Author Archives: dgm

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...

Christmas Bills

This year’s festive tweet was a little different, I’d come across the poem while researching something entirely different. I’ve been working my way through Juliet Barker’s magisterial history of the Brontës, more as a way of understanding life in late … Continue reading

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The precariat of the nineteenth century …

T Today, we often talk about the precariat. However, there’s also a subtle shift underway in meaning – rather than simply gig workers such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders – increasingly the term precariat is applied to people in … Continue reading

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The Iconography of John Sobieski Stuart

In my previous post about the Sobieski Stuarts (and my non connection with them) I reproduced the above photograph, which is attributed to the noted early Scottish photographer, David Octavius Hill, who had set up a photographic studio with Robert … Continue reading

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Nothing to do with Bonnie Prince Charlie

Every so often I mess about with family history. Not seriously. Really I do it to keep my skills in tracing documents back through the archives up to speed and to practice reading nineteenth century handwriting. The only real mystery … Continue reading

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Did Charlotte Bronte smell?

When you visit old early nineteenth century houses one thing you notice is the absence of a dedicated bathroom. The Brontes didn’t have one in Haworth, nor did Hamilton Hume in Cooma Cottage. Privies, yes, sometimes, as can be seen … Continue reading

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Caribbean Slavery and the Highland Clearances

Back in August I wrote about how the payout from the emancipation of slaves in West Indies may have financed the development of the squatocracy and their landholdings in Australia. I’ve just come across an interesting discussion paper that argues … Continue reading

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The Port Fairy mailbox

Back in 2018, I wrote how there was still an early Victorian short door mailbox still in use in Port Fairy. At the time the mailbox was looking a bit faded and unloved, and in need of a coat of … Continue reading

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Sir Humphry Davy and Frankenstein

Humphry Davy, the noted chemist, and technology evangelist (satirized by Rowlandson above) was a friend of William Godwin, and was also known for his experiments with electricity, including building a truly ginormous voltaic pile around 1806. Remarkably, Davy was also … Continue reading

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Mary Shelley and the Bracknell vegetarians

In among other things, I’ve been continuing to delve into Mary Shelley’s time in Dundee. It’s all taken longer than I meant it to, in part because I bought a couple of books on the subject and one of them … Continue reading

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Collodion what?

Yesterday I was puzzling over the rise in the use of the word collodion as a term for early photographs. The term derives from the collodion process (or wet plate process) which allowed photographs to be made using glass plates … Continue reading

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