Happy 209th Birthday to Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell. 29th September 1810 – 12th November 1865.

1832 portrait of English writer and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65)

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Book Feature: Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World

Tomorrow is the 189th anniversary of the opening of the world’s first steam-powered public railway: the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

So, for the occasion, here’s a book I received as an ARC a while ago, but never had the time to review: Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World by Anthony Lambert. The description is beneath the cover.

Lost Railway Journeys from Around the World by Anthony Lambert

From the great cathedral-like railways stations of the steam age to obscure lines built through spectacular landscapes to open up countries before the advent of motorised road transport, this book is a celebration of our lost railway heritage and the lines that can no longer be travelled.

Through stunning images, Lost Railway Journeys evokes the romance and drama of these journeys, taking the reader as close as they can possibly get to this lost world of dining cars, sleeping cars, station porters and international rail travel.

Organised by continent, all of these routes have stories to tell and the lost journeys are captured in the old postcards and posters that accompany photographs drawn from collections and archives across the world.

On this day: London on Fire

This photograph, showing smoke and fire drifting across Tower Bridge and the River Thames in London after a German bombing raid, was taken on the 7th of September, 1940.

This was the first major Nazi attack on the city in the Second World War.

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Second World War Two Picture taken during first mass air raid on London 7th September 1940 describes more than words ever could, the scene in London's dock area. Tower Bridge against a b

On this day…

eyam_church_derbyshire_1890 england victorian britain

The church in Eyam, circa 1890.

Tomorrow the village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England recognises “Plague Sunday”.

The day remembers the decision of the village’s reverend and his wife – in 1665 – to convince the plague-stricken residents to barricade themselves in so that the disease wouldn’t spread to other villages in the area.

Hundreds of people died, but other communities survived.

Below is a picture from last year, when we visited the old well on a hilltop outside the village, which is where others would come to leave the people of Eyam food.

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On this day: the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

Edward_VIIs_coronation_procession_London_9_August_1902Procession passing along a busy London thoroughfare during the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (1841-1910) on 9 Au

The Procession in State through London’s streets.

The coronation of Britain’s King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on the 9th of August, 1902, more than a year and a half after the death of Queen Victoria, Edward’s mother and predecessor.

The coronation, initially set for the 26th of June, was postponed because of the King’s ill health. This caused significant problems for many people. Numerous functions had been planned for the day, and foreign dignitaries were in London to celebrate. Additionally, rooms on the parade route across London had been rented for high prices, which resulted in landmark court cases when the customers missed out.

From his sickbed Edward insisted that the “Coronation Dinner for the Poor of London” go ahead as planned, and 500 000 meals were served.

The Procession in State – pictured above on revised August date – was supposed to include military units from a number of European countries, but they all had to return home before the coronation finally took place.

A second procession following the one on the day of the coronation was also postponed until the end of October, again because the King was in poor health.

Edward, overweight and a heavy smoker, died less than eight years after his coronation.

Alexandra lived another fifteen and a half years after her husband’s death.

 

 

On this day: A King’s Coronation

City_of_London_(14929011094)Sir Marcus Samuel, Lord Mayor of London makes his way to Westminster Abbey from Guildhall for the Coronation of Edward VII on Saturday 9th August 1902.

The Coronation of Edward VII took place in London on Saturday the 9th of August, 1902, more than a year and a half after the death of the King’s mother and predecessor, Queen Victoria. The event had been postponed due to the King’s ill health.

In this photograph Sir Marcus Samuel, Lord Mayor of London, travels to Westminster Abbey from Guildhall for the event.

He travels in the Lord Mayor’s State Coach, which was built in Holborn in 1757.

The new King reigned until his death in May, 1910.