Things I Have Learnt

“In 1848, at Nuneham House, a piece of Louis’ mummified heart, taken from his tomb and kept in a silver locket by Lord Harcourt, Archbishop of York, was shown to the Dean of Westminster, William Buckland, who ate it” – Source

I must confess that, when first I set forth upon the literary adventure afforded by this sentence, I was not expecting quite such a conclusion.

William Buckland, it turns out, was a palaeontologist given to lecturing from horseback in full academic gown. He coined the word “coprolite” for fossilised faeces and enjoyed the challenge of trying to eat as many different members of the animal kingdom as he could. He claimed that he least enjoyed eating moles and bluebottles. When presented with the heart of Louis XIV, he said he had never eaten anything so strange as the heart of a king, so he scoffed it.

In other news, my investigations into the life and career of Louis XIV have brought to my attention that one of his principle generals in the War of the Grand Alliance, Marshal de Luxembourg, looked an awful lot like Charles Hawtrey.

Oh, hello!

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