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."
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
A victory for gender equality on the high seas
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove