The Fourth of June at Eton College

Eton was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as “Kynge’s College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore” to provide free education to 70 poor boys who would then go on to King’s College, Cambridge, which Henry founded 1441.

Poor boys????

The school flourished during the reign of George III (1760-1820). George spent much of his time at Windsor, frequently visiting the school and entertaining boys at Windsor Castle. The school in turn made George’s birthday, the Fourth of June, into a holiday. Though these celebrations now never fall on that day, Eton’s “Fourth of June”, marked by “speeches”, cricket, a procession of boats, and picnics on “Agar’s Plough” remains an important occasion in the school year.





Standards seem to be slipping.

More attention to eating and drinking than boat races in this clip!

In the current Parliament, 29% of MPs were educated privately compared to about 7% of the population.

One in ten of the privately educated MPs went to Eton.

(The Sutton Trust)

Of the 54 British Prime Ministers to date, 19 were educated at Eton College,


Currently fees at Eton College are an eye-watering £40,668  each year.

What would King Henry VI think of that?

Thanks for reading my blog today and hope you enjoy your 4th June too.

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1920s Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

Take a trip to the Riviera 1930s style

Book of the Day

Leefdale #Kindle #KindleUnlimited

More details and a free sample to read at




Hope you have a great Bank Holiday Monday

Happy Bank Holiday Monday!


Embed from Getty Images



Embed from Getty Images


Embed from Getty Images


Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Visit New York in 1911

City Symphony – Sunday in Berlin 1930

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Time for tea?

Good Morning!

Is it time to put the kettle on?

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Hope you have a lovely day.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. You might also like:

Have you tried this lovely Japanese style green tea?

Afternoon Tea, Sunday Tea and a very fine teapot.

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes

Book Promotion

cover2 £1.99

Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with these lovely illustrations.

To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, three more fabulous Arthur Rackham illustrations from the 1909 Charles and Mary Lamb “Tales of Shakespeare”.

Romeo and Juliet

Arthur Rackham
image credit: Arthur Rackham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Arthur Rackham was born in Lewisham in 1867. At the age of 17, he was sent on an ocean voyage to Australia to improve his fragile health, accompanied by two aunts. At the age of 18, he worked as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art. In 1892, he started working for the ‘Westminster Budget’ as a reporter and illustrator. His first book illustrations were published in 1893 in ‘To the Other Side’ by Thomas Rhodes, but his first serious commission was in 1894 for ‘The Dolly Dialogues’, the collected sketches of Anthony Hope. Book illustrating then became Rackham’s career for the rest of his life.

Ophelia from Hamlet

Arthur Rackham
image credit: Arthur Rackham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Arthur Rackham is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the ‘Golden Age’ of British book illustration which roughly encompassed the years from 1890 until the end of the First World War. During that period, there was a strong market for high quality illustrated books which typically were given as Christmas gifts. Many of Rackham’s books were produced in a de luxe limited edition, often vellum bound and usually signed, as well as a smaller, less ornately bound quarto ‘trade’ edition. This was sometimes followed by a more modestly presented octavo edition in subsequent years for particularly popular books. The onset of the war in 1914 curtailed the market for such quality books, and the public’s taste for fantasy and fairies also declined in the 1920s.

Cordelia from King Lear

image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Beautiful portraits of actress Ellen Terry born On This Day in 1847.

‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’.

Book Promotion

Leefdale by Michael Murray


It’s National Tea Day!

It doesn’t seem a year since I wrote It’s National Tea Day! and in 2018 there appears to be more opportunities than ever to enjoy and celebrate our national beverage.

I had an email from Betty’s yesterday with details of their partnership with The Royal Mint to a launch a new 10 pence coin on National Tea Day. This coin is one of a series of new coins and naturally features a teapot.

Chiswick House hosts the annual Fes.Tea.Val which is billed as a great day out for families, foodie enthusiasts, tea lovers and those who love to party. The event is filled with celebrity baking sessions, mixology masterclasses, top Dj’s, musician’s and entertainment and even the opportunity to take tea with Queen Victoria.

Guide Dogs is the working name of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and they are organising a big fundraiser to coincide with National Tea Day. The Great Guide Dogs Tea Party is offering a fundraising pack with lots of ideas to help this worthy cause.

I loved the design of this website and if I lived nearby I’d definitely go and try out afternoon tea. But as I can’t I’ll add an image of afternoon tea instead.


Happy National Tea Day!

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Jam for Tea
by Cathy Murray





Happy Easter!

What a day!

Easter Sunday

and April Fool’s Day

on the same day.

Apparently this simultaneous event hasn’t occurred since 1956.

And since 1900 Easter Sunday and April Fools Day have only been on the same day in 1923, 1934 and 1945.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this Easter Hat Parade from 1955 is an April Fool. But it isn’t!

And what about the green tint on this 1925 film of crowds catching the train for an Easter day out. Surely that’s some kind of joke? Apparently not!

This 1969 film clip of the Easter Princess competition is very entertaining. The winner is nineteen year old Christine who says her main ambition in life is to “get married”. And presumably keeping her winner’s tiara balanced on her beehive.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Hope you’re enjoying a very happy Easter holiday.

You might also like these posts from last year:

7 Easter stories you might have missed

Every weekend should be a three day weekend!

And today’s book promotion is still only 99p / 99c

How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Leefdale by Michael Murray


5 Literary Quotes to Celebrate National Cabbage Day!

Dorothy L Sayers

Remorse is eating his soul like a caterpillar in a cabbage.

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Beatrix Potter

Peter lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.

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H L Mencken

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.

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Ken Follett

Pray for miracles, but plant cabbages.

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Jean Giraudaux

I remember a time when a cabbage could sell itself by being a cabbage. Nowadays it’s no good being a cabbage – unless you have an agent and pay him a commission. Nothing is free anymore to sell itself or give itself away. These days, Countess, every cabbage has its pimp.

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Thanks for visiting my blog today

and hope you have a very happy National Cabbage Day!

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The New Romantics @newromantics4 perfect for Valentine’s Day!

If you love reading romance novels

have you met the New Romantics?

In 2012 four writers:

Adrienne Vaughan,
Lizzie Lamb,
Mags Cullingford
and June Kearns

(all members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association)

decided to take destiny into their own hands and found

The New Romantics Press.

I’ve read nearly all the novels published by The New Romantics Press and enjoyed every one.

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Fast forward to 2016 and with ten romantic novels published between them, The New Romantics produced a compilation of samples to introduce their writing to new audiences.

Although I’d read novels by June Kearns and Lizzie Lamb already, I downloaded Take a chance on us and got to know Mags Cullingford and Adrienne Vaughan too.

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Take a Chance on us is a great way to try out each of the writers’ individual styles and get a flavour of the wealth of content they’re offering.

Each novel is truly romantic but these fantastic writers demonstrate such variety, originality and flair that every book is hugely different.

From June Kearns’ yee-ha romantic Westerner,
Lizzie Lamb’s smouldering Highlander,
Mags Cullingford’s worldly, charismatic Priest and
Adrienne Vaughan’s glamourous Film Star,
these writers show time after time that they can conjure up hugely attractive leading men for their entertaining, engaging and ever-so readable romances.


all handled with expertise and style.

Twists and turns.

Ups and downs.

Never a dull moment.

Great reads for holidays, winter evenings in front of the fire or lazy summer afternoons in the garden with a glass of chilled Chardonnay!

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a good romantic read, then you can look forward to any of these authors to make your day complete.

romantic novel
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You can read lots more about The New Romantics Press on their website and
to download Take a chance on us, just hit this link:

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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with news of a free download of Julia’s Room by Michael Murray.

Julia's Room by Michael Murray