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Volume XV, Number 2 | winter 2024


After the pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church in the 1530s, initiating a series of property seizures that delivered coal-rich church lands in England to gentry who had it mined and sold to consumers in the cities. Over the next two centuries, the English coal-­mining industry ballooned in scale; coal replaced wood as the country’s main energy source and fueled its rapid urbanization.

Fire destroys that which feeds it.

—Simone Weil, c. 1940

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The Colosseum, attributed to Robert Eaton, c. 1855.
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Monumental Mistakes


Fitness instructor carves his girlfriend’s name into the Colosseum.

c. 1850:

Thompson of Sunderland makes his mark on Pompey’s pillar.


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