Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) – a brief biography

Granddaughter of a Russian princess and co-founder of the Theosophical Society (TS), Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (also known as HPB) was born in the Ukraine, 1831.

A prolific writer, Blavatsky was a deeply polarising and controversial figure, seen either as a fraudulent charlatan by her detractors – or as a holy spiritual master by her followers.

 

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Loneliness

Originally published on the History of Emotions blog, June 2018.


A few weeks ago, I was disturbed by a loud banging coming from outside my flat. Living on an estate in central London, random noise isn’t a rare occurrence, but this felt somehow different. No-one had seen Phil, my neighbour, for a couple of days – not unusual in itself as despite (or perhaps because of) living physically close to each other, we all tend to keep ourselves to ourselves – but pensioner Phil had been facing some serious health issues, and the noise was coming from his flat Continue reading “Loneliness”

An Introduction to British Humor – and Why You Should Send Rude Greetings Cards

In recent years the sale of cheeky, offensive and down-right rude greetings cards has exploded. It seems that the trend of insulting your nearest and dearest is a new and growing one. Yet this assumption would be wrong. From classics such as Fawlty Towers and Absolutely Fabulous to more recent hits like Fleabag and People Just Do Nothing, British comedy is full of characters who love to insult each other. British humor thrives on sarcastic put-downs and caustic jibes – and research suggests that this may actually be due to a genetic pre-disposition… Continue reading “An Introduction to British Humor – and Why You Should Send Rude Greetings Cards”

Art, Oscar Wilde and the Myth of his Martyrdom

27 July 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, recognised as decriminalising male homosexual acts that take place in private. Coinciding with this, Tate Britain is hosting Queer British Art 1861-1967. With the death penalty for acts of sodomy abolished in 1861, Queer British Art spans the following century, displaying a variety of artistic expressions with a queer sensibility, including work by Simeon Solomon, Hannah Gluckstein, Henry Scott Tuke, Dora Carrington, David Hockney and Francis Bacon. Continue reading “Art, Oscar Wilde and the Myth of his Martyrdom”

How to maintain your health when shopping in London’s Borough Market

Shopping in London’s Borough Market gives you access to all sorts of fresh and high quality produce from all corners of the globe. Yet its reputation as being one of London’s more expensive places to shop is not unfair. Wandering around with an empty belly can wreak havoc on your bank balance – it all looks so temptingly delicious! That said, a savvy shopper can still source produce that is cheaper and far superior in taste and quality than what can be found in your local supermarket. Continue reading “How to maintain your health when shopping in London’s Borough Market”