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A Curious History of London

Martin Lathamr

East India Co employed many notable writers, among them Charles Lamb. He was challenged about turning up late all the time, but replied "Ah but see how early I go!"

The London Bridge of Shakespeare's time had over 130 shops and buildings up to 7 stories high. Dominating the bridge and straddling the roadway was the 5 storey Nonsuch Palace with four gilt onion domes.

Shakespearian theatres had a room where the coins in the takings box were counted - the Box Office.

The clock in Big Ben was designed by Edmond Denison, an entertainingly abrasive baronet. He was so combative that the College of Horologists elected him president on condition that he never attend any of their meetings.

Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen donated so many specimens to the British Museum that he was made an honorary associate and given the run of the place. It was only after he died that it was realized that he had stolen many of his specimens from the Museum itself, and then re-gifted them.

Sir Richard Burton, the C19 writer and traveller - wife was dismissed by his family as unfit for him - 'flimsy convent education, excitable brain and deficient reasoning facilities....'

Artist James Whistler asked "Do you really expect 200 guineas for two days work?" "No. For the knowledge of a lifetime."

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