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16th century map of Newcastle

Bird's Eye View

The fascinating story of Newcastle's earliest map.

Photo of William Kennett Loftus (1820 – 1858)

Well that's a relief!

As a Lit and Phil guide I always tell the story that in the late 1960s the Lit and Phil sold some Assyrian slabs, which had been bequeathed to it by William Kennett Loftus many years before, to the Los Angeles Museum for £40,000, which provided the funds for the conversion of the lecture theatre into 4 rooms. Although I knew it was a museum in Los Angeles, I didn’t know which one – until recently when by chance I stumbled across the museum in which they are housed.



Photo of a wombat

The Lit and Phil and The Wombat

An extraordinary tale of a wombat pickled in a leaking cask of spirits coming from Australia to The Lit and Phil. It was the first ever seen in the UK, but it got put in a drawer and forgotten about for thirty years until it was stuffed then an engraving made by Thomas Bewick.

Lit & Phil talks

Talk, talk, talk...

Necessity drives invention and so it has been with the Lit and Phil's popular series of talks on YouTube.

Album cover

Breathe in me

Kate Halsall is a regular visitor to the Lit & Phil giving both solo piano concerts and often in collaboration with others. She has just released a new album recorded in the Lit & Phil.

Photo of open book and tea

New books July 2021

Every month, the Lit & Phil buys new books - we're a library after all! Here are just four that have come in recently

Painting of The Bellerophon ship

The Rotherams

Newcastle has a long history of families whose members have contributed enormously to the world of learning and discovery. The Rotherams are a fine such example.

The Rosetta Stone

Hieroglyphs from the North

The term 'Rosetta Stone' is now used to refer to the essential clue to a new field of knowledge. Read about its connection to the Newcastle mummy, Bakt-en-Hor, and how its inscriptions were amongst the earliest hieroglyphic texts to be read by French scholar and Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion.

The sailing ship ‘Anne’ leaving the Tyne.

A Tyneside Heritage

Perhaps not surprisingly for a Literary Society, there are quite a few authors among our members. Although he now lives in London, Peter Chapman was born in the North East, still maintains strong links here and is still a member of the Lit & Phil. His new book, is ‘A Tyneside Heritage’ a fascinating story interweaving 150 years of local and family history is now published and available from Waterstones and Blackwells.

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