Queen Mab and the Pantomime Wars

Pantomime has a long and complex history but was well underway as a form of popular entertainment in Britain by the middle of the eighteenth century. With its roots in commedia dell’arte, it had become a mainstay of Lincoln Inn’s Fields playhouse under the well-known...

Fashion, Celebrity, and the Courtesan Portrait

I have been living with this portrait of an unknown woman (purchased from the excellent Cabinet Antiques) for a while now. She hangs on the wall of our office at home, above the filing cabinet, gazing softly down at me as I type. Her manner is unmistakeably...

Introducing Rusty

It was in the summer of 2020 that we spotted an advert for Rusty on an animal shelter’s website. “I’m a big cuddly boy who came to the centre after being found as a stray injured and hungry,” it said. “As you can see, I haven’t had a great life on the streets, I...

In Praise of Polymaths

Back in 1991 I took a combined honours in English literature, art history and fine art. At the time my university made all of it students take an additional subject in the first year, with the threat/promise that our marks in this subject would count towards our...