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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Saturday, 31 August 2019

ResearchGate Reads; Blog Reads

It seems my ResearchGate items have just reached 1000 reads.

"ResearchGate is the professional network for scientists and researchers. Over 15 million members from all over the world use it to share, discover, and discuss research".

My blog page views are now approaching one million.

No idea if that means very much, beyond evidence of perseverance.

Both ResearchGate and Blogger are very useful tools for keeping track of what I have written, and for searching and finding past postings.

My blog readers, in order of main country and readership size:

United States

United Kingdom









Friday, 30 August 2019

Art History: The True Cost of Research and Publishing (Kathryn M. Rudy, THE)

The true costs of research and publishing: Kathryn M. Rudy considers the huge expenses of doing scholarly work in her field of art history, THE (Times Higher Education)

Some of the costs:

"Buying high-resolution images for publication. Publishers demand 300 dpi digital images for publication. The directorate at the Royal Library in The Hague believes that the public already owns the collection items and should not have to pay for them twice. Yet other institutions charge enormous fees for high-res images, such as Stockholm’s Royal Library, where a single image costs SKr1,500 (£143.80). 

Paying copyright fees. Many institutions, especially those in the UK, demand a fee for allowing eingscholars to publish their images in books and articles, even those for scholarly audiences".


These are some of the reasons why I eventually abandoned further work (at least for the time being) on a planned publication of a well- illustrated book (with about 100 illustrations and colour plates) on Art and the Dorset Landscape. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Welsh Independence? New Wales

Welsh independence campaign turns Brexit rhetoric against England - The Europe referendum and its aftermath have helped to fuel the cause; i News/The Economist

I'm reminded that twenty-one years ago, in Australia, I was deeply involved in the campaign newWALES in New South Wales.

"A nation's cultural identity is important;
 so too is the continuing strength of the Union".

UK citizens living in the EU: the end of Free Movement?

UK citizens living in the EU 'very worried' about end of free movement in case of no-deal Brexit, from Euronews, by Cristina Matamoros

"Government plans to end freedom of movement immediately if there’s a no-deal Brexit have alarmed many inside and outside the UK. UK nationals living in EU countries will most likely have to get residency permits, arrange for healthcare and driving permits for the countries they live in".

British expats in the French village of Gouarec fear the prospect of a no-deal Brexit,Euronews

The Berlin Wall, 9th November 1989 (France Culture); and my own notes from a visit

Of special interest to me, as I was in East Berlin on official business on 9th November 1989 (see some extracts from my own diary, below).

France Culture, sound broadcast in French: 

1989, la fin des certitudes (1/5)

Un mur, trois révolutions, comment les événements de 1989 ont-ils changé la façon d’écrire l’histoire?

"C’est l’histoire d’un mur, d’une barrière qui traverse une ville, un pays, mais aussi le monde : le mur de Berlin ! C’est l’histoire d’hommes et de femmes séparés par des barbelés, par des miradors, par du béton et des soldats armés. Le mur de Berlin a été érigé en 1961 et pendant 28 ans il est devenu le symbole glaçant de la guerre froide...

C’est par une folle nuit de 1989 que ce mur de la honte est tombé, dans la liesse, voilà maintenant 30 ans. Mais les traces qu’il laisse dans la ville et sans doute dans les idées nous rappellent que nous sommes aujourd’hui encore, face au mur!

Dans la première partie de l'émission, Alexandre Adler et Emilia Robin, tous deux historiens, issus de deux générations différentes, nous racontent le mur et ses effets sur la vie des idées".

From an account of my visit to the German Democratic Republic, 4-12 November 1989:


I depart for the German Democratic Republic. I’ll be in East Berlin on 9th November.


Leipzig and East Berlin.

An historic day, a date that future historians may use to symbolize the end of the Cold War, or of the Second World War even, the day on which East Germany’s borders were to be declared open.

My British colleague kindly took me to see West Berlin in the evening. The Wall looked just like it had always done. There was a rather bored-looking West German TV crew with cranes and cameras located directly in front of the Brandenburg Gate. We assumed that they were preparing to film a location scene for a TV drama. There were few other people showing any interest in the area on a cold, drizzly evening. It was the greatest irony that while my colleague was driving me the “long way round” to re-enter East Berlin from East Germany rather than from West Berlin (because we do not recognize East Berlin as the capital of the GDR, and cannot recognize their right to put stamps in our passports, which would imply recognition of such often-claimed status), it was announced on the radio that the Wall would be opened, and that all GDR citizens could henceforth leave the country and travel freely to West Berlin!

I was glad to have the chance to inspect the Wall from both sides that historic night. The TV crew on the West Berlin side was soon in action. They had clearly been tipped off, well in advance. The Wall was opened; thousands crossed to West Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie. West Berliners called, “Come Over! Come over!” East Berliners headed for the Kurfurstendam. New Forum demanded a reform of the education system amongst demands for free elections and a separation of the Party from the State. “A step towards a Europe that is whole and free”, said President Bush. “Eventual reunification?” asked the BBC.


An unforgettable experience to see East Berliners pouring over to West Berlin and returning in the evening with their plastic bags from Herties, with oranges, cassette radios and budget-priced Johnny Cash LPs, all bought with their 100 DM Begrussungsgeld.


A source of amazement to diplomats in East Berlin to see the daily changes in the newspaper “Neues Deutschland”.

As Volker Braun wrote in the supplement of 11/12 November:

“Wir erleben die grősste demokratische Bewegung in Deutschland seit 1918…Sie (die Massen) verabschieden sich aus dem zentralischtischen Sozialismus”.

Only a few days earlier, the famous novelist Christa Wolf had made a moving appeal on GDR-TV (8.11.89):

“Wir alle sind tief beunruhigt. Wir sehen die Tausende, die täglich unser Land verlassen…Wir bitten Sie, bleiben Sie doch in Ihrer Heimat, bleiben Sie bei uns!”

Berlin Wall anniversary: The 'worst night of my life', Egon Krenz, BBC News, by Steve Rosenberg

The Battle of Waterloo

From National Geographic: Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo—here’s what went wrong
(Jean-Noel Brégeon)

Monday, 26 August 2019

Corfu, the "black sheep" of Greek waste management destinations: «μαύρο πρόβατο» η Κέρκυρα.

Waste Management in Greece, Kathimerini

Τραγική η εικόνα με τα απορρίμματα σε όλη τη χώρα. Τραγική καταγράφεται πανελλαδικά η εικόνα διαχείρισης απορριµµάτωv.

"Corfu, the "black sheep" of Greek waste management destinations, "produces" 330 tonnes of rubbish every day in the summer and 110 tonnes each day in the winter".

«Χαρακτηριστικά, η Κέρκυρα, το «μαύρο πρόβατο» των ελληνικών προορισμών στη διαχείριση των απορριμμάτων, «παράγει» 330 τόνους σκουπιδιών κάθε ημέρα του καλοκαιριού και 110 τόνους κάθε ημέρα του χειμώνα. Ωστόσο, σε 24 από τα 108 χωριά της υπάρχουν «γωνιές ανακύκλωσης», πρωτοβουλίες πολιτών που ανακυκλώνουν σε 3 και 4 κατηγορίες. Το ερώτημα είναι, τι γίνονται τα υλικά από εκεί; Υπάρχουν τουλάχιστον δύο ιδιώτες που συλλέγουν από τις «γωνιές ανακύκλωσης» ή τις πράσινες γωνιές τα υλικά και τα προωθούν. Τα εννέα μεγαλύτερα ξενοδοχεία του νησιού έχουν δικά τους «ρεύματα ανακύκλωσης» και ειδικότερα μία από τις μεγαλύτερες μονάδες του νησιού, το IKOS, έχει εξοπλιστεί με δύο μηχανήματα Orca για τη μετατροπή των οργανικών σε κομπόστ. Στη συγκεκριμένη μονάδα γίνεται ποσοστό ανάκτησης 80%.

