Tag Archives: British

We’re Not Kyding, Tom

On this date in 1593, London playwright Thomas Kyd was arrested and tortured by the Privy Council for libel. Advertisements

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Dinah Mulock Craik Was Born on This Date


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“He Was Dull in a New Way”

On this date in 1775, Samuel Johnson makes the following assessment of poet Thomas Gray: “Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull every where. He was dull in a new way, and that made people think … Continue reading

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D.H. Lawrence Disses Arnold Bennett

On this date in 1928, D.H. Lawrence writes a letter to Aldous Huxley in which he calls Arnold Bennett a “pig in clover.” Bennett dies on this same date in 1931 after contracting typhoid. He had drunk contaminated water in … Continue reading

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Was William Blake Overworked and Underpaid?

On this date in 1823, William Blake agrees to engrave the Inventions to the Book of Job. He’s paid a whopping £5. Despite this, the engravings are widely considered to be masterpieces of Blake’s engraving skill.

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“The Most Obnoxious Person Almost in England”

On this date in 1728, the Beggar’s Opera author John Gay writes to Jonathan Swift: “For writing in the cause of Virtue, and against the fashionable vices, I am lookt upon at present as the most obnoxious person almost in … Continue reading

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Fielding Charges Cibber with “Murder”

Writing under the pseudonym Captain Hercules Vinegar, Justice of the Peace Henry Fielding brings poet laureate Colley Cibber to court for murdering the English language.

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Royally Indulged

On this date in 1672, Charles II of England issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgence, extending religious freedom to Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists in his realms.

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Sir Walter Scott Throws Some Shade on Himself

On this date in 1826, Sir Walter Scott compares his work to that of Jane Austen: “the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting . . .is denied to me.”

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Vita Sackville-West Was Born on This Date

English poet Vita Sackville-West was born on this date in 1892.

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