It has to be said, I have some niche if not downright geeky interests. Not exactly topics that will fill pages of glossy magazines: Indo-European socio-linguistics; broadsides as a means of mass communication; period string instruments; pre-Enclosure farming,… These interests are highly diverse but with a common theme: the past.
Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by history. Not the stories of great rulers and battles or some rose-tinted dose of nostalgia but the nuts and bolts of living: how people lived day-to-day; how they understood the world through the objects and landscapes they shaped; how society organised itself; and how seemingly dead objects take on a life of their own… So when an opportunity to preview an exhibition about a 800-year old legal document presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
Please do check out my review of the British Library’s new exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy over at The Learned Pig, an online journal devoted to art, thinking, nature and writing. It may be a slight detour from my usual offering but that’s the beauty of a curiosity cabinet!
Credit image: Magna Carta 1215, held by the British Library. Photography © British Library.
I am grateful to the editor of The Learned Pig for offering me the opportunity to review this major new exhibition.