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Wisdens's secret was initially  a blog based upon a manuscript written in 1863 and from which I can prove quite conclusively that this manuscript is in part at least "the original source manuscript" to the 1st edition of Wisden's Almanack 1864.   Below is an illustration of the results table page  for the University Rowing Matches in the manuscript written in 1863.  This page  is obviously the original source for the page in Wisden's Almanack first edition 1864 of the page containing the University Rowing Matches  also illustrated below.  Precise explanation see contents April Diary 

It became expanded considerably once I realised the strong possibility that the father of the author of the manuscript  alluded to above  might very well be the "original" Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and much more besides.


It then went on to include the uploading  (in progress) of a quite brutal manuscript account of life as an R.A.F.  P. o.W. from December 1944 under E.LA.S the Greek communist party.

The discovery of a totally unknown collection of 40 very finely coloured aquatints to illustrate the works of Lord Byron published in 1829. 

The discovery of a unique etching dated 1653 which looks like the an unknown work by Rembrandt.


See below for a few further brief details  

Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race 1863

This manuscript upon initial examination provides a midpoint between the Rowing Almanacks of 1863 and 1864 and the first edition of Wisden's Almanack of 1864 that is difficult to dispute.  


Proof of copying by Wisden however, (ie. beyond reasonable doubt) is shown by the last three race timings.


In  Wisden 1864 the last three race  timings are exactly the same as the last three race timings in the manuscript, and all three are are different to the race timings in the Rowing Almanack .s of 1863 and 1864 from which this table so bviously derives. The odds against  Wisden making exactly the same  race timing mistakes independently, are astronomical. These odds increase when the close connections between the two men become revealed


A more detailed explanation of this proof with supporting illustrations can be found by clicking the Content page. It  appears in the section "First and Second Proof Beyond  Reasonable Doubt..."

The illustration to the left is the page from the 1st edition of Wisden 1864 showing the University Rowing Matches. (Published with the permission of Neil Robinson  Lords Library)

Both these illustrations have as their source the University Rowing Match page from  Rowing Almanack of 1863 and 1864. An illustration of this page is to be found in Wisden/s Secret Part 2   "First and Second Proof"  

The author of the manuscript above was a former rower with Magdalene College 

There are 2 articles regarding this manuscript both written by Jon Hotten 

One appears in "Wisden 2021" and the other in the June edition of "The Nightwatchman " 2021

University Rowing Matches 1864


The real (?) life identity of Mr. Darcy, The real (?) life location of Thornton Lacey. The real (?) life location of Northanger Abbey  and mention must be made of the extraordinary discovery of Easter Eggs (ie. hidden treasures  in the form of anagram word puzzles within Jane Austen's writings that have lain undisturbed for over 200 years)  If you enjoy solving cryptic anagrams in crossword puzzles,  there are some to be found in the introduction for you to attempt to solve.  Also discovered are are a good number of  fresh  very cleverly hidden  puns ( until 2017 only 1 was known) and then there are the "Easter Eggs" utilizing numbers.  I have also found (August 2022) a  link between the family of Jane Austen and the man I think was Mr. Darcy.  Or how Jane Austen links to the U.K. royal family.   Finally in early April 2021 I uncovered a quite brilliant  origin for the source of the name Pemberley     

Perhaps I should not say so myself but I think that what I have found is absolutely extraordinary.   


Click here for more

The  Unknown  Jane  Austen          Hidden  In  Plain  Sight 
      Some Extraordinary Secrets


20210508_143644.jpg Robert Cary Elwes  "The Real Mr. Darcy?"

Is this portrait  (current whereabouts unknown) painted 1790 by Ludwig Gruttenbrun in Paris a portrait of the man who was "The Real Mr.  Darcy "
Painted when the sitter was 18/19 years old.

Does he look like a man who 5 or 6 years later could  be described as haughty, reserved, fastidious with manners well bred but not inviting.
This is how Jane Austen describes Mr. Darcy towards the end of Book 1 Chapter 4

A unique, recently discovered etching

Rembrandt. A newly discovered origal etching?

This image is a unique etching with drypoint  and dated 1653 .The image here has been enlarged in order to see the true creative complexity of this etching further enlargement is necessary. Its actual size is 160mm by 130mm.

I have spent time without success attempting to find another example.   The closest I have come is an image of the same man by another etcher G.F.Schmidt  entitled The Bartige Orientale  The Bearded Oriental.  No expert that I have so far consulted has seen another example of my etching.   I believe with good reason therefore this etching to be unique.    If anyone knows of another example, (not a reproduction), of this actual etching I would like to know because I am pretty sure there isn't one.

Below is a much enlarged image.  Within the image is an enlarged section of the man's left eye 

Far superior images of the print shown in small sections that can be magnified to see the fineness in detail are to be found on the Rembrandt Etching page

Newly discovered Rembrandt Etching  Magnified Image
The Left eye above enlarged

Lord Byron / John Martin
40 Virtually Unknown Coloured Aquatints

Vision of Judgement Lord byron/John Martin published Pyall and stroudDSC_0029_3_edited.jpg
inset to Vision of Judgement Pyall and Stroud20211128_101331.jpg

An example of one of the 40 delicately coloured unsigned aquatints published by Pyall and Stroud 16 Russell Street Covent Garden size 110mm by 8omm.  Created to illustrate the works of Lord Byron.  Although unsigned, to those who know the work of John Martin, visionary artist, these 40 aquatints  have all the iconographic  hallmarks one expects to see in Martin's work.
For a more complete appreciation it is useful to read the verse  that accompanies each illustration. 

In the bound volume of 40 aquatints is a slightly different example.  Firstly  It has been published "for the proprietor by T. Gillard " rather than by Pyall and Stroud.  Secondly in the top right hand corner of this example is the number 50. Clearly an intention to produce a set of 5o aquatints revised for some reason to 40.  This number has been erased in the Gillard example.  Thirdly are subtle differences in colouring most noticeably in the dome and arches close beside , but elsewhere  if one looks carefully. 

N.B.  The image has been photographically cropped to just outside the plate mark.   

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