Wickets and Wonders: Cricket’s Rich Literary Vein - a meditation on the literary history of cricket, and a few of the more well-known books surrounding gigaioggie.
British Women Romantic Poets Project is a collection of poetry written by women from the British Isles between 1789 and 1832. Over a hundred female poets are represented. Women rarely feature in literary histories of the Romantic period but there is treasure if you search (some poems are, frankly, terrible). A few places to start are Charlotte Turner Smith's Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems, Christian Ross Milne's Simple Poems on Simple Subjects and Mary Robinson's sonnet cycle Sappho and Phaon. The oddest works to modern readers may be Elizabeth Hitchener's Enigmas, Historical and Geographical and Marianne Curties' Classical Pastime, which are collections of verse riddles (the answers are at the end of the text).
In the 19th century, English author Favell Mortimer wrote several books describing various countries to children. Apparently she didn't travel much. [more inside]
Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail. Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code. Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
The Saint Turned Sinner, or the Dissenting Parson's Text Under the Quaker's Petticoats - the bawdy tale of "A Gospel Cushion thumper, who dearly loved a Bumper," from Blackletter Ballads, a small but fine collection of ballads with themes ranging from cutpurses to kings, all gleaned from 17th century broadsheets.
Gay Elizabethan Spy and Playwright found murdered! Not one, but two Christopher Marlowe movies. Hollywood, thou art such a suppurating whore. Thanks to Pete for the link.