Πέρυσι, όταν μια μεγάλη εταιρεία του κατασκευαστικού τομέα αποφάσισε να μεταφέρει –με την παρότρυνση της κυβέρνησης– τα σκουπίδια στη Λευκίμμη, διαπίστωσε ότι το κόστος για τον τοπικό δήμο ήταν μεγαλύτερο από τη μεταφορά και επεξεργασία των σκουπιδιών της Κέρκυρας σε εργοστάσιο επεξεργασίας (gate fee) και, μάλιστα, με μια σχέση που προσέγγιζε το 1:4.» (Kathimerini)

Greece’s waste recovery rate far below EU average (eKathimerini)

Τεράστια η μόλυνση στο λιμάνι της Κέρκυρας (CorfuPost)

On Greek Tourism: an opinion piece by Richard Pine in eKathimerini

Πανω από Αη-Γιώργη πάγων -

Divisions and Misperceptions in Contemporary Europe; Romanians

‘The Romanians are coming’  - Emerging divisions and enduring misperceptions in contemporary Europe, Diana Georgescu, EUROZINE

About Diana Georgescu

Markéta Luskačová, a favourite photographer; By the Sea

Markéta Luskačová, from The British Journal of Photography

By The Sea: Photographs from the North East, written by Marigold Warner

"By the Sea: Photographs from the North East, 1976-1980 by Markéta Luskačová is published by RRB Photobooks to coincide with an exhibition at the Martin Parr Foundation from 21 August to 05 October 2019".

“This long-forgotten body of work, depicting the North East beaches, fits perfectly into the remit of the Martin Parr Foundation - to revive important bodies of work. Luskačová's images of the beach and associated life, show the sense of community that this area is rightly noted for, with the family scenes at its heart.” Martin Parr

Exhibition Party

Saturday, 24 August 2019


The cover of my new (forthcoming) book:

The Sixties; Worship of the 1960's

JAMES MARRIOTT, August 20 2019, The Times:

“Say good riddance to worship of the Sixties. It may surprise Quentin Tarantino that a new generation is looking at the values of the decade with a critical eye”.

“I left the new Quentin Tarantino film feeling queasy...This time it was his almost pornographic glorification of the 1960s that left me bilious. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in Los Angeles in 1969 and it’s filled with loving, lingering shots of 1960s clothes, 1960s cars, 1960s hairstyles, 1960s television, 1960s soft furnishings. There’s even a montage of vintage fonts. Tarantino is hardly alone in his fetish. For a long time, the Sixties have had a stranglehold on contemporary culture…”

Letter to The Times, August 23, 2019:

I haven't seen the Tarantino film, but I did grow up in Castle Cary, and I went to three British universities (as undergraduate and postgraduate) during the 1960's. I note and respect the comments and I'll try to square the writers' criticisms with memories 
of my own experiences of the period (very different, albeit selective; I was 'there' too). 

Friday, 23 August 2019

1821- 2021: France to send Parthenon metope to Greece for 2021 celebrations (eKathimerini); Greek War of Independence

France to send Parthenon metope to Greece for 2021 celebrations

Greece Offers to Loan Ancient Treasures to Britain in Bid for Parthenon Marbles, Greek Reporter

Greece can’t borrow Elgin Marbles until it drops claim, The Times

Greece would have to acknowledge British Museum ownership if it wants a loan of the Elgin marbles, The Telegraph

William Barnes Society Website Articles

Past contributions:

Maiden Castle
Jim Potts takes a look at Maiden Castle and the archaeologists, writers, poets and composers who where inspired by one of Dorset's magnificent prehistoric Hillfort

The 'Sun-Prints' of Rev. William Miles Barnes, Photographer
Photographs of Rural Life in the time of William Barnes

Barnes, Hardy and the Sea
Jim Potts has been wondering how little Barnes wrote about the sea or the Dorset coast. Thomas Hardy wrote much more.

