Augustine Birrell (1850-1933)
caricature by by Harry Furniss
pen and ink, 1880s-1900s
National Portrait Gallery
Welcome to Digging the Dust!
This is a companion blog to The History Bucketwhich deals primarily with women from history who have been marginalised or forgotten in some way.
Here, you will find more eclectic and random topics on events, people, places and things that are not as well-known as they might once have been and could be of interest to anyone who likes to dig or fossick * about in the historic dust-heap.
The phrase - "The great dust-heap of history" - was coined by Augustine Birrell, a British lawyer, essayist and politician blessed with a sense of humour and dislike of pomposity. His light and witty style of writing and speaking became known as "birrelling". See his entry in Wikipedia .
* To "fossick" is an Australian term that originally meant to search for gold or precious stones in abandoned mind workings or rivers, etc., but now usually means to rummage about or search for (something). Most likely it comes from the English word "fussock" that means to bustle about or fuss.