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Frost Fairs on the River Thames

Guildhall Library blog

With winter upon us, it is interesting to ponder winters past in London. The river Thames froze solid numerous times between 1309 and 1814. We have evidence in contemporary paintings and prints of at least five occasions, when a sustained period of cold weather made it possible to hold Frost Fairs on the river: 1683, 1715, 1739, 1789, and 1814. All the Frost Fairs took place upstream of Old London Bridge, because the bridge impeded the flow of the river, and therefore precipitated freezing.

The Great Frost of 1683-84 began at the start of December, continuing over Christmas, and lasted until the 4th of February 1684. The fair offered plenty of attractions including a whole ox roasted on the ice, stilt walking, hunting a fox, and even a printing booth to provide people with a permanent souvenir of their visit to the fair. King Charles II’s visit was recorded with…

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How to Change History: William Petty, Irish slavery, and a fake debate

Source: How to Change History: William Petty, Irish slavery, and a fake debate

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Irish in the Boer War

Source: Irish in the Boer War

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Special Collection CFP

Source: Special Collection CFP

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The World is Broken by Amos Greig

Source: The World is Broken by Amos Greig

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Blog Hop

Last week, Neil J Burns was kind enough to tag me in a writers’ Blog Hop called The Next Big Thing, in which a writer answers ten questions on their current work in progress, and then tags other writers to do the same. So here’s my response. Please take a look at the three talent folk who I’ve also tagged too!

You can read Neil’s original post at

1) What is the title of your next book?

I’m currently working on two possible books of poetry however I suspect they may become one whole collection. I call them Triptych and Cashels, Crannogs and Soutterrains.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

They are a poetry collection influenced by my love of history I’ve done a load of research about a years worth gathering data a mix of historical and mythological. Triptych is an experiment I’m telling three tales at once, a story of my experiences growing up and living during the ‘Troubles’, near death experiences and social criticism of tribalism that is rife here.

3) What genre does your project fall under?

Poetry for now however I’ve been thinking about Elliott and Joyce lately and may try to copy some of their techniques.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart for the stranger it would have to be Karl Urban.

5) What is a one sentence synopsis of your work?

Stephen Donaldson on acid meets The Wasteland 🙂

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

In an ideal world I would like to think a publisher would pick it up I currently have a book with a publishers that should be out sometime this year. In saying that I have no qualms about self publishing I self published a history text that I wrote.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Its a living breathing thing so is still being developed, I’ve a few pieces written and about 140 pages of research notes and scribbles. My last collection took 11 years to tweak.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t really like to compare my work to others but a few people who have read what I’ve produced so far have compared it to the Wasteland. They both use simile and metaphor as well as a break with traditional narrative structures.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I studied the archaeology of Ireland and learnt so much that I wanted to incorporate it into a piece of work somehow, Elliott was also a source of inspiration the Wasteland is one of my favorite texts. I also like Ulysses.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s a mix of history, mythology and life experiences told through an abstract lens. I want my work to be accessible by everyone and not exclusive.


Oonah Joslin: Oonaverse and Parallel Oonaverse

Oonah V Joslin was born in Ballymena and lives in N. E. England. She is Managing Editor of Every Day Poets and three times winner of the MicroHorror competition. She is currently working on a collection of short fiction. You can find out more at Parallel Oonahverse. Oonah was a teacher for many years.

You can find Oonah’s blogs at  Oonahverse and Parallel Oonahverse.

Gary Spedding: Healing the Society

You can find Gary at:

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