Around the World with William Barnes: Part 1 - Greece
Jim Potts travels to Greece to explore Evangelistria Monastery and how the wall paintings relate to one of Barnes poems

Jim Potts returns to Greece to explore Athens and the Influence of Greek Culture in works of Byron, Barnes and Hardy

Around the World with William Barnes - Bermuda
Jim Potts travels to Bermuda to discover the islands connections with Dorset and William Barnes

William Barnes and Winslow Homer
Jim Potts examines the illustrations by artists Winslow Homer and Hammatt Billings for William Barnes book 'Rural Poems' published in Boston, America in 1869

Barnes, Hardy and the Law - “But still thiese laes da seem a little tight”
Regular contributor, Jim Potts examines social justice and punishment at the time of William Barnes

There but for the grace of God: The Execution of William Barnes, 1885
Following on from his previous article Jim Potts looks at case of another William Barnes

Christmasing and Wassailing
Regular contributor, Jim Potts looks at regional poetry surrounding Christmasing and Wassailing

Dr Richard Bradbury on William Barnes: What is the point of William Barnes in the 21st Century?
Dr. Richard Bradbury of the Open University, editor of the six-volume The Collected Prose of William Barnes, made a convincing case for the continuing relevance and social significance of William Barnes.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

MARIANNE & LEONARD, WORDS OF LOVE | Official Trailer; Leonard Cohen

Watch the trailer

A review by Deborah Ross, The Spectator: Uncomfortable and distasteful: Marianne and Leonard reviewed. Why does Nick Broomfield spend so little time telling us anything about Marianne?

I'd still like to see the film (more for the Hydra scenes than anything else), even if it's not balanced.


Now managed to watch it on BBC iPlayer.

"The beautiful yet tragic love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen. Their love began on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in 1960 as part of a bohemian community of foreign artists, writers, and musicians. This film follows their relationship, from the early days on Hydra, a humble time of 'free love' and open marriage, to how their love evolved when Leonard became a successful musician. It was on Hydra in 1968 that director Nick Broomfield, then aged 20, first met Marianne Ihlen. Marianne introduced him to Leonard Cohen’s music and also encouraged Broomfield to make his first film. She was an enormous influence on him. Marianne and Leonard's was a love story that would continue for the rest of their lives. Along the way the film tells of the tragedy that befell those that could not survive the beauty of Hydra, the highs and lows of Leonard's career, and the inspirational power that Marianne possessed. Marianne and Leonard died three months apart".

Fallen Chestnuts

Strong winds in the Great Field last week. 
The exposed young chestnut trees suffered. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Flaxseed (Linseed) Cyanide Danger?

From The Times

Just as I've started to sprinkle flaxseed, from a health food shop, on cereal and porridge...

"Scientists have warned that too much ground flaxseed, a popular “superfood”, could expose people to toxic levels of cyanide. Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is rich in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. In recent years it has been embraced as a superfood that can be added to porridge or blended into smoothies. However, it also contains amygdalin, a naturally occurring chemical compound that can produce cyanide as it degrades".

Should people be concerned about the reported cyanide risk and other possible side effects?

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Poundbury, Dorset; Plans for Dorchester's Great Field

