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Welcome to the Lit & Phil's Blog

Despite the current difficulties we really want to keep engaged with both our members and visitors. Our hope is to inform, entertain and possibly amuse you, offering at least some distraction from the current crisis. Don't forget to check our social media channels, too. We will do everything we possibly can to keep in touch.

Please note that all the contributions here are the views and opinions of the contributors! 

If you have any views or comments about the postings or would like to offer a blog entry of your own, then please contact us at our usual email address or through the contact form which you can instantly jump to by clicking on this highlighted text.

Meanwhile, as a fully independent library, the Lit & Phil relies for its survival on its members and their subscriptions and from generating its own income, particularly from events and bequests. Of course at the moment there are no events, so if you would like to support the Lit & Phil then you can use your mobile to make a contribution: 

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Pianist Paul Edis sat at his keyboard with headphones on

It's virtual concert season!

Drumroll please...!!! We have launched a season of virtual concerts by local musicians to support the North East’s music community while live gigs are not possible.

Starts 25 Sep 1pm on YouTube


ancient illustration of boar with wings

Flying Pigs? That's preposterous

Over 60% of all English words have Greek or Latin roots...

black and white sketch of William Martin

William Martin - One Natural Genius?

William Martin (1772–1851) was a well-known Newcastle eccentric, brother of John, the artist, and Jonathan, the York Minster incendiary.  


Social Dancing

Is it social distancing or social dancing? A poem by local author Dermot Killingley​.

pair of hands cutting and engraving leather

An illustrious dynasty

The Richardsons
Actors, pacifists, artists & scientists

Shot from film

Barely a film

A man walks across a cold moorland as the sun rises. He digs...

Owl, woodcut by Joseph Crawhall II

A fascinating character

Owl, woodcut by Joseph Crawhall II, a man of very many parts - Secretary for the Arts Association of Newcastle upon Tyne, ropemaker, illustrator for Punch magazine and maker of many wonderful woodcuts, including the owl which has become something of a symbol of the Lit&Phil.

Disney's white rabbit


Because punctuality is a social construct, it varies from country to country. 

For instance, being just one minute behind in Japan is considered being late, whereas meeting on "Moroccan time" can mean anything from being an hour up to an entire day late for a promised get together.  


Frederick the Great - potato king

Musician, general, patron of artists, architects and writers, including Voltaire, King Frederick of Prussia dominated the 18th century. He said "It is disgusting to note the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects and the amount of money that goes out of the country in consequence. Everybody is using coffee. If possible, this must be prevented. My people must drink beer." He was also a strong advocate of the potato.

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