Bookplates (4): Nathaniel Curzon 1st Baron Scarsdale

nc-bookplateThis week’s post about bookplates owes much to the research James Fishwick undertook when he was cataloguing the main library at Kedleston for the National Trust a few years ago. My own interest developed out of research into Kedleston’s library in its wider architectural context, as part of my MSc dissertation. Continue reading

Dead men talking: Conference in Belgium 21-23 October

The Three Living and the Three Dead

De Lisle Psalter; London, British Library Arundel 83, f. 127. ‘The three living and the three dead’. Image made available under a Creative Commons Licence.

Not so much a post about books this time, as a plug for a conference I’ll be speaking at in October. Before I turned to antiquarian cataloguing, I researched medieval attitudes towards the dead human body, so this is a brief foray back into the world of funerary contexts, socio-political and religious expressions, and cultural signification.

The conference is hosted by the museum of the Abbey of the Dunes and focuses on the results of research undertaken on a large number of burials from the monastic cemetery. It seeks to develop a comprehensive methodology for the future study of human remains and the life course in medieval Western Europe.

The conference programme can be downloaded from the museum website or here.


Of hermits and hermitages


Summer Hermitage from William Wrighte’s ‘Grotesque architecture’ (1767), from a digital copy of the 1790 edition at

For a while in eighteenth-century Britain, there was a real craze for ‘hermits in the garden’ among aristocratic landowners. Already before the early 1700s, it had been fashionable to add summer houses, gazebos and small ‘temples’ to landscaped country estates, but the hermitage added a new perspective to the mostly classical designs found in older gardens.  Continue reading