From Wessex FM - Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter

"A new pavilion's being created for the Alcohol Education Trust. It will bring a café, toilets and office space for the charity, which works with young people to teach them about alcohol and its risks.
The building, similar to a traditional cricket pavilion, will be built off an existing pathway which crosses the Great Field, close to a play area. The café will serve hot and cold drinks, cakes, salads and sandwiches as well as simple hot food such as soup, toasties and jacket potatoes which will be prepared and cooked on the premises.Dorset Council has approved the planning application for the project which will be built at a reduced cost thanks to local builders, C G Fry & Son. It is being mostly paid for by the Alcohol Education Trust, but Dorchester Town Council has also helped by contributing £20,000. The charity says its mission is to “engage children of all abilities and backgrounds before they begin drinking, in order to help them build resilience skills, to know how to avoid and resist situations and to look after themselves and each other in a variety of settings.” Despite the town council’s support the application attracted 15 letters of objection, with concerns including the risk of evening anti-social behaviour, parking issues and the potential impact on nearby homes from general noise. Work is expected to start in the spring. Other works planned in and around the Great Field over the coming months include: a new network of paths due to start in September; a tree-planting scheme between November and March; new play equipment by late spring or early summer next year; the start on building an amphitheatre this autumn".

Cornwall: a 5km hole, Geothermal energy

Why renewable energy pioneers are steaming ahead by digging a 5km hole in Cornwall, Cahal Milmo, i newspaper

Untapped potential of Cornwall's hot rocks

Friday, 16 August 2019

Elijah Upjohn and Ned Kelly; The Hypocritical Hangman from Dorset

THE EXECUTION OF EDWARD KELLY, Kilmore Free Press (Kilmore, Victoria, 8 November, 1880).

"The final scene in the Kelly drama, was enacted within the walls of the Melbourne gaol on Thursday, when Edward Kelly paid the full penalty of the law for the murder of Constable Lonigan. The hour of the execution was fixed for 10 o'clock, the admissions were confined to a few Justices of the peace, one or two medical gentlemen, some gaol officials, and the representatives of the press. In all, there were but twenty seven persons at the execution. Very many attempts were made to obtain admission upon one pretence or another, but only those who had been provided with an order from either the Chief Secretary or the Sheriff were admitted, one respectable looking female, unknown, to the police pleaded strenuously to the warder in charge of the wicket door for admission to see Kelly "just for a minute" and it was only with difficulty, that she could he induced to leave the precincts of the gaol. During the solemn half hour which intervened between the admission of the first attendants and the execution, those present formed themselves into parties of twos and threes, and nervously pacing the yard, discussed the merits of the condemned man's case and heir experience of other executions, while frequent application was made to their time pieces. At five minutes to 10 the Governor of the gaol Mr. Castieau, the sheriff (Colonel Reid), and the under-sheriff (Mr Ellis), led the way into that section of the gaol which is known as the new wing, to which admission is gained through an iron grated gate, thence they proceed along a corridor and up a few steps, through a second gate, into a cruciform area surmounted by a dome off which branch corridors. Immediately facing the spectators as they enter this apartment, is the gallows, not the formidable black looking structure familiar to the minds of those persons whose experience of executions is confined to the reading of the penny-a-lining details of depraved journalism, but a simple beam fixed into the wall on either side of the building. Attached to this is an inch rope, one end of beam, while to the other end is a running slip noose. Round the dome runs a balcony reaching a cell on either side of the drop, to one of which a condemned prisoner is removed about an hour prior to the hour fixed for the execution, between those two calls is the drop, on ordinary occasions forming the floor of the gallery, and over which any one might pass without being aware of its character. The drop partakes of the nature of a door, on which the condemned man stands, and which when released by the withdrawal of a bolt attached to a lever, falls down, and is held back by a pulley, allowing the body to fall with a jerk. While the witnesses remained below, breathlessly gazing up at this simple paraphernalia, and watching for the appearance of Kelly, the Governor, the Sheriff, and under-sheriff, proceed up the stairs to the condemned cell. At the door of this the Sheriff, punctually at 10 o'clock, formally demanded the body of Edward Kelly, and handed to the governor his warrant for same. Having glanced at this the governor knocked at the cell door, and was admitted. At a signal, the hangman, Upjohn, emerged from the cell on the opposite side, walked across the drop, and entering the condemned cell, proceeded to pinion Kelly. To this the prisoner demurred saying there was no necessity for it. Upjohn having performed the operation, left the cell, and standing by the drop, awaited the advent of the condemned man, who emerged from the cell between two warders, and preceded by the Rev. Deans O'Hea, and Donaghy, walked on to the drop. His head was enveloped in the usual white cap, and though looking slightly pale, there was no falter in his step. When under the rope, Kelly gave a violent but only momentary shudder. Standing in front of him Upjohn, without the slightest signs of nervousness, adjusted the rope, pulled the cap over Kelly's face, and stepping back to the lever which works the drop, at almost the same moment received the signal, and the bolt being withdrawn, the wretched man was launched into eternity. The slack rope gave a drop of about eight feet, and death must have been instantaneous, for there was but the slightest muscular contraction, the natural result of the sudden shook received by the system. On leaving the cell, and before stepping upon the drop, an expression, with a igh, escaped Kelly's lips, which the warders and the governor interrupted to this effect "Ah, well, I suppose," probably meaning to say he supposed to say this was the last of it, or this was what it had come to, but the expression was never concluded. He had previously intimated his intention of making a speech, but his heart evidently failed him. He gave not the slightest intimation of his desire to speak, and the whole proceedings were so quickly and effectually carried out that any scene was avoided. It is usual on such occasions for the prayers to be completed before the signal to withdraw the bolt is given, but the governor, anticipating the possibility of a scene, or of a breakdown, either on the part of the criminal or the executioner, had determined upon the expeditious carrying out of the arrangements, thus obviating the agony of mind inseparable under such circumstances to the condemned man, and doing away with any possibility of a contre-temps. Upjohn, the executioner, is by no means the typical hangman of current literature, and though a hardened criminal himself, old in crime, and long resident in colonial gaols, his worst expression of countenance is that of sulky doggedness. This was his first execution, and his objectionable work was expeditiously performed without any sign of faltering or nervousness. He was bare-headed, and was in his shirt sleeves while performing his duties..."

