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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.  

Prunus

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

Punctuality

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.

Samuel Clegg's Model Engine

Samuel Clegg's Model Engine

The Lit&Phil has a long long history of presenting the latest scientific inventions and achievements. Through the Lit&Phil, Clegg's engine may well have influenced Stephenson in his design of the first railway engine.

Tackling the scourge of sepsis in the 19th Century

Newcastle has a strong history medical advances, a history which began with the foundation of the Newcastle Infirmary in 1751. Local author Ken Smith has written an illuminating blog about its early use of antiseptics.

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