Tag: britain

Time Travel with the British Museum

Flights across the pond might only be about a hundred dollars, but virtual tours of the United Kingdom are free. Here are some fantastic tours from London and all around Briton, including some personal favorites. Now with intermittent food pairing choices! We’ll get through this.

 

The British Museum

Walk the halls, study the exhibits, and generally immerse yourself in one of London’s finest museums. Their fantastic scones? You’ll have to make your own. Plus, the entire Asian wing won’t be closed every time you go. I’m not bitter. Plan ahead for this one, because clotted cream takes TIME.

 

The Museum of the World

In other VERY cool things (and also at the British Museum), use this interactive timeline to browse historical artifacts by continent and date. Take a journey through centuries of design in Oceania, or see what everyone was doing in 1020 AD. Color coded and intuitive, I can’t wait to lose a whole day here.

 

The National Gallery

Not only can you wander the halls of the National Gallery, but you can click on paintings from the tour, for an immersive experience, and see close up images and information. Afterward, sit on your stoop and take this tour of Trafalgar Square. It looks sunny, but I wouldn’t rely on it.

 

The Tate Modern

These tours are going to include many museums I love, but goodness do I love the Tate Modern. It’s controversial, but I would save the Start Display for last. It’s kind of the greatest hits, and it’ll leave you starstruck, rather than starting with their most famous exhibits, and then wandering listless through the rest. I recommend a gunpowder green tea, and ending by a river, if you can find one.

 

The Natural History Museum 

Get up close and personal with dinosaurs and gorgeous architecture at the Natural History Museum in London. I mean it about the architecture, too. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something beautiful and fascinating. If you’re still feeling energized, pop around the corner to the Victoria and Albert Museum for heaps more virtual collections.

 

National Museum Scotland 

Just LOOK at that mezzanine. The National Museum of Scotland has absolutely everything, trains, ancient jawbones, washed out British sunlight. This place is at the top of my list as soon as we’re allowed to go outside again. I’m an absolute sucker for rain and vaulted ceilings.

 

National Museums Northern Ireland

Do you like famous historical dogs? Because I think I have a new obsession. Everything here looks fascinating and hard to pronounce. Add to the experience by pretending you got there by boat, listen to some Irish sea ambiance, aim some fans directly at your face, and splash brine everywhere if you’ve got it. If you can’t get to the heart of Belfast by boat, that’s knowledge I’m better off without.

 

National Museum Wales 

Claustrophobic, but want to learn the history of coal in Wales? This is the tour for you. One of the best coal mining museums in the UK, according to their website. For the authentic experience, put on some noise cancelling headphones and close yourself in a closet. The live tour is 300 feet underground, and as fascinating as it sounds, I could literally NEVER.

 

Historic Royal Palaces

I confess, I just wanted to know if it was possible to tour the Tower of London without becoming so waterlogged and cold that I have to dry my jacket under the hand driers. At least I can say I suffered. The answer is no, not really – you can’t tour specific sites, as far as I can tell, but you can view extensive galleries of gorgeous, detailed pictures.

 

Houses of Parliament

Do you like beautiful architecture and places that can’t be filmed for satire? I guess this needs to go on my list. Look at the tiles, with the lions of Anjou. And all the reliefs, I guess monarchs or saints. I definitely want to know more.

 

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Featured image via the BBC

The Game Is Afoot! Celebrate the Publication of A ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Book Today!

You know the name. Sherlock Holmes is a pop culture icon, someone who everyone knows even if they haven’t read his books, seen his movies, or watched his numerous tv shows. He’s a focal point of British history and literature, having influenced dozens of fictional and even real detectives throughout his literary life. On this day (Oct. 14th), one of the seminal Holmes collections was published, entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmesa collection of twelve short stories.

image via wikipedia

First featured in The Strand magazine, the stories were very popular and boosted the subscriptions to the magazine, allowing Sherlock Holme’s author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to demand increased payment with each story published. Sidney Paget illustrated all twelve of the stories that came to be featured in the Adventures collection, in time coming to best known for his artwork accompanying the series. The collection includes numerous famous Sherlock Holmes tales, such as A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure with the Speckled Band, and A Scandal in Bohemia. The last one was especially notable for featuring the character of Irene Adler, who although only made on appearance in the Holmes canon nevertheless became a feature of numerous adaptations, such as the BBC show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Image via Wikipedia

The stories were well received upon their serialization, with critics describing them holding a ‘unique power’ and some even saying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the best short story writer since Edgar Allen Poe. The stories themselves had been adapted frequently in other media, with many of the stories being featured in the Granda Television adaptation of the Holmes canon, which ran from 1984 to 1995. They were also adapted on the BBC Radio 4 program, which ran from 1990 to 1991. Elements, such as the previously noted Irene Adler, have of course being taken out and used as an overall influenced over numerous Holmes adaptations as well without specifically adapting a single story.

Image via Wikipedia

Happy birthday to this seminal collection of Sherlock Holmes tales! Crack open your volume if you own one and give these stories another read together. What’s your favorite short story featured here? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Via BBC

Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s Memoir is Poised to Flop

As Britain experiences another confusing chapter in the Brexit farce, David Cameron’s For the Record struggles to attract readers’ attention. Clocking in at an absolutely massive 752 pages, Cameron’s memoir promises a candid look at his time in parliament. It arrives in bookstores at a particularly inopportune moment in British politics, with Brexit dominating the news cycle for the past month or so. Preorder sales have been…less than stellar for For the Record.

 

Image via PA:Press Association

 

Cameron’s memoir languished low on the charts all of last week. In some sense, who can blame readers for not jumping at the opportunity shell out for such a hefty tome? The book was slated for publication last year, but Cameron’s publishers insisted on cutting nearly 100,000 words. But nearly 752 pages (even after the cut!) is quite the commitment for any reader. Still, for politics junkies, perhaps a book based on nearly 53 hours of recorded meetings Cameron held with Daniel Finkelstein (a conservative Times columnist) is well worth it.

 

 

HarperCollins, Cameron’s publisher, purchased to For the Record the rights for nearly £800,00, so the book’s lackluster preorder figures are causing quite a bit of stress for them. Now they’re relying on the former prime minister’s name to drive attention to the memoir. Though, given how events since 2016 have unfolded in the UK, perhaps the fact that Cameron’s name was on the book doomed it from the start. Comparisons made to Tony Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, about his time as prime minister don’t bode well for Cameron either. Blair’s book broke sales record when it first hit shelves, but the initial preorder figures for For the Record have been abysmal, ranking as low as 335th last Thursday on Amazon charts.

 

Image via Yui Mok/PA

 

The memoir features Cameron’s opinions on Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and the now-infamous 2016 European referendum that ultimately ended his tenure as Prime Minister. He suggests Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit and merely supported it to further his political career without thinking it would ever succeed. Cameron’s inside perspective is interesting in light of the fact that Johnson currently finds himself at Downing Street in large part because of he championed the leave movement.

For The Record releases this Thursday, September 19. So help out ya boy Dave and pick up a copy. Please, he’s begging you, like actually.

 

 

Featured image via Alamy