Elijah John, the Shaftesbury-born criminal and hangman of Ned Kelly:

Ned Kelly, before his execution

The prison gallows (newspaper artist);
 Elijah Upjohn is the second on the right

Ned Kelly death mask:

Ned Kelly's armour:

Capture of the Kelly Gang. 
The Graphic, 4 September, 1880

Elijah Upjohn plays a central role
(as the seventy-year-old novice hangman) 
in the last two pages of Peter Carey's novel

The Imagined Last Words 
of Elijah, the Hypocritical Hangman, to Ned Kelly, 
moments before and after Ned's execution
(a taunter's response to Ned's Jerilderie Letter)

Son of a...

Reading (audio)

The Dorset County Chronicle, 10 April, 1834

Read more about Elijah Upjohn in Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorchester, Dorset.

Related, see also the William Barnes Society website, my article -

Greece: Villages evacuated as wildfires rage (DW)

From DW, 13 August 2019

I have just caught up with this story. I hope the wildfires are now well under control.

It seems that this is not the case on Evia

Fire service examining indications of arson in Evia blaze (eKathimerini).

Οριοθετημένη αλλά ακόμη επικίνδυνη η φωτιά στην Εύβοια (Kathimerini)

Οι πυροσβέστες δεν κρύβουν την αγωνία τους για τον κίνδυνο των αναζωπυρώσεων

Dorchester, Dorset, Shire Hall, Historic Courthouse Cells; Today's 'Tolpuddle Martrys'; Paint Freedom; Journey to Justice

Aras Amiri

Article from The Guardian

Further report on the case

A distressing update, The Times, 20 August 2019:

Warning: if you visit the cells, don't close the cell-door behind you once you're inside! The relative of a friend went into one of these cells the other day, and closed the door, which couldn't be opened again. It took some time for the supervisors to locate the key to open it and to release her. 
Luckily, the young woman who'd locked herself in did not panic. They managed to get her out.

See also, William Barnes Society website, my article: