About Caroline

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My name is Caroline – welcome to Flickering Lamps!  Here you’ll find writing and photographs about the sort of history that passes many by – the history in our surroundings.  I’m really interested in exploring how buildings, monuments and spaces reflect the attitudes, values and stories from the time they were created, and how their uses and meanings have changed over time.  I especially enjoy exploring graveyards and old buildings looking for the stories they tell, and I’m often to be found with my trusty camera snapping the beautiful and fascinating places I come across.

I’m originally from Lancashire, but have been living and working in London since 2011. I am a doctoral student in the History Department at Birkbeck, University of London – my research focuses on the development of civic pride, local identities and democracy in London’s localities between 1889 and 1939.

Interests

Both my undergraduate dissertation and Master’s thesis focused on the early to mid Victorian period, with a particular emphasis on regional and civic identities.  I also have a particular interest in women’s history, architecture (especially Gothic and Romanesque), the Middle East and Central Asia, attitudes and symbolism relating to death, working class histories and identities, art history and archaeology.  Since moving to London, and with the encouragement of the wonderful members of London Historians, I’ve also started to build up knowledge about the history of London.

Cemetery Club

I’ve joined the lovely people at Cemetery Club as a contributor to their blog about all things burial grounds.  You can read all of my Cemetery Club posts by clicking here.

Historical Trinkets

Previously, I blogged (rather intermittently) over at Historical Trinkets.  You might have come here from a link on that site.  Thank you to everyone who has supported Historical Trinkets, be it through blogs or Twitter, and I hope that you’ll enjoy Flickering Lamps too.


If you would like to get in touch with me, please use the contact form below.

28 Comments on “About Caroline

  1. Hello Caroline, I really like your post, they are very interesting, and I like you am interested in cathedrals and castles,I enjoy learning about medieval castles, 3 years ago I went to England for 2 weeks vacation and every day my sister and I were visiting a cathedral or a castle, I wish I had the money to be researching all about cathedrals and castles, here in USA is nothing about that..
    Talk to you soon.<3

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    • Hello, thank you for visiting! I too adore visiting old cathedrals – even though I live in London there never seems enough time to visit all the wonderful sites this country has to offer. Slowly, though, I’m starting to tick a few places off my “to visit” list!

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  2. I very much enjoyed your blog, Flickering Lamps. I am working on a history book-blog of my own, which can be seen at [one word] theoryofirony.com, then clicking on either the “sample chapter” or “blog” buttons at the top. My Rube Goldberg brain asks with an odd, well-caffeinated kind of logic: Why is there an inverse proportion between the size of the print and the importance of the message? Art. Literature. Science. Military. Religion. I call this eccentric thinking the Theory of Irony and if your busy schedule permits, give a read, leave a comment or create a link. In any event, best of luck with your own endeavors.

    P.S. It concerns Classical, Medieval and Modern eras.

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  3. Hello Caroline, I very much enjoy your beautiful photography and insightful commentary. I’m interested in historic architecture here in Indiana, and I have taken many photos of local historic gravestones (“historic” around here means early 1800s, in the decades following settlement of the frontier). If you’re interested, I can send you some photos of interesting local grave monuments, including a free-standing Great War limestone statue representing the fallen soldier standing at attention, complete in every detail, and the gravestones of the popular American songwriter Hoagy Carmichael and the famous sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. Around here in the early 1800s they used a different symbolic language than the inverted torches you often mention. Instead they employed images of willow trees and urns, and later in the 1800s, stones carved like broken tree-trunks wrapped in ivy and ferns. Children’s graves were often indicated with a carven lamb. My contact info is at housesandbooks.wordpress.com.

    Keep up the good work!

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    • Thank you for such a lovely comment! I’m glad you have enjoyed the blog posts and photographs – I’m definitely still a beginner when it comes to photography but hopefully with time and practice I am improving!

      I’d definitely be interested in learning more about historic gravestones in Indiana – I’ll send you an email!

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  4. I just discovered your blog. Wonderfully written and beautifully photographed. I enjoyed the extent to which you researched and wrote about the sites you have visited. You made a follower out of me. I have visited England several times and can’t wait to return.
    I just began my blog two weeks ago, so I am only getting started. I too am interested in history, architecture and especially stained glass. So my blog starts out describing windows in Kansas City, MO where I live, I will be documenting the windows in this area. (A big job.)
    I take photos of windows wherever I go, so the blog will certainly be expanding. It is really great to discover your blog. I will get back and look over and read your older blogs and follow your new ones. Best to you for 2015. Bruce

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    • Thank you, Bruce! I will look forward to reading your blog posts about Kansas City – stained glass windows can tell so many stories.

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  5. Just read your notes on Barnes Old Cemetery and it struck a cord. I’ve just completed a photographic survey of the old churchyards and cemeteries in Richmond upon Thames borough and your report of Barnes was spot-on. My main interests are Georgian and Victorian epitaphs and also church monuments.
    I’m just gearing-up to have a go at the big London cemeteries.
    Your web-site is a wonderful and it’s truly delightful to dip into and realise that others share the same interests. Maybe see you at Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead, Kensal Green, etc etc!
    Very best regards. John

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    • Thank you for commenting John! I’m glad you enjoyed the Barnes Cemetery post. I live in Richmond borough but there are so many of cemeteries and churchyards I’ve not yet explored.

      You’re in for a treat with the big London cemeteries, there are some incredible monuments to be found and an almost endless array of interesting stories and inscriptions. I’ve visited all but one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries but it’s impossible to see everything in one visit.

      Always good to hear from fellow cemetery explorers! All the best.

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  6. As a fellow Richmondite, have you visited the Old Church Ground? It’s adjoining the older section of Richmond Cemetery proper but it can be easily missed as it’s under a thick canopy of trees. Well worth the effort though as it’s Richmond’s very own Highgate with many forgotten Victorian memorials there. I’ve been there on six or seven occasions and there’s still surprises to be had.
    All the best, John

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    • I haven’t yet visited, but I’d heard that it’s there – it definitely sounds like a good place to explore! With spring (hopefully) on its way I’m looking forward to having some better weather to get out and explore some new graveyards.

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  7. Enjoying reading your blog, Caroline, after following a recommendation on adcochrane.wordpress.com. Appreciation of remains from the past is becoming so scarce nowadays – you’re doing great work. (I write as a 100+ year old pub opposite our house, where we have lived for over 20 years, has just been demolished to make way for new housing. We used to have Morris dancers outside it every year.)

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  8. Enjoying reading your blog, Caroline, I found your really great blog after following an amazing trail of chance encounters, and synchronistic events. I hope that you will post more about Lancashire and your discoveries/activates with the cemetery club. I am trying to get myself up on any information about England because some relatives are going over to visit soon and I hope that I can find some places of interest for them to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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