Off the A418 between Aylesbury and Thame sits a historic house that once housed a French monarch for five years. Hartwell House, now a luxury hotel under National Trust ownership, was home to the court of Louis XVIII of France … Continue reading Louis, Robert and Winston: traces of the famous at a Bucks historic house
Marlow has boasted several famous writers as residents: TS Eliot, the Shelleys, Isaak Walton. But the town’s most extraordinary author was surely Kate Marsden (1859-1931), who became a writer by chance: she was a nurse, who first became obsessed with … Continue reading Marlow’s Siberian connection
It’s amazing what you come across by accident – or, to put it another way, browsing in charity bookshops. In this case, it was a shop in Princes Risborough where we found a book about King Zog (one of the … Continue reading Forty years on… then another forty
It’s a tricky one. What’s the best known poem in the English language? And how do we prove it? Does it depend on what you were taught at school, or something else? And are we talking about an entire poem, … Continue reading Paths of glory: the best known poem?
“The name’s Bond, Basildon Bond. I’ve got letters after my name,” was the quip Russ Abbot used to introduce his 007-parodying character on TV in the 1980s. But the real reason for this brand’s choice of name involves opposite ends … Continue reading Licensed to… print?
Reality TV regularly shows us the results when competitions challenge people to be creative against the clock, whether that means implementing a business plan or baking a cake. Along West Street at the top end of Marlow, heading towards Henley-on-Thames, … Continue reading Poetry… it’s the word on the street
A few years ago, in a book which wasn’t really about Sherlock Holmes, I read an assertion that (to paraphrase slightly) The Hound of the Baskervilles was commonly believed to be set in the 1870s. As there are clear indications in … Continue reading Careless writing and an Eton mess – UPDATE
Before we go any further… if you’re a Shakin’ Stevens fan who has stumbled on this post by chance, I’m sorry it isn’t meant for you. If you want to find out what was behind the green door Shaky sang … Continue reading Behind the green(e) door…
Some years ago, in a little market town on the cusp of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, a lady used to go shopping. Her house was set back from a road just outside the town, and she used to take that road … Continue reading Wallingford: why they didn’t ask Agatha
“Would you like any damsons?” It wasn’t what I was expecting to hear as we walked through a water meadow at Streatley on a typical November day in August. Our plan had been to do a circular walk from Goring, … Continue reading When life gives you damsons…