Parachute Petticoat trope
A steep flight of steps scales the cliffs, along which the pedestrian may proceed, and from which he can get a very extended view; but he will have to be careful, as not long since a girl, named Karanheippuck [sic] Newnham, was blown from the cliff, but her clothes, becoming inflated, broke her fall, and she alighted unhurt on the shore below, and was afterwards known as "Happie Ninham."

Monday, 3 November 2014

Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight

A pleasant set of images from Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight (pub. London, The Graphotyping Company, Limited, 7, Garrick Street, W.C. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., Stationers' Hall Court, 1873).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Southlands: Puseyites and Polynesian princesses

A bit more about Southlands, the long-disappeared marine villa at Blackgang, Isle of Wight: one segment of its short history links in to the story of two notable figures in Victorian Anglo-Catholicism, and that of a tragic exchange visit.