Please, allow us our privacy.
The Annunciation to Zachariah, from an Ethiopian Bible, 1700 AD
They have all these amazing book scans on the British Library website! A 14th century Q’ran [704-705 in the Muslim calendar], Lewis Carroll’s original Alice manuscript, Scott’s diary from the North Pole. Spoils of Empire, let’s not forget, but so fascinating.
My friend Sarah is on this fascinating journey of learning in London - join her!
Having lived for the last ten years where the standard license plate for cars is emblazoned with the slogan “WASHINGTON, D.C. - TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION,” certain things automatically come to mind about the political significance of tea. When I told the staff of Special Collections (where I have the great fortune to volunteer) that I had to leave early to go on a tour of Fortnum and Mason, I was regaled with fantastic stories about Christmas shopping and exquisite confections, baked goods and, of course, tea. The tour did not disappoint and I was once again impressed by the complexity of questions and diverse knowledge that the LUIP ambassadors wield, as well as their engagingly whimsical and generous spirit. As we drank tea and ate cakes; Fortnum and Mason’s Dr. Andrea Tanner explained to our group that they have provided luxury goods for over 300 years, famously delivered in hamper or crate, to across the Empire and beyond. According to Howard Carter’s diary, his expedition was stocked at the time of his departure with 12 bottles of Fortnum and Mason’s 10-year old brandy and 18 bottles of their 10-year old whisky. Somewhat ironically, this dragged Fortnum and Mason into controversy when Carter’s team made use of empty champagne crates to remove unregistered antiquities. Captain Robert Falcon Scott carried Fortnum and Mason provisions, specifically their marmalade, on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition of 1907–09, aka the Nimrod Expedition, stocked Fortnum and Mason’s birthday cakes. There are longstanding connection of confections with the literary world too, from Charles Dickens to Oscar Wilde. (Upon returning to Special Collections the next day, my brilliant and beloved supervisor Althea Greenan told me that the Ferguson’s Gang also catered their outings with Fortnum and Mason’s hampers). Fortnum and Mason has also supplied the front lines from Florence Nightingale to the recent war in Iraq. While we were touring the store, Dr. Tanner mentioned that last year Fortnum and Mason’s was occupied with spillover from the austerity protests, which resulted in little damage to protesters or merchandise. The most surprising anecdote came with their vertical farming enterprise of copper-roofed bee hives on the roof which you can monitor via their webcams! After this night, I have some new association with the British and tea although my beloved Typhoo has taken a devistating culinary hit.
I lived in Beachwood Canyon for… two years? Three? It was some of my happiest time in LA. I had a tiny little studio, a tiny little deck, a tiny little convertible, and a not so tiny drug problem.
"The classic trap for any revolutionary is always, “What’s your alternative?” But even if you could…"
Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case For Feminist Revolution (The Women’s Press, 1979), pp. 210-211 (via radtransfem)
(JWTPO this was on a 1D blog)