Home - Old Parish Life 1776: A London Chronicle

Ringing Church Bells to ward off Thunderstorms

and other Curiosities

from the original Notes and Queries

How much did Byron’s brain weigh?  

Why are people said to grin like Cheshire cats?

Was the Duke of Clarence really drowned

in a Malmsey butt?

From its first publication in 1849 Notes and Queries quickly established itself as a unique treasure-trove of out-of-the-way information on a wide and eccentric range of subjects. This newly created collection brings together the most intriguing items from its early years, ranging from ornamental hermits to regimental goats, from mummified monks to seventeenth-century mince pies, from how to handle Ivan the Terrible to remedies for the plague. The result is a plum pudding of a book, and an ideal gift for the curious.


‘The perfect present ... Richly deserves to become the dark-horse bestseller of the Christmas season.’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘Deliciously detailed’ (The Times)

‘Frost fairs on the Thames, the reasons why the Puritans abhorred custard, and the fluctuating price of unicorn horns are just three of the pithy delights you’ll find in this miscellany of curios culled from the original Notes and Queries. Beautifully produced with woodcuts, engravings, and line drawings, at a reasonable price, it richly deserves to give some of the Christmas productions from bigger publishers a run for their money.’ (Bookseller)

216 x 138mm hardback

352 pages

Over 100 black-and-white illustrations

ISBN 978-09562046-08