Originally from Barnstaple in Devon, John Gay (1685-1732) became one of London’s most renowned dramatists. His satirical ballad opera, The Beggar’s Opera, opened at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre on 29 January 1728 and ran for 62 nights. Gay’s assault on the topsy-turvy morals, double-standards and self-interests of 18th century politics and aristocratic society remains one of the few 18th century plays still performed today.
Friedrich Christian Accum (1769-1838) popularised the study of chemistry in the early years of the 19th century. Originally from Germany, Accum moved to London in 1793. There he met William […]
William Nicholson (1753-1815) was an Enlightenment polymath – a chemist, scientist, civil engineer, translator, publisher and journalist. In his early career he even wrote literary skits for periodicals. When he […]
Successful sea navigation relies on being able to determine latitude (how far north or south you are) and longitude (how far east or west). When the Greenwich Royal Observatory was founded on 22 June 1675, sailors were able to measure latitude at sea by observing the altitude of the sun at midday, but once out of sight of land they had no easy means of determining longitude.
This week's Book in Isolation transports you to the Outer Library of the Institution to delve into the history of the Institution's bindings.