On the French penchant for inventing things already in existence elsewhere

François Dominique Séraphin, Bourbon favourite and reputedly the father of ombres chinoises (shadow puppetry), began operating 15 years later than is generally thought, and may have copied his techniques from an itinerant Italian or a London Alsatian. Featuring the memoirs of the valet to the later Louis XVII, early descriptions of the delights of the renovated Palais Royal (including a pygmy show), jolly old Baron Grimm on the lamentable state of French opera, shadow plays, and marionettes, and William Beckford’s favourite designer of theatrical perversions.

Philip James de Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon around 1782.

Did the house that Jack built come from Spain?

Or, How to cook the old lady who swallowed a fly without stooping to cannibalism. Cumulative songs (and monstrous nested stuffing recipes) in Quixote and Estebanillo González, with the grossest video you’ll see today.

Cruikshank, The progress of passion (1792).

Christmas carousels

Impossible automata for my street organ this holiday season. Featuring Georg Büchner, Ignaz Bruder, German Christmas pyramids, dancing Hasidim, Lieutenant Kijé as you’ve probably never seen it, Le Tigre, and a crustacean.

Types of (German) Christmas pyramid.

Acabo de comprar mi pavo de Navidad km0 I just bought my km0 Christmas turkey

No se parece a un pavo normal porque es de raza catalana muy especial, y además es de corral y orgánico, dice mi amigo del bar en la esquina. ¿Qué haría sin mis nuevos amigos de aquí?It doesn’t look like a normal turkey because it’s a special Catalan breed, and it’s also free-range and organic, says my friend from the bar on the corner. What would I do without my new friends here?