A mostly Victorian weekend

I was supposed to go out of town on Sunday but the weather was so dreadful I decided to stay and see what London has got to offer.

First stop was The British Library to see Points of View exhibition. The exhibition covered 19 century photography from William Fox Talbot’s beginnings through documenting the first hippopotamus in Britain, practical and spiritual use of photography to Eadweard Muybridge’s motion pictures and the birth of Kodak.

Talbot’s early picture and the famous hippo.

Everyday life.

Exotic travels.

Portraits.

Science, medicine, criminology and progress.

Journalism.

Every area of life got examined, new animals and lands were seen by all, people became travelers from the comfort of their own sofas, ‘ghost pictures’ were all the rage along with séances, catching criminals got easier, world became a smaller place.

A very good and broad exhibition, well worth a visit.

Next stop was Wellcome Collection, the current exhibition is about identity however it failed to engage me, I was much more into Medicine Man which is a bit like a smaller and tidier version of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It had a selection of various medical objects as well as curiosities like Darwin’s walking stick, Napoleon’s toothbrush and King George III’s lock of hair. I had a lot of fun and highly recommend it.

I really must mention the cafe at Wellcome Collection, it’s run by Peyton and Byrne and the cakes were amazing. They also have the nicest crockery and glasses with embossed bees.

Both exhibitions are free.

I also read The Diary of a Nobody. Mr Pooter, the protagonist, is the Victorian version of one of my favorite literary characters – Adrian Mole. He leads a happy life, doesn’t like changes, makes a lot of jokes and finds them hilarious, offends his friends and makes up, gets into uncomfortable situations and struggles to understand his son, he is a middle class city clerk desperate to be recognised by the upper class.

The tone of this book is very light and funny, it’s a satire on all the Victorian diaries that became so easy to publish everyone did it, it is also a satire on people who take themselves too seriously. I enjoyed it tremendously.

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2 Responses to “A mostly Victorian weekend”

  1. if jane 16 February, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    i am waiting for the city of london to give you an honorary title…for your museum attendance! ;)) oh and i heard about the book…must find it….

  2. The Sneaky Magpie 16 February, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    ha ha ha, I think they should give me a free pass for all the paid for show ;)

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