Hervieux's list 1711-FI Hervieux's list, 1793 translation-FSS Hervieux's list-Boswell 1842-fss Hervieux's list English trans 1718-fss

History, part 11: Hervieux’s list

Nouveau traité des serins de Canaries: a small book, you can hold it comfortably in the palm of your hand; leather bound, but otherwise crudely printed; 327 pages (excluding the contents, preface and dedication); three illustrations, but sadly none of the birds themselves.  Nothing special you might think, yet this book propelled the canary into […]... Read More
Oiseleurs-Pont au Change-FI Oiseleurs-Passages Rue de Faubourg-fss Oiseleurs-Quai de la Megisserie-fss Oiseleurs-Passages Rue de Faubourg-fss Oiseleurs releasing birds-fss Oiseleurs-Rue de Faubourg-fss

History, part 8: the oiseleurs of Paris

Anyone who wanted to buy a pet bird in Paris in the late 1600s would have known exactly where to find one: the quai de la Megisserie, a bustling area on the right bank of the Seine (1); or, if it was a Sunday, on the Vallée de Misère and the Pont au Change at […]... Read More
Huguenots at Dover-FI Huguenot destinations-fss

History, part 5: the Huguenot legend and the comfort of opinion

The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort […]... Read More
Huguenot Escape Routes-fss Last of England-FI

History, part 4: the Last of France

Before anyone familiar with the Pre-Raphaelites (1) points it out, the illustration above has nothing to with France and was painted in a different era from the great Huguenot exodus, which is the subject of this post. Yet, when you try to understand what emigration meant to real people; their commitment, their emotions, this painting […]... Read More
Caravaggio-Flight into Egypt Wilton Diptych Annuciation-Martini copy FI

The angel and the canary

It’s Christmas eve; we will soon be celebrating the nativity, but I am going to remind you of how it started: with the annunciation.  In this triptych*, the archangel Gabriel appears before the virgin Mary to tell her of the forthcoming birth of a son.  Notice anything unusual about the angel, and the rosette of angels in the […]... Read More