In 1810, Sir Charles Greville's substantial collection of minerals were bought by the British Museum for a small fortune. Yesterday morning, before the public came, I met with the Minerals Curator to search for any of his specimens that we could find - over 200 years later.
I love a good afternoon tea. Landing in Cape Town to a feast of cucumber sandwiches and scones at the Mount Nelson was heavenly. Nearly. The long history of racial inequality and stories of our Anglo Saxon empire endure in surprising ways.
I've just finished Emile Zola's The Masterpiece - a fascinating glimpse into the Paris of the Impressionist movement and a poignant study of artistic genius and merit.
My winter obsession with thrillers is finally abating, but there is one book that I cannot stop thinking about with a fresh rush of pleasure, excitement and adrenaline: Lionel Davidson's Kolymsky Heights.
Nursing another woman's child used to be an respected and common form of employment in Britain. What happened?
After the festivities and the feasting, my mind turns to the tokens that mothers left to identify their babies at the Foundling Hospital in the 18th century. These pathetic scraps of hope are probably the most poignant objects I've ever seen.
We live in an abundantly voyeuristic period, where we can find anything that arouses us online. Yet, the 18th century artist, Thomas Rowlandson, illustrates that voyeurism isn't a modern phenomenon. Perhaps it's human nature.