Category Archives: Uncategorized

Grinding fools

Many of Douce’s prints of fools are emblems from Dutch and German books, like the etching below: The scene is set in a watermill, where an elegantly dressed man is startled at the sight of batches of little fools being … Continue reading

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The Juggernaut Debt

In 1832, The Ballot published a series of “Sketches in Church and State”. The proofs for the anonymous wood-engravings can be found among the satirical prints that the British Museum purchased from the estate of Douce’s friend Edward Hawkins. As … Continue reading

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A peep at the balloon

On Saturday, 7 July 1810, the Oxford-born chemist James Sadler (1753-1828) took part in the celebrations of the installation of the new Chancellor of the University by ascending in a balloon from Merton fields with his fourteen-year-old son, Windham. The … Continue reading

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Douce’s Baked Apple Pudding

I have just finished cataloguing Douce’s folders of woodcuts, which contain quite a few illustrations from late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century German almanacs. The autumn months are often represented by apple-picking: In one of his commonplace books, Douce wrote down … Continue reading

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Poetry and Astronomy

I missed the transit of Venus earlier this morning. Transit of Venus I thought that special equipment was required but, apparently, all you need is a piece of paper -or so Jim Naughtie said in the Today programme. He was … Continue reading

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Scandinavian Noir

Long before subtitled Danish drama reached these shores*, Douce was already championing Scandinavian story-telling of a different sort, as transcribed by his friend the Danish scholar and antiquary Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin (1752-1829). On 28 April 1819, Douce wrote in his … Continue reading

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Douce’s London

It is Bank Holiday Monday and, apart from Notting Hill where thousands of people have gathered for the carnival, London seems much quieter than usual. So I set off early to visit some of the addresses where Francis Douce lived … Continue reading

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