Friday, 24 February 2012

Lord George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, a great British poet.

19th century plaster busts of Lord Byron.
Lord Byron was born 22 January 1788, and  died 19th April 1824.    He was a poet and leading figure in the Romantic movement, described by Lady Caroline Lamb as  ' mad, bad, and dangerous to know!'  He is now celebrated as one of the greatest British poets. An aristocrat, he had numerous love affairs and a life of excesses including huge debts. Byron spent his childhood in Aberdeenshire. Sadly, from birth he suffered  a deformity of his right foot so that he
 was afflicted with a limp that caused him much anguish. His famous poem Childe 
Harold's Pilgrimage was published in 1812, and Don Juan,  his magnum opus, (in 17 cantos), was published  from 1819. Byron was a bitter opponent of the removal of the Parthenon marbles by Lord Elgin. Lord Byron died in Greece from a fever at the age of 36 years.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Thomas Bewick, famous 18th century English wood engraver

A delightful little mouse, engraved on wood by Thomas Bewick.
A leopard engraved on wood by Thomas Bewick.

A large dog engraved on wood by Thomas Bewick.
A magnificent lion engraved on wood by Thomas Bewick.

Thomas Bewick was born in 1753 close to the Tyne river, North East England. His father was a farmer and part time coal miner. Thomas was apprenticed at the age of 14 to an engraver in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and  worked there for 7 years.
 He is particularly renowned for his engravings of animals in 'History of Quadrupeds', published 1790, and birds in 'Land Birds',  1797.
 He died at Gateshead in 1828.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England. Winter reflections.

Reflection in water of the quayside, the ancient town of Berwick-upon-Tweed,England.  Photograph taken from the 17th century stone bridge  where the river Tweed meets the sea, taken on a still Winter day.