poetry – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Discovering Newstead Abbey – Ancestral Home of Lord Byron

THROUGH thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle; Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay; In thy once smiling garden the hemlock and thistle Have choked up the rose which late bloomed in the way. So wrote the poet Lord Byron, inspired by his ancestral home of Newstead Abbey. Using pages from the British Newspaper Archive, this blog will explore Byron’s affinity with the ancient building, and how Newstead Abbey beat the odds to survive until the

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 70,450 new pages to The Archive, with two new and very important titles joining us from home and abroad. We have added an extensive run of pages to the Westminster Gazette, which was seen by some as ‘the most powerful paper in Britain.’ Established in 1893 by E.T. Cook, the Westminster Gazette was a liberal newspaper, which found its audience in London’s gentlemen’s clubs and was consequently known as a ‘clubland paper.’ Despite this audience being small, and

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Metro-land Magic – How the Metropolitan Railway Shaped the Growth of London’s Suburbs

I know a land where the wild flowers grow Near, near at hand if by train you go, Metro-land. Metro-land. The above pre-First World War verse written by George R Sims coined the phrase ‘Metro-land’ – that area of north west of Wembley served by what was then called the Metropolitan Railway, and is now known as the Metropolitan Line. In this blog, using articles found on the British Newspaper Archive, we will explore how the Metropolitan Railway shaped London’s

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Valentine’s Day Poems

Over the course of its history and in its present-day iteration, Valentine’s Day has been a day fit for the writing and sharing of romantic verse. The union of romantic love and Valentine’s Day has been advantageous for aspiring poets, and the newspapers have been quick to publish such verse over the years to honour St Valentine’s Day. In the pages of the newspapers, you can find numerous poems celebrating Valentine’s Day. Here is a sampling. Discover more poems and

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‘Poetess Weds Lion Tamer’ – Reported in ‘The Dundee Courier’ on 6 January 1938

‘He was the first man to ride into a cage of nine lions and direct their performance from the back of a Somalian stallion…’ Oh, we think this will likely be our favourite newspaper headline for January. Let’s hope this poetess was an ailurophile, and that the lion tamer was a poetry lover! And we can’t help feeling that this is the sort of news story that sub-editors on newspapers dream about writing headlines for – the lucky sub-editor probably had

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Robert Burns – Born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, on 25 January 1759

Robert Burns on thrift

To celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, we found a newspaper article from 1796 reporting on the life, death, and funeral of Scotland’s Bard and ‘peasant poet’ (hmm, it can be debated if he was a ‘heaven-taught ploughman’, as we suspect he read quite a bit whenever he had time!). As two of Burns’s most famous lines are: O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!

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