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June 15, 2017

We've recreated a once celebrated Lion that was at the heart of the 18th century version of social media – London’s buzzing coffee houses where people gathered to hear the latest news and share opinions. In 1713 the writer Joseph Addison caused much excitement at his f...

June 2, 2017

Joseph Addison was hugely influential in the early 1700s – partly down to the popularity of his breezy, conversational style of writing, but also because of his real flair for publicity. He was personally responsible for setting up Button's Coffee House and establishin...

May 31, 2017

The daily papers that circulated in the coffee-shops of 18th century London were a new way for people to find out about the latest trends and forms of entertainment.  One of the crazes in 1713 London was for masquerade balls, where guests partied in elaborate masked co...

May 19, 2017

Joseph Addison and his friend Richard Steele ushered in a new age of journalism in the 18th century with their papers The Tatler, The Spectator and The Guardian.  They sold several thousand copies a day – and it’s estimated they were read by more than a tenth of all Lo...

April 21, 2017

London's coffee houses in the 18th century had the same kind of impact on society as the internet and social media today. They were central to huge changes in politics, literature, commercial and social life.

One of the best books on the subject, published in 1956, desc...

April 20, 2017

Joseph Addison's once-celebrated Lion Head is among the array of treasures in the Duke of Bedford's collection at Woburn Abbey.

April 6, 2017

When Joseph Addison first set up his lion’s head in Button’s coffeehouse he told his readers in The Guardian that it would only feed on “wholesome food” and not nonsense, obscenity or scandal. But as anyone who has ever edited or animated user-generated content knows,...

March 15, 2017

The Trade Centre at SXSW is a beauty parade of cutting edge technology and quirky gadgets – and a great place to eavesdrop on the things that are getting people talking. This mirror seems to impress everyone who looks into it, even if you’re not Snow White!

Kez: My...

March 15, 2017

One of the best things about SXSW is the chance you get to bump into interesting people you wouldn’t usually talk to. Often these random conversations become the most memorable highlights of the whole event. They can you help you make new connections, shape your thinki...

March 15, 2017

They say you learn something new every day... and at SXSW that’s definitely true. There’s always something going on and something to see that you didn’t know you needed – like kitten ears that will correct your posture?!

James Donn: Mr Lion I have a story. When wal...

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The Lion that was at the centre of 18th Century coffee house culture is roaring again. Read all about him and post your own stories in the Lion's mouth.
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