Tag Archives: Great Britain

1750: Estimate

In 1750, astronomer Thomas Wright estimated the number of inhabited planets in the observable universe: Of…habitable Worlds, such as the Earth, all which we may suppose to be also of a terrestrial or terraqueous Nature, and filled with Beings of … Continue reading

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1869: Although He Was a Cow

Curious Dreams A writer in the “Argos” says: “I remember when a boy, sleeping in a strange house, in an old-fashioned room, with an oaken store cupboard over the bed. I dreamed that I was being murdered; the assassin struck … Continue reading

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1920: Mother and Father Had Turned Into Cabbages

A selection from Charles William Kimmins’s book Children’s Dreams (1920): A lady was sitting on my bed, and the King and Queen were under the bed eating bread and butter, and a lot of ladies with them. The sun and … Continue reading

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1792: A Serious Social Menace

One afternoon in 1792, Lady Almeria Braddock and a certain Mrs. Elphinstone were having tea when the following exchange occurred: Mrs Elphinstone: “You have been a very beautiful woman.” Lady Almeria: “Have been? What do you mean by ‘have been’?” … Continue reading

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1307: Qualiter caput hominis situatur

This llustration from an early fourteenth century compendium shows the five functions of the brain: perception, imagination, estimation, cogitation, and memory. Drawn from the works of Thomas Aquinas and the Arabic philosopher Avicenna, the theory posits that sensory information enters … Continue reading

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1956: The Hound of Heaven

In 1893, English poet Francis Thompson published a poem called “The Hound of Heaven.” The work is an extended metaphor: as a hound pursues a hare in a hunt, so does God pursue the human soul to restore it to … Continue reading

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1784: Whimsical Associations

From Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (1965): “In ‘The Poplar Field’ …William Cowper…unwittingly allows the whimsical associations of triple meter to work against him.” The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade And the whispering sound of the … Continue reading

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