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EXPERIENCES, MEMORIES AND REFLECTIONS

‘I’d Rather Be an American Girl at the Savoy Hotel…’ — sponsored content, early-20th Century style

Sponsored content might sound like a development of the internet age, but far from it. On television and in the print media, companies have been managing their brands, shaping their public images and enticing consumers this way for years. Often called advertorials, these pieces blurred the lines between advertising or entertainment and objective journalism. They were a means of publicizing ...
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Léo Caillard dresses Bush House statues for The Classical Now

Paris-based artist Léo Caillard, known for styling classical statues in contemporary attire, has dressed the two figures above the grand travertine marble entrance to Bush House as hipsters. Made by American artist Malvina Hoffman in 1925 to symbolise the friendship between Britain and America, the statues were each hewn from a 20-ton piece of stone. Caillard has labelled the performance To ...
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‘that Strand which is lost as Atlantis’: Arthur Machen’s memories of the Strand

Portrait of Machen in period costume (image via the Harry Ransom centre) Mystic, theatre critic, teller of weird tales and tramper of London's obscurer byways and thoroughfares, Arthur Machen was also very fond of the Strand. Available through the Internet Archive (courtesy of the University of California libraries) his memoir of the 1870 and 1880s, Far Off Things (Martin & Secker, 1922) recounts 'the ...
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Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen

Göttingen and the Strand: Publishers and Princes

What connects Somerset House and King’s College London in the Strand with the University of Göttingen in Germany? The answer, it turns out, is a combination of the Royal House of Hanover and the movements of an enterprising eighteenth-century Dutch publisher. The current Somerset House was begun in 1776 in the reign and under the patronage of King George III, ...
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Maureen Duffy

Windows on Maureen Duffy

Maureen Duffy is a playwright, poet, novelist and biographer—her output totalling some 34 published works to date. She was an undergraduate at King’s College London in the 1950s, which she subsequently re-imagined as 'Queen’s' College London in her novel Capital (1975). King's now hosts her archive, and the Strand Campus windows feature a biographical installation dedicated to her achievements. Video In this ...
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The King's shop as it was in 1847 from the second, 1847 edition of John Tallis’s Steet Views.

The King’s Shop in 1847

With thanks to Professor Michael Trapp of King’s, this is the (now former) location of the King's shop as it was in 1847, long before the 1905 rebuild that brought the present building into being; from the second, 1847 edition of John Tallis’s Steet Views.
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The empty King's Shop in November 2017

The changing face of (academic) retail

I worked at King’s College London for seven years, and I was a student there a long time before that. I have many memories of interesting projects at the College, but this post is about one in particular—in 2009 I helped to build a new retail space for the university on the corner of Surrey Street and the Strand. My ...
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The Christmas tree goes up in Somerset House courtyard

The Strand in November

A set of photographs taken by Clare Brant, showing the Christmas tree being assembled in Somerset House courtyard, and remembrance poppies on display in the window of Coutts bank.
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A balloon

Balloon on the Strand

The history of crazes is an enormously rich subject. We seem to be in the middle of a craze for fidget spinners, of which all sorts of varieties are on sale in the Strand. In 1784, the Strand was a key location for what became, for two or three years, a mad craze for balloons – so mad that balloon ...
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