Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

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Failbetter’s Sunless Sea

Posted upon the 9th of September, 2013

Hello, FrillyShirteans! (I feel as though my readers ought to have some sort of club name, like the Nerdfighters – something like the Gilded Pangolins or the Farcical Researchers. Though, admittedly, my readership is small enough that you could all basically just learn each other’s names without too much trouble.) I have an excellent little […]

A Catalogue of Chrononauts

Posted upon the 20th of September, 2012

I have theorised before, here and elsewhere, about the possibilities of time travel. Time is a slippery fish indeed, and its very definition is difficult to pin down… assuming one pins down a fish. Perhaps we ought to hook it. Or perhaps, rather than a fish, time is a fearsome moth… but, fish or moth, […]

A Nocturnal Academe

Posted upon the 7th of May, 2012

Scene: Atop a stone wall of small historic interest. Arrive two students from opposing sides. D: Hullo, Chuffers! C: Oh, hullo, Duffers! What are you sneaking in for? D: I’ve just been at Buffers’ party, over at All Voles. C: Couldn’t get leave to go? D: No, I suppose I could have if I wanted […]

The Acts We Commit In The Interests Of Science

Posted upon the 9th of June, 2011

I recently read with some interest of the longrunning push among the scientific community to achieve the abstraction of the kilogram. The official kilogram – the kilogram of record, the kilogram by which other kilograms are weighed and judged – is the International Prototype, of the Bureau of Weights and Measures, la commune de Sèvres, […]

The Reading of The Will

Posted upon the 20th of August, 2010

So often has it been said, and with such wisdom, that where there’s a will, there’s relations. In this case, the relation was Damien Samuel Calgary, medical student, delayed by an upset luggage cart at the station and hurrying through the slush on the solicitor’s lawn. “Germaine!” – his cousin, the sister of the deceased. […]

The Bohemians, The Autumn Years

Posted upon the 4th of December, 2008

A Sequel To A Burlesque Scene Curiously, the Comte du Lisdoré was the first to die. Horace St Germaine’s tertiary syphilis turned out to be merely hysterical. Ned’s cataplexy threatened to do him in, until his move into a circular apartment. Leopold grew bitter and fickle in his old age, endlessly rereading d’Aurevilly and famously […]


Posted upon the 24th of June, 2008

My singularly foppish chum Melanthios just discovered something which looks rather wonderful – a mystery series with Oscar Wilde as the hero by Gyles Brandreth, the comedy writer, biographer and MP (Tory, alas.) I haven’t read any of them, but the concept is so wonderful, I’m driven to manifest one of the characters who’ve been […]

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