Good-looking, debonair, raffish, sexy, attractive to both men and women, a breezy poet, a dog-lover, a radical in his politics, supporting working-class interests at home and Greek independence overseas, and a man with a title – George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), seemed almost too amazing to be true…
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Entries by Penelope J. Corfield
Continuing the story of through-time links from the Georgian era, this BLOG focuses upon a highly significant commemorative walk at Bodenstown (co. Kildare). It celebrates each summer the short life and visionary hopes of the revolutionary Irishman, Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763-98)…
This BLOG resumes the theme of links between the Georgian era and the present. To do that, it takes one remarkable case-history, that of the Wiltshire poet, Stephen Duck (c.1705-56). [Yes, that was his real name] He was the son of an impoverished agricultural labourer. It’s likely that both his parents were illiterate. Yet Stephen Duck not only grew to gain poetic fame during his relatively short life but has been honoured ever since by an annual Duck Feast, held in his home village of …
At a time of international crisis over Ukraine, it seems heartless to continue normal life. And, in particular, it could seem inappropriate to be writing about something as jolly and convivial as the music of eighteenth-century Scotland’s legendary fiddler, Niel Gow (1727-1807). But it helps to stick to routines, which in this case means posting my monthly BLOG.
Music, moreover, is a mighty medium for expressing the full range of human emotions. Niel Gow, born in Strathbaan, Perthshire, came from a modest background to become feted as a composer and fiddler. And, among his output, are some famous laments. Indeed, in the long eras before the advent of the radio, musicians had to be ready to switch quickly in style from sad to jolly, from slow to brisk, from simple to intricate, as occasion required. They provided their listeners with a soundtrack for both daily life and special events…
Well, here is an unusual Georgian celebration but a congenial one. As part of the professionalization of many industrial and service occupations, the ancient trade of clowning in the eighteenth century came into its own. With population and urban growth, the number of theatres and circuses across Britain also multiplied. They provided evening…
If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2022) To celebrate the imminent publication of my book on The Georgians 1, my next set of BLOGs commemorates significant Georgian milestone dates: one for every month of the year.2 No problem for January. It must be Burns Night: Tuesday January 25th. The hero is […]
If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Fig.1 Symbol for Infinity, referencing the infinite unknown … Image from Wikimedia Commons (2021) It’s the author and playwright Alan Bennett who says that teaching is sexy. And, before the massed ranks of educationalists protest instead that their work is exhausting and under-paid, let’s […]
If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Adrian Corfield, on the South Coast seafront, not long before his death from lymphoma at the age of forty-four. Thinking about ‘Being Penelope’ (BLOG/130 October 2021) got me remembering – again – my next brother Adrian (1946-90). We were the oldest two of a […]
If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Fig.1 A swatch of weaving, illustrating the metaphor for History as ‘Penelope’s Web’ being constantly woven and unwoven by Penelope in Greek myth. It’s a great name, Penelope. English. Greek. And very international. Recognised everywhere. Can be used in long majestic form. Or abbreviated […]
If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Floating © Clipart 2021. Having been an enthusiastic swimmer all my life, it was a shock to be told casually by a friendly swimming-pool attendant that I was squandering my efforts by swimming wrongly. That is, I was using my arms for propulsion and […]
Penelope J. Corfield
Penelope J. Corfield is a historian, lecturer and education consultant. She currently serves as the President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS).
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