2020 started with death and trauma. Then there was a pandemic. So, clearly civil disobedience was an entirely reasonable reaction. Yet my rebellion never strayed far from the path of a radical ancestor.
The third and final instalment exploring today’s coronavirus crisis and comparing it with the historical documentary fiction of Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year.
We explore more similarities and differences between the coronavirus of 2020 and the plague of 17th century London. City lockdown, silence and noise in the streets, wild rumours and pandemic inequality.
Contagion, fear, fake news and quackery. There are striking similarities between today’s crisis and the Great Plague of London centuries ago. Has anything changed?
Remembering a legendary cat – the pub-crawling, fridge-raiding, pleasure-seeking Fat Freddy.
Once, London was a city of horses. Humans lived cheek by jowl with the 300,000 horses of cabmen, traders, laundrymen, grocers and rag-and-bone men. You can see the traces of that time everywhere: old stone drinking troughs, hidden cobbled mews, mounting blocks, slips and ramps.
In the 18th century the secret world of the molly house was a place for gay men to socialise, cross-dress and role-play. But it was also a place of danger and treachery.
Victorian London was a charnel house of the dead; a city oozing horror and nowhere more so than a small chapel where they danced on the dead.
A cycle ride to the outer edges of Glasgow finds stones, myths, floating saints, plane twitchers and echoes of one of London’s strangest landmarks.
Now a street in London’s lost history, Holywell Street was a narrow alleyway once notorious for radical politics and erotica…