Ambergris: or, The Stinking Monarch
An excerpt from “Leviathon or, The Whale”, by Philip Hoare, in which we learn about the precious, pungent substance ambergris; its source-place in the body of the sperm whale and its unlikely use in the coronations of British monarchs in Westminster Abbey.
The poet Swinburne in Putney
An excerpt from “Rings of Saturn”, by W. G. Sebald, in which the author gives a portrait of the Victorian poet Swinburne, the narrative winding and weaving, and ending with a vivid description of his final, decades-long retirement in a villa in Putney, south-west London, with his companion, Theodore Watts-Dunton.
Image credits: By Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) – Unknown source, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58251620; By William Bell Scott – From Balliol College's online portrait collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2850658; By Edwardx – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35624884