This week the internet has kindly given us an article about terrifying Victorian Vibrators.
Also, New York Public Library is making the papers of Timothy Leary available for research. So if anyone fancies going to the Big Apple to research the LSD guru, now’s your chance!
There was a time when the Victorians were viewed as the uncomplicated heroes of a glorious age. All that changed on the publication of Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey in 1918. Continue reading
I’ve just discovered a brilliant website devoted to William Topaz McGonagall, a nineteenth-century Scotsman, widely hailed as the worst poet in the English language. All his poems are mind-bogglingly terrible. His best-known poem is ‘The Tay Bridge Disaster’. It starts:
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.
and it only gets worse after that! The site has all McGonagall’s dreadful poems and is packed with interesting information as well. Visit if you want a good laugh.
Squashed into a corner of postman’s park in the city of London is the rather forlorn ‘memorial to heroic self-sacrifice’. It consists of a wall of ceramic tiles, each one commemorating someone who gave their life to save others, hiding under a little roof like an upmarket bus shelter.
Memorial in commemoration of heroic self sacrifice
100 years ago, Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of Whitechapel, doing his grisly work. You can read all about it in real time on twitter.