Questions on Criticism: Arthur Balfour’s Romanes Lecture on literary criticism and beauty (1909)

Among the material recently acquired by the College is a collection of documents relating to Trinity alumnus and former Prime Minister Arthur James Balfour (Add.MS.a.616). Following his entry into Parliament in 1874, much of Balfour’s early career was focused on Ireland, where he remained staunchly against Irish home rule and oversaw the redistribution of land …

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Alchemy at Trinity: Newton and the Library

Guest blog post by Dr Anke Timmermann, former Munby Fellow (2013-14) and author of an annotated catalogue of alchemical texts and illustrations in Cambridge. Anke is a historian of science, bibliographer, writer, and antiquarian bookseller. It is a fact perhaps not as well-known as it ought to be that Trinity College is inextricably connected with …

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Remembering Ramanujan

Sunday 26th April 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of world-renowned mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was born in the city of Erode, in India in 1887. Ramanujan’s extraordinary aptitude for mathematics led to him gaining and then losing a scholarship to the prestigious Government Arts College in Kumbakonam - he focused so much …

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Bertrand Russell and Trinity

On the fiftieth anniversary of Bertrand Russell's death on 2nd February 1970, we take a look at his life through some of the documents in the Trinity College archive. The philosopher, mathematician and political activist Bertrand Russell began his studies at Trinity College in 1890, as a scholarship student studying for the Mathematical Tripos.  Later …

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Trinity College and the Cavendish Laboratory

After the foundation of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1851, the University of Cambridge found itself in need of a laboratory dedicated to experimental physics. As Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1861 to 1891, William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, agreed to fund such a building. One of his conditions was that the …

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‘A man of no ordinary attainments’: The Life and Work of Robert Leslie Ellis

Almost forgotten today, the English polymath Robert Leslie Ellis (1817-1859) was lauded by his contemporaries as a ‘prodigy of universal genius’ and an ‘ideal of a University man’. Having been privately educated at Bath, reading Xenophon and Virgil and solving equations from the age of 10, Ellis went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1836, …

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