A prestigious memorial eroded by time betrays the memory of an iconic Victorian woman. Her fine contralto voice was often used to excellent effect in imitating male tenors of the day and she was a master of comedy performance. But Mrs Howard Paul followed the pattern of women adopting their husbands name professionally. Four years […]Read More BOTHER THE MEN! The GRAVE OF MRS. HOWARD PAUL
My foot scuffed something. I was walking down the Kloveniersburgwal in Amsterdam in 2018 when something slightly tripped me over. I looked down and saw something shiny embedded into the pavement. There were small plaques, which stood slightly proud from the brickwork. They resembled brass beer coasters, so I knelt down for a closer look. […]Read More Stumbling Stones
Visitors to the Dickens Museum may be surprised to see a gravestone in the back garden. Of course it is perfectly legal to be buried in your own garden if you’re lucky enough to own one. But this headstone is a cenotaph: no bones lay beneath it. The actual person it commemorates has a fascinating […]Read More Why Is There a Headstone in the Dickens Museum?
A young American’s journey to visit the graves of every U.S. president, vice president, and other notables “Just tweeted this, because it’s ruddy brilliant!” That’s what Sheldon commented on my February 16th Instagram post, which showcased the final resting place of Richard McDonald, co-founder of the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain. Dick’s urn, nestled in […]Read More The Afterlives of the Rich & Famous
“Only the very young or very unsophisticated maintain the surviving faith in the legend of Santa Claus.” So was written in the Derry Journal on Friday 22nd December 1933. Santa Claus, as I’m sure everyone is aware, is a hybrid of different folklores and popularised by the iconic (and frankly, bloody annoying) advert Coca Cola trot […]Read More The Tomb of Santa Claus
Imagine being at the heart of communication in one of the most important buildings in the world! It’s 1903 and in his private office in Buckingham Palace, King Edward VII sits in his chair, pouring over a list of names. Making notes beside each one, the roll of names before him has been given Royal […]Read More Parliament’s Postie
The e-mail notification came through and I took a deep breath. My course mates and I had been badgering our lecturer for a week or so to get this information and finally, it had arrived. Navigating my way to the university’s submission portal; I clicked refresh and there it was. My first piece of submitted […]Read More Master-fully Done, Part 1