Napoleon’s canal

Napoleon never invaded Britain, but he left his mark on the country nonetheless. Britain had feared a French invasion for much of the eighteenth century, but those fears grew hugely when up-and-coming General Bonaparte was made head of France’s Armée d’Angleterre (Army of England) in 1797, with a brief to organise what had proven toRead More

Recovering Bob

Back in 2017 I produced a post, Covering Bob, on cover versions of Bob Dylan’s songs. It was accompanied by a Spotify list that brought together other people’s versions of Dylan’s songs in chronological order of composition, no song appearing more than once though artists could recur. I rather liked the conceit behind it andRead More

Walled city

I live in a walled city. (Technically, I know, Rochester is not a city, owing to an administrative blunder back in 2002, but let’s keep to the romantic). It is not a place where the ancient walls survive largely complete, therefore circumnavigating the city, as is the case with Chester or York. Only fragments remain,Read More

Farewell the trumpets

Farewell the Trumpets is the title of the final volume of the Pax Britannica trilogy on the rise and fall of the British Empire, written by the late Jan Morris. As the three books mostly cover the Victorian era, with the third opening with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, it feels like a goodRead More