I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but have been living in London for over twelve years, and have dual British and American citizenship. I currently work as a museum coordinator at a historic home/museum, but would love to eventually move into curation. I’m passionate about history, especially the Georgian and Victorian eras (I have an MA in Early Modern History), and the history of medicine. I love museums, books, the macabre, and visiting new places, especially if those places feature authentic smells, terrible wax figures, or stuff in jars.
I’m interested in doing more guest blogging, and other types of writing, so please get in touch if you need a freelancer! I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on Instagram; you can follow me @jsajovie.
Make sure to check out the Wellcome Collection for history of medicine! The Horniman is also interesting for that sort of thing.
Thanks for commenting! I’ve been to the Wellcome many, many times (it’s under my favourite places page), though I’ll probably give their current Japanese outsider art exhibition a miss, since modern art is not really my thing. I’ve only been to the Horniman once, as Dulwich can be a bit of a trek, but I do love their taxidermy collection, particularly the walrus.
I really enjoyed your post. I currently live in Russia and am finding all kinds of place I’d love to go in Europe. But since I won’t be going right away I realized I could help promote other bloggers by posting a small portion of their blog on a section of mine which I call Mirror Reflections. I create these posts when I have someone from another country come to my blog and visit. It’s my way of saying “thank you”, I always link back to the blog I refer to when creating the post so hopefully they will visit your blog also. I call it the win, win, win system. Thanks for your post.
Thanks for the compliment! I’d love to go to Russia one of these days, if I can ever afford it! The Hermitage looks amazing, though I’m a bit upset that none of Frederik Ruysch’s anatomical preparations seem to be there anymore. For some reason, I was under the impression that a few of his specimens still survived in St. Petersburg from the collection Peter the Great purchased in 1717.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Would you be interested in participating in an interview about being an ex-pat? http://stephinlondon.com/2013/09/11/november-feature-theres-no-place-like-home/
Yes, I’m the Jessica who has been emailing you about it! (I actually spotted your post on the American Ex-Pats Group on facebook).
Oh gosh… I feel silly now! 🙂
No worries, Jessica is a very common name! I could have been anyone, and I didn’t mention my blog!
Have you visited the Harvard Museums in Boston and, particularly, the glass botanical collection? It is exactly that – a huge collection of botanical specimens made of class. Beautiful, but weird too. I’ve never posted on it – will have to dig out my notes and photos and do that someday. Great blog! Looking forward to more from you.
I have not, but I’ve only been to Boston once, and it was only for a day, so I didn’t get to see much. I’d definitely like to go back again someday, so will keep that in mind (so long as there’s no butterflies involved, I think I feel the same way about butterflies as you do about gnomes). Thanks for the kind words!
Thanks for visiting my blog. I love yours. WordPress directed me to the posts on Pepys (I’m a fan) and Eyam which I have visited in the past, so I think this is a blog for me to follow! Added to my RSS feed immediately.
Thank you kindly! I love Pepys too (in case you couldn’t tell)! I’ll definitely have to use your blog as a guide if I ever make it up to Glasgow; that Scottish Industrial Life museum you just posted about looks right up my alley!
I haven’t been to St Olave’s but visited his library in Cambridge. Amazing.
Ooh, I haven’t been there yet, will have to do that eventually as well. The real goal is to find his bladder stone, but although I’ve heard rumours of it residing at various London medical museums, upon investigation, it appears to have been lost at some point in history. 😦 Bit morbid, I know, but it would have been fascinating to see (though I’ve seen loads of bladder stones belonging to non-famous people – not that exciting)!
Yes, saw some last week in Glasgow Uni’s museum, the Hunterian. Gruesome medical exhibits. Glasgow might really be your thing!
thank you for following my blog! happy that you like it 🙂 what an interesting blog you have! for sure will be back here 🙂
I really enjoyed finding your blog! It is really unique and interesting! I love historic homes… in fact a collection of my landscape paintings has become part of a permanent collection in a historic mansion in New York which I love. I look forward to following your blog and hearing more from you. ~Rita
Thanks Rita! I just had a look through some of your paintings and I particularly like your seascapes and winter landscapes! I grew up in Ohio, where Lake Erie was the closest thing we had to an ocean, so I’m still kind of fascinated by the seaside, even though I get to visit it a fair bit in Britain!
Yes, the seaside is beautiful. I don’t get to see it nearly as much as I would like. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for the comments on my paintings! ~Rita
Really cool life you lead, keep it up! 🙂
It’s not really, but thanks!
I absolutely love your blog and enjoyed reading about places where I had lived as a student (Brighton!) and now in High Wycombe. Just to give you a heads up that the Wycombe Museum has had a massive refurbishment…maybe you should come visit for another review! It really is such an improvement on the old place.
Looking forward to reading many more of your posts to inspire my outings with my little girl!
Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it! And thanks for the tip about Wycombe; I’ll definitely consider revisiting if I’m in the area again!
Hey Jessica, Chris from Gnashing. Have you been here: https://imss.org/ ? I’m thinking of going in March. It looks right up your alley!
Nope, I haven’t been to Chicago since I was a teenager (except for layovers, which don’t count because I never get to leave the airport). Looks cool though – I’ll definitely check it out when I can! I hope you post about it if you go so I can see what you think of it!
Hey, I’m also from Cleveland! Does London get even less sunshine than Cleveland?
Hi! Yes, I think it probably does get less sunshine, but there is almost no snow here. Though to be honest, if it’s going to be cold anyway, I’d prefer a bit of snow.
I feel the same way! About snow that is. At least snow makes cold weather more fun, and infinitely more beautiful.
Hi Jessica: Love your site!!! I, too, love history, museums, historic sites and especially the Victorians and their fascination with death. Philadelphia has some fun places to visit, so hopefully you will make it here one day. I’ve written about some on my blog – more to come! (www.secretsofphiladelphia.com), but you should definitely check out the Mutter Museum, Wagner Free Institute, Laurel Hill Cemetery (walks, movies, theater in the cemetery) and Maxwell Mansion (Victorian theater in a historic Victorian home). Living in London is my fantasy/dream, So cool that you’ve made it a reality 🙂
Thank you! I’ve been to Philly a couple of times, but the last time was over a decade ago, so I’d like to go back. The Mutter is already one of my favourite museums (and I will definitely go back), and I’d love to see the other places you recommended, and of course the Poe House and Free Library you mentioned in your post! I’m a big Poe fan, though I think I like him more as a personality than a writer (if that makes sense).
Hi Jessica. Me again… I’ve been slowly working my way though your site, which I LOVE! I’ve already added many places to my London (and other) to do list. I finally made it to Hampton Court and the Soane Museum on my last visit and thought I was getting close, but obviously I have many more places to go. Now knowing your love for mannequins and animatronics, you must time your (one day) Philly visit for the Christmas season to see the cheesy (yet fun) walk-through of Dickens’s Christmas Carol – complete with animatronic Charles Dickens. I’ve been waiting for the holidays to post it to our new site, but it’s still up on our old site (https://thursdaysinphilly.com/2017/12/24/phillys-christmas-spirit-in-3-hours-and-for-free-except-the-donuts/). Also, the art museum has a small collection of presidential china, that includes pieces from the Hayes set you mention in a post – the one with American wildlife. It’s one of my favorites – the others are all too official and presidential looking. I’m not stalking you 🙂 – but just want to let you know how much I’m enjoying your posts (and your writing style/sense of humor). – Kathy
p.s.- I totally understand your Poe comments. Not my favorite writer either (although I can recite “The Bells” aloud for hours). But, he is the perfect Victorian personality. If you’re ever in Charlottesville, check out his room at the University of Virginia – just a recreation of his dorm room from his student days, but I love that the door is covered with plexiglass and open all the time. How fun to be a student and get to walk by it every day (or better yet, have a room next door!).
Thank you so much! There’s nothing stalkerish about that at all; I’m always really happy if someone enjoys my posts so much that they read the older ones too! According to Google Maps I’ve blogged about 106 places in London, and there are still a few museums I haven’t gotten around to visiting yet (not to mention always changing temporary exhibitions) so it’s a tough city to see everything in, even if you live here.
You’re so right, that Dickens experience looks right up my alley! That ghost!!! I would definitely eat some (all) of those doughnuts too! I go back home for Christmas every year, so maybe I can manage to swing by Philly at some point around then. Love the Hayes set too, so would love to see more of it. And Poe’s room, of course!
Just found out that a variation of the Frida Kahlo exhibit is coming to the Brooklyn Museum in February. They have the items from the Blue House, plus stuff from their own collection. Definitely putting it on my to do list.
Great site – lots of common ground; you have a new follower.