The Diarists: This week in history
Sunday 13 July 2014
13 July 1866
William Allingham, poet: "T[ennyson] and I out at 12… we swim through tall bracken. T pauses midway, turns to me, and says solemnly, 'I believe this place is quite full of vipers!' After going a little further, he stopped again and said, 'I am told that a viper-bite may make a woman silly for life, or deprive a man of his virility.'"
18 July 1954
Cynthia Gladwyn, hostess: "The Duchesse de Talleyrand told us a most unfortunate gaffe made by the Duke of Windsor at the supper party following her son's wedding. He had spilt coffee over the dress of his neighbour, and had been comforted by the fact that she was a Rothschild who could well afford another dress. After apologies and to start the conversation, he brightly remarked, 'Since you're a Rothschild, can you tell which is the Rothschild with whom Pamela Harriman is having an affair?' To which she replied. 'Sir, that's worse than the coffee; that's my husband!'"
19 July 1821
Benjamin Haydon, painter: "The appearance of a Monarch has something of the air of a rising sun; there are indications which announce his approach, a streak of light, the tipping of a cloud, the singing of a lark, the brilliance of the sky, till the edges get brighter, and he rises majestically into the heavens. So was the King's [George IV] advance. A whisper of mystery turns all eyes to the throne! Suddenly two or three run; others fall back; some talk, direct, hurry, stand still, or disappear. Then three or four of high rank appear from behind the Throne; an interval is left; the crowds scarce breathe! Something rustles, and a being buried in satin, feathers and diamonds rolls gracefully into his seat. The room rises with a sort of feathered, silken thunder! Plumes wave, eyes sparkle, glasses are out, mouths smile, and one man becomes the prime object of attraction to thousands!… As he looked towards the peeresses and foreign ambassadors, he looked like some gorgeous bird of the east."
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year