Author Archives: Christina Egan

Facets of Dickens’ world at the Newsam Library

Two current exhibitions on Charles Dickens, reviewed on this blog, draw you into children’s worlds in the 19th century. You imagine, perhaps, reading or being read to from an illustrated volume of stories on a cosy armchair, by the glow … Continue reading

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The ‘gloomy sky’ and the ‘ruddy glow’ of Dickens’ London

“It was a Sunday evening in London, gloomy, close and stale… Nothing to see but streets, streets, streets. Nothing to breathe but streets, streets, streets.” A  ‘Dickensian’ world has become a figure of speech, evoking grim workhouses and haunted graveyards, frosty … Continue reading

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How wooden bricks can build a world : the Play Well exhibition at the Wellcome Gallery

Little wooden cubes and balls, plain and smooth, tiny wooden squares and triangles, painted in primary colours, all elevated to the status of exhibits in glass cases. Contemporary art perhaps? Much better. The next case shows a wooden model of … Continue reading

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Off to work in bowler-hats and bonnets

The blurred black-and-white photograph showed a man in a bowler-hat with a walking-stick rushing up a multi-storey staircase to demonstrate how quickly he climbs up in his career in a certain bank. It caught my eye in the 1963 edition … Continue reading

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Books that make bricks talk

Talking squirrels or lions or butterflies dart out of children’s books regularly, so you would barely be stirred by them while studying near the teachers’ collection at the Newsam Library. On cataloguing some piles of picture books, however, I was … Continue reading

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Superheroes and real-life heroes haunt the library

Over the summer, many bright and shiny books will be smuggled onto the shelves by busy librarians and also flash the message from the catalogue: ‘Graphic novel’.  There will be far more than the Newsam Library ever held in its … Continue reading

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Books that run away with you

The book is so small that you can cover it with your two hands, and it is so old that most of us were not born when it was first published, but it is still startling: the figures and buildings … Continue reading

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