Category Archives: History of Reading

#beggarsbelief

I have not been very good at updating my blog recently – between marking, my admin roles, and my desire to finish my next monograph (more about that anon!), there simply has not been a lot of spare time. Will … Continue reading

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Love, death, and blissful ignorance: Pliny and the origins of photography

Pliny the Elder, ancient Rome’s great encyclopedist, did not, of course, describe the origins of modern photography – a technique and art that was greatly advanced in Reading, Berkshire, by William Henry Fox Talbot (as described in this wonderful book). … Continue reading

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Lesser Known Ballads (and Other Art Work) of Reading Gaol

Built in 1844, HM Prison Reading (also known as Reading Gaol and famous through Oscar Wilde‘s poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol) was decommissioned in 2013. Since September 2016 the prison has opened its doors to the public for the … Continue reading

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Sex, Gender Roles, and Hatred

In 1908, Edith Morley was appointed Professor of English Language at University College Reading – the institution that eventually became the University of Reading. Professor Morley’s autobiographical sketch, ‘Looking Before and After’ was recently published as ‘Before and After: Reminiscences … Continue reading

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Of Arms … Errr: Biscuits I Sing!

Regular readers of my blog will know of my interest in the local history of Berkshire’s county town of Reading. I could not have been more thrilled, therefore, when I went through my University’s archive catalogue and found a record … Continue reading

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Sneaking a Peek at Reading Abbey

Recently, I have not found as much time to write pieces for this blog as I used to. Summer term – exam period  at Reading – is upon us, and in addition to that, I have been very busy working … Continue reading

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Restoring a Ghost Inscription from Reading

I have deep respect for the immense learning, skills, and achievements of many of my academic teachers as well as other scholars with whom I was fortunate enough to cross paths at various stages of my professional life. An example … Continue reading

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Reading’s Latin Inscriptions

May I be forgiven some shameless self-advertising? My latest book has just been published by Reading’s wonderful Two Rivers Press! The book contains an anthology of 48 Latin inscriptions that are on display in Berkshire’s county town of Reading (as … Continue reading

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Children, Love, and Memory

Reading’s magnificent Saint Laurence church houses many a Latin inscription, some of which date back as far as the late medieval period. Among these treasures, there is a remarkable funerary monument, dedicated to one Martha Hamley: The monument displays a … Continue reading

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The Divine Riches of the Latin Language

My son’s interest in the Latin language, fuelled by his engaging Latin teacher, remains unbroken. Recently, for example, he wished to discuss the authenticity of some volumes of John Maddox Roberts‘s beautifully entertaining SPQR series with me (to a depth … Continue